Friday, December 08, 2017

Medium term oil forecast unaltered by OPEC & non-OPEC action

One week on from OPEC and non-OPEC producers' decision, to roll over their ongoing oil production cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to the end of 2018, there's no bullish frenzy in the crude futures market.

In the Oilholic's humble opinion, that was never their intention in the first place anyway. The primary purpose was to keep the OPEC put in place, and protect the oil price floor in 2018 at $50 per barrel, using Brent as a benchmark.

Given that the global proxy benchmark is currently well clear of $60, and lurking near 2-year highs; most analysts would say it's a case of job done for now. 

That said, the current range is the new normal, and there's little on the horizon to suggest otherwise. For instance, following the OPEC meeting, ratings agency Moody's said it would keep its medium-term oil price estimates at $40-$60 per barrel. 

"Recent higher oil prices have been supported by global economic growth forecasts, production restraints and increased geopolitical risk," said Terry Marshall, a Moody's Senior Vice President. "But risks to prices persist, including reduced consumption due to higher prices, as well as increased supply."

It's a view this blogger shares, and few analysts in the City of London would suggest otherwise. Of course, as expected, the number of US rigs has risen too with Brent prices firming up above $60 and WTI fast approaching the mark. There maybe an upside in the wake of OPEC's decision, but the US shale drag is well and truly alive and kicking. That's all for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it crude!

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Google+ click here.
To follow The Oilholic on IBTimes UK click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.
To email: gaurav.sharma@oilholicssynonymous.com
 
© Gaurav Sharma 2017. Photo: Oil extraction site © Lukoil.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Opec, non-Opec producers extend crude cuts

It's official - OPEC and non-OPEC producers have extended their joint 1.8 million barrels per day of oil production cuts until December 2018, following the conclusion of their ministerial meeting here in Vienna, Austria.

There were some doubts that the Russians will not play ball, but in the end they did. Energy Minister Alexander Novak and his Saudi counterpart Khalid Al-Falih subsequently turned up portraying an air of harmony. It's been a long crude day, with plenty of words to punch on a keyboard, plus radio, TV and OPEC webcasts to contend with for the Oilholic who is well and truly knackered. Hence, apologies for not providing some instant and more meaningful commentary here. 

To make up for it, here's a spot report for IBTimes UK with some market analysts' quote.

And here is yours truly's customary OPEC take for Forbes.

Some more composed thoughts to follow once this blogger has had some sleep after a long hectic day; but in the interim that's all for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it crude!

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Google+ click here.
To follow The Oilholic on IBTimes UK click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.

© Gaurav Sharma 2017. Photo: (L to R) Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and his Saudi counterpart Khalid Al-Falih announce the extension of OPEC and non-OPEC production cuts at the conclusion of the 173rd OPEC ministers' meeting in Vienna, Austria on 30 November, 2017 © Gaurav Sharma.

'R-OPEC' or OPEC? All about Russia at Helferstorferstrasse 17

The Oilholic has negotiated some serious snowfall to arrive at Helferstorferstrasse 17, OPEC's secretariat in Vienna, Austria for the 173rd OPEC Ministers' meeting. 

The winter wonderland that the Austrian capital has transformed into overnight should make the Russians feel right at home. That's because all the soundbites here are about the Russians, and what they may or may not agree to this time around. 

The collective OPEC and non-OPEC production cut, pegged at 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in May, is valid until March 2018. So the question is a simple one where from here? The Gulf exporters led by Saudi Arabia want a nine month extension beyond that to cover most of 2018. However, Russian oil minister Alexander Novak is not so keen on the idea, questioning why OPEC wants to extend a deal that is yet to expire.  

Here's some overnight analysis for Forbes. Sooner or later Russia will part company with OPEC and the many in the market are cognizant of that.

And here's the first report from OPEC for IBTimes UK. Plenty more from here soon, but that's all for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it 'crude'!

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Google+ click here.
To follow The Oilholic on IBTimes UK click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.

© Gaurav Sharma 2017. Photo: View of snowfall on Westbahnhof / Europaplatz, Vienna, Austria, November 30, 2017. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Feeling the crude temperature ahead of OPEC 173

The Oilholic has arrived in Vienna, Austria to gauge the crude temperature ahead of the 173rd meeting of OPEC ministers.

