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Showing posts from March 14, 2021

Oil Markets: the US responds to Saudi concerns about the global oil supply in the wake of drone attacks

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    Oil price that showed a downward trend up until Thursday, this week, stated going up at a modest pace on Friday with a brief dip during the day, when the Saudi oil facility near capital Riyadh were attacked by Houthi rebels of Yemen. Saudi Arabia admitted it came under attack and the situation was under control; they went on to say that the damage was negligible; it, however, could not stop the ripple effect of the negative sentiment from spreading across the crude oil markets. Since the attacks of this nature are frequent and the damage remains relatively insignificant, the markets seem to be suffering from ‘drone-fatigue’; the subdued, short-lived impact on the markets just reflects it. After the latest attack, unlike in the previous attacks, Saudi Arabia warned the international community that the global energy supply would be under serious threat in the face of these attacks; it’s, in a certain sense, a thinly-veiled accusation against the key global players for not tak

Oil Price: drone attack on Saudi oil facility reversed today's oil gains

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  Oil price was in the green territory for most of the day before dipping considerably in response to the latest drone attack on Saudi oil facilities by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The price recovered when the Kingdom said there was no serious damage to the facility in question. Saudis admitted one of its oil facilities near Riyadh, the capital, came under attack from a drone that resulted in a fire in the afternoon. According to Saudi Press Agency, the fire was quickly brought under control and there was no damage or injury; the oil supply from the facility did not get affected either. Houthi attacks by drones and missile are nothing new; the level of sophistication frequency and relative success, however, is a worry for the kingdom; Saudis are frustrated with the lukewarm response from its allies, both in the region and beyond, in the presence of continuous attacks launched  from Yemen. Saudis did not mince their word when they said, “These terrorist and subversive aggressions and

Oil Price: US crude oil inventories are back at play in the price equation

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  The oil price has been in decline for the last few days, losing the momentum it used to have up until the latest OPEC+ meeting on March 4. On some days, the prices of both WTI and Brent were high in the early hours on Asian markets; they, however, quickly died down, falling in line with the current trend. The rise in oil price during the past few weeks was attributed to the production cuts by the OPEC+; it triggered off a rift between certain countries, which, in normal times, used to be allies, as well; the latest not-so-diplomatic verbal exchange between the Saudi oil minister and his Indian counterpart is a case in point. The OPEC+ decided to hold on to its production cuts into April and Saudi Arabia decided to extend the existing, voluntary cuts in its production by 1 million bpd into April too. The cumulative impact evolved into a significant supply constraint and analysts made their calculations based on this development; the forecast was a steady rise in oil price. I

The Chasm between Saudi Arabia and India over Oil Supply Widens – possibility of unintended consequences

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  There is a growing rift between India, the world’s third biggest oil importer – and consumer – and Saudi Arabia over the supply of crude oil to the global markets. India maintains that the unilateral cut of 1 million bpd by Saudi Arabia, in addition to what was agreed by the OPEC+, is ‘artificial’ and is causing a major headache for its economy, when it is on the path to recovery, having seen the worst slump in 70 years. When India’s position attracted the global attention, especially by the consumers, Saudi Arabia hit back by asking India to use its vast oil reserves, filled up by buying on the cheap during the pandemic at rock-bottom prices. Saudi response has not gone down very well in New Delhi: The Times of India reports that the Indian authorities had requested the government-owned refineries to look for alternative supplies, away from the Middle East; since they account for 60% of the crude oil handling, the move, if executed as intended, will be quite significant. Wit

US becomes India's second largest crude oil supplier; Saudis have fallen to 4th position

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  Dharmendra Pradhan, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister of India, says that he is in talks with major oil-producing nations in order to bring down the crude oil price that has hit hard both the consumers and industrialists. Mr Pradhan said this in the wake of criticism in certain sectors in India about levying taxes on fuel; although India is not the only country to do so, its taxes on fuel stand at a staggering 69%; it has inevitable led to a considerable hike in price. Opposition parties in India, meanwhile, want government to cut down the excise duty on fuel; the government, however, shows no sign of heeding the call. The minister defended the move, citing India’s need of resources in reviving the economy, especially after the pandemic caused by the Coronavirus. In another development, Saudi Arabia lost its position as the second biggest supplier of crude oil to India with a loss of 42% of supply in February; it’s the fourth biggest supplier at present, with Iraq being

Oil Price: crude tide hits the buffers; more momentum needed to hit above $70

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  Crude oil price that has been rising steadily for weeks failed to creep into all-important $70 territory defying the expectations of the analysts. There are concerns about a sluggish increase in demand despite the impact of the pandemic being on the wane and vaccination campaigns in full swing across the world. The anticipation of yet another US crude inventory build-up and an unexpected decline in the US rig count may have affected the enthusiasm of the investors. Moreover, some countries in Europe, Africa and in South America show anxiety over a potential third wave of the pandemic with certain variants of the Coronavirus; Italy, Kenya and Brazil are some countries that try to keep the threat of yet another wave of the pandemic at bay. Although some analysts believed that there would be a spike in oil price when the US announced its latest stimulus package, its effect died down much faster than they thought it would. OPEC+ must be watching the trend carefully, because the

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