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Showing posts from November 21, 2021

Plummeting oil price leaves the OPEC+ in a slippery lurch

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  The price of crude oil fell precipitously on Friday when analysts were gauging the combined impact of the joint release of petroleum reserves and the discovery of new Covid-19 variant in Southern Africa. As of 18:00 GMT on Friday, the prices of WTI and Brent were $68.15 and $72.72 respectively. When the news broke out on Tuesday about the joint release of the petroleum reserves by the major global consumers last week, despite the speculation being in the public domain for days, the crude oil markets defied the obvious: the price of crude oil did not fall dramatically. The critics of the Biden administration and those who harboured the bullish sentiments lost no time in branding the move, at best politically disastrous and at worst an economic boomerang with a potential to harm many layers of the US administration. They were emboldened, perhaps, by the mysterious silence from the OPEC+ members in the aftermath of the joint release of the SPRs – the proverbial calm before the s

Gauging the oil price trend when two factors competing for dominance

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  The price of crude oil slightly dipped on Wednesday, in line not necessarily with the cumulative release of the SPRs, Strategic Petroleum Reserves, by the top global consumers. The drop coincides also with the latest data released by the API, American Petroleum Institute, which showed yet another US crude oil inventory build: the API said on Tuesday the figure was 2.307 million barrels for the last week; by contrast, there was a drop in the US crude inventories by 0.655 million barrels last week, for the week before. Both the API and EIA, the US Energy Information Administration, have been showing a consistent pattern, when it comes to the US crude oil inventories, sometimes, with one-off blips, as it happened last week – the US crude inventories have been growing. In this context, it is difficult to attribute the price drop that we witnessed this week so far, solely to the joint release of the SPRs by the US, Japan, China, India, South Korea and the UK. On the other hand, s

Oil price: will the joint release of SPRs produce the desired outcome?

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  Crude oil investors are bracing themselves for the ‘big news’ in the form of a public announcement by the world’s most powerful man in the evening, with regard to the steps taken by his administration to cut down on rising energy prices. Everyone expects that President Biden will address the issue while referring to the tools at his disposal and how he is going to use them; tapping the SPRs, the strategic petroleum reserves, may be his number one option, the nuclear one. The problem with this option, however, is exactly like in atomic radiation, the political fallout is going to linger on for years to come; most of the members of the OPEC+ that are on President radar are still staunch US allies in the Middle East. Realistically, in light of the relatively small fall in the price of crude oil, however, its long term impact has become a hot topic among analysts and investors. Of course, the Biden administration scored a diplomatic victory by taking all the major consuming nati

Oil Price: relasing SPRs amidst waves of Covid-19 surges in Europe

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  The price of crude oil that has been falling during the past three weeks recovered slightly on Monday when the markets opened for the business for the new week. As of 11:45 GMT, the WTI and Brent were back in the green, both standing at $76.08 and $79.00 respectively, recording modest gains. The prices have since fallen once again – slightly. Throughout last week, crude oil markets were bracing themselves for an increased output from strategic petroleum reserves of the major global consumers, including the US. Although officially being mute, the US, China and Japan have been contemplating the move to bring down the prices at the pumps in order to keep the corresponding economies on track to a fragile recovery in the aftermath of a once-in-a-century epidemic. The very urgency has forced the leaders of the major economic powers to temporary abandon the lingering disagreements over a range of issues to reach a common front in order to keep the rising energy costs at bay; the re