Going by the events of the last 24 hours, looks like the Russians, in town leading the 10 non-OPEC producers, seem to be giving the most briefings, and mostly to Russian journalists and analysts.

You could be forgiven for thinking they'd joined OPEC; but the Kremlin's message to analysts and scribes alike seems to be a simple one - the current production cut agreement reached in concert with OPEC producers for taking out 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) out of the market is valid until March 2018, so why tamper with it now? 

On the other hand the few odd soundbites coming out of OPEC seem to "express hope" the cut agreement, of which the cartel has a lion's share of 1.3 million bpd, is rolled over for a further nine months. With both parties not appearing to be on the same page, oil futures are sliding. 

At 7:45pm GMT, Brent is down 0.53% or 34 cents to $63.27 per barrel, while WTI is down 1.09% or 63 cents to $57.36 per barrel, making it a second successive session of intraday declines extending from European hours to US trading hours.

Expect more of the same, though OPEC's problem is the lack of an exit strategy, which is why some in its ranks want to kick the can down the road even if the Russians aren't keen. Meanwhile, since its been over 10 years of covering OPEC by the Oilholic, here's a look back at the last ten years for IBTimes UK. A whole lot memories, episodes and experiences to narrate

Finally, here is one's take on what to expect on IG Markets TV and Core Finance TV. 



And that's all from Vienna, for the moment folks! Plenty more to follow. In the meantime, keep reading, keep it crude!

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Google+ click here.
To follow The Oilholic on IBTimes UK click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.

© Gaurav Sharma 2017. Photo: OPEC signage outside its secretariat in Vienna, Austria © Gaurav Sharma. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Automation, AI and Robotics: On scare stories and opportunities


Automation, artificial intelligence and robotics keep cropping up in discussions, conferences and speaking engagements the Oilholic least expects them to these days – from trading seminars to oil and gas congresses, economics forums to academic debates. 

The energy industry talks of connected plants, exploration and production firms talk of advanced robotics, refineries and downstream companies send drones out to monitor facilities and traders fret over algorithms replacing them. 

So is this ‘Robocalypse’ or ‘Robotopia’? This blogger’s close industry colleague, friend and renowned economist Jason Schenker says mankind is somewhere in between, and has attempted to address the information gap via his book Jobs for robots: Between Robocalypse and Robotopia; a most impressive narrative summing up the tremendous opportunities as well as significant threats the future holds with a healthy infusion of pragmatism, analysis, wit and humour. 

The tone of this book, of just under 200 pages split by nine engaging chapters, is neither alarmist nor utopian about the fourth industrial revolution that's underpinned by technology or 'Industry 4.0' as some prefer to call it.

What the author is attempting to do is review the way forward – that is unquestionably fraught with challenges – and see how we can prepare ourselves, bridge the gap, especially the skills gap, between the rapidly evolving present and the imminent future.  

In parts, the narrative is blunt because it needs to be. Some jobs that exist today, will most likely disappear tomorrow. This isn’t something new, as the author points out. Past industrial revolutions led to millions of jobs disappearing, but also led to the creation of newer ones. Industry 4.0, Schenker stresses, will be no different with downsides and upsides. 

It’s how we embrace the upside and mitigate the downside via education, reforms and re-skilling so that individuals and society can reap the benefits from the upcoming age is what it’s all about. My overriding impression upon reading the book is that its for everyone. Afterall, it is discussing the future and how we should gear up for it – and that’s something that concerns everyone.

What is so brilliant about Schenker’s work is that its part analysis, part historical perspective, part futuristic, part career advice and part financial planner. And the sum of all parts makes it among the most informative and engaging works on future planning out there in the market, written in free-flowing simple language that would appeal to as diverse a readership base the Oilholic can possibly imagine.

This blogger immensely enjoyed Schenker’s book and is happy to recommend it to fellow beings eyeing what the future holds for us, and how we need to embrace and prepare for it. 

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Google+ click here.
To follow The Oilholic on IBTimes UK click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.

© Gaurav Sharma 2017. Photo: Front Cover - Jobs for robots: Between Robocalypse and Robotopia by Jason Schenker © Prestige Professional Pulishing

Contact:

For comments or for professional queries, please email: gaurav.sharma@oilholicssynonymous.com

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here
To follow The Oilholic on Google+ click here
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here