Wil Iran attack Israel soon? Only time will tell!

  Credit: Google Maps With Iran's threat against Israel in a direct strike, the tension in the Middle East went up a few notches on the scale of uncertainty, as the United States made it clear once again that it would not be a passive observer if a conflict erupts. The rising tension came in the wake of the daring attack carried out by Israeli F-35 fighter jets on the building that was adjacent to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, the Syrian capital. Seven Iranian nationals, along with a few Syrians, died in the attack, two of them were from the elite Iranian IRGC - Republican Guards; they were very high ranking officers. In response to the attack, Ayatollahs Ali Khamenei, the Iranian  supreme leader, said that Israel will be punished in kind, during an Eid message on Wednesday; he did not imply in what form the retaliation could come; nor did he say whether it was imminent, leaving the ambiguity open to interpretation by military and political analysts. The supreme leader, however,

The Sun goes on Vacation: total solar eclipse - April 8, 2024

Total Solar Eclipse: April 8, 2024: Vivax Solutions The lucky folks along a relatively narrow geographical band, from Mexico all the way to Canda, are going to witness a rare celestial spectacle on Monday, April 8 – a total solar eclipse. The path of totality – where people can witness total darkness - cuts across fifteen US states, before rolling into Canada in its final mesmerising leg. In mathematical proportion to the excitement, the enviably famous American entrepreneurial spirit has already gone into full swing: the hotel bookings, closer to the path of totality, have gone up exponentially and so have the prices; in addition, traders lost no time in springing into action in promoting related merchandise and of course, safety goggles, while implying that exercising caution before looking heavenward is a virtue, indeed.    The excitement that borders on ecstasy is perfectly understandable: astronomical charts show that there will not be another total eclipse for twenty years th

Strong economic data from China boosts oil prices!

China's Manufacturing PMI - March With China's manufacturing sector returning to the expansion territory in March, recording the highest manufacturing PMI since September, 2023, the economic outlook of the world's second largest economy depicts a positive picture - at last. The announcement on Sunday by China's National Statistics Bureau on the PMI, was further boosted by the fact that the country's logistic industry showed even better improvement in March; the data released on Tuesday shows that the logistics industry prosperity index rose by 4.4 points to 51.5. That means, Chinese economy shows the signs of recovery while moving past the weathered milestone of stagnation that silently witnessed the interplay of a range of complex factors, some clearly stemming from evolving geopolitical axis, in a relatively short passage of time. The positive indicators in the recent days from China appear to be showing its catalytic effect on the crude oil markets; the price of

Will Venezuela manage to extend the period of waiver of sanctions?

Image | Data: OPEC As the 53rd JMCC, Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, of the OPEC+ is scheduled to take place on April 3, analysts are looking at every possible scenario that could rise in the aftermath of such a meeting. A consensus has already emerged among them that the OPEC+ would stick to its production quota for each member country. That means the official position of the OPEC+ will maintain the current production cuts as long as necessary, without increasing the production to appease the influential customers.  The cartel wants to stick to the production targets, already agreed upon, in 2024 without unnecessarily worries about the potential consequences.  With the OPEC+ sticking to it guns, without increasing the output, the top consumers of oil turned to Venezuela to buy it on the cheap as the former was given a waiver to increase the production and then sell, provided that free and fair elections will be held before the waiver expires. Venezuela i

The trend in China's Oil Imports in 2023: the stagnation of the prices is partially explained!

Image The data from 2023 clearly shows that China, the world's top importer of crude oil, is a factor that cannot be ignored when it comes to the stability in the crude oil markets. The trendline, based on the crucial crude oil import volumes, shows a gradual, not a steep, decline in line with the fluctuating manufacturing activities. The trendline of China's Purchasing Manager's Index, PMI, followed a similar pattern in 2023. There was a relative surge in crude oil imports in February on account of heavily discounted Russian oil after the war broke out between Ukraine and Russia. Both China and India cashed in on the unbelievable bonanza, defying international pressure, citing the domestic interests.  In August last year, there was a relative increase in the imports: In September, China's PMI, Purchasing Manager's Index that reflects the nation's manufacturing activities remained above the threshold - 50%. Analysts, meanwhile, are awaiting the

Strategic Reserves and Domestic Production: Unpacking US Options for Oil Price Fluctuations

  The latest data from the EIA, US Energy Information Administration, suggests that the US had been the largest producer of crude oil in 2023, despite turning to other sources to boost the global oil production. It has been more than 4 years since the US became a net exporter of crude oil. The data explicitly shows that the US retains the crown for the largest production, while pushing both Russia and Saudi Arabia down to the second and third place respectively. As of December 2023, the US accounted for 12.9% of the global oil production. The same figures for Russia and Saudi Arabia were 10.1% and 9.7% respectively. The contribution from the UAE, a close ally of the Kingdom, was just 3.4%. In this context, the reported reluctance of lowering the quota in line with the more powerful members of the OPEC+ by the UAE is perfectly understandable, as it means losing a big chunk of its vital revenue stream. It is interesting to note the contribution by Iran to the global oil supply: it stood

Test Your Knowledge of the Oil & Gas Industry : take our 10-minute interactive quiz!

The Quiz: Multiple Choice Questions Time: 10 minutes - Created by Crude Oil Futures - This quiz covers significant milestones, key players, and evolving challenges in the oil and gas industry. It delves into historical developments, technological advancements, and contemporary issues impacting the sector. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting your journey in the oil and gas world, this quiz is an opportunity to test your knowledge and stay informed about the dynamic landscape of this vital industry.   Start the Quiz   Submit Quiz

Oil Price: China's manufacturing activity shrinks, yet again in February

  China's purchasing manager's Index, PMI, a key metric that signals the health of the manufacturing sector in the world's second largest economy, fell slightly in February, despite scoring 0.2% rise in January relative to December, 2023. As it remains below the threshold, 50%, since September, 2023, analysts are concerned about the latest official figures that show yet another contraction in the manufacturing activities. A strong PMI - above 50% - indicates a rise in the manufacturing activities, something that both analysts and investors are eager to see.   Conversely, an index below the PMI, is an indication of contraction in the manufacturing sector that in turn puts pressure on the demand of oil and gas. At present, however, the expected value is below the threshold; it has been like that for months. In this context, a drop in the PMI by 0.1% may be statistically insignificant; the fact that it has been below 50% for an extended period of time, however, has the potenti

Thinking outside the box: the tips for the OPEC+ from an anxious observer!

  The price of crude oil shot up slightly at the beginning of this week, only to come down closer to where it had been in the last few weeks. The price of LNG, liquified natural gas, meanwhile saw its biggest drop in its recent history. As of 18:00 GMT on Friday, the prices of two major benchmarks, WTI and Brent, were at $79.97 and $83.55 respectively; the price of LNG was at $1.84 . The speculation over yet another production cut, analysts believe, may be the cause of rise in oil price this week. It, however, fell down again as the weekend approached, implying the acute challenges faced in maintaining the sustainability; the crude stock build, reported by the EIA, US Energy Information Administration, may have put a damper on the upward trend too.   Data Source: EIA - US Energy Information Administration As far as the OPEC+ is concerned, they say that they stick to the voluntary production cuts announced on 30 November, 2023 - 2.2 million barrels a day; the cartel says tha

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