Monday, December 05, 2011

Boisterous Iranians, the WPC & Crude Price

Iranians are as boisterous as ever at the 20th World Petroleum Congress displaying no signs of worries about being buffeted from all corners about their nuclear program! One even took the trouble to give the Oilholic – his “Indian brother” with British nationality – the benefit of the doubt by explaining how his country’s nuclear program was purely for peaceful purposes.

Sadly, neither the Oilholic was convinced nor as it were the market which remains jittery as the Israeli press continues its daily bombardment of a possible imminent pre-emptive air strike! End result, when last checked – ICE Brent forward month futures were at US$110.83 a barrel while the WTI traded at US$102.04! That’s the instability premium in the price for you or as the Oilholic’s new Iranian brother said, “Its courtesy corrupt paper traders who have never seen a real barrel of oil and OTC miscreants funded by Americans and Zionists”. Sigh!

Assessing the moderately bullish trend, Sucden Financial Research’s analyst Myrto Sokou notes, “As concerns about Eurozone’s debt crisis have been somewhat alleviated while ongoing tensions between Iran and the West continue to dominate the oil market. Crude oil prices continued to enjoy a strong rally, supported by the softer US dollar and growing tensions between Iran and the West.”

Sokou further notes that the Iranian foreign minister said during the weekend that a blanket ban on its oil exports would drive crude prices to US$250 a barrel. But hang on a minute; the Oilholic has been “reliably” informed it is those pesky paper traders? Drat!

Despite that, neither Sokou nor any other analyst here thinks the US$250 level is viable at the moment. Nonetheless the momentum is to the upside. Speaking of real barrels of oil, the Oilholic will get to see one again on Thursday thanks to a visit to Dukhan field courtesy of WPC and Qatar Petroleum. Meanwhile, a mega petroleum exhibition has kicked-off here today. Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

© Gaurav Sharma 2011. Photo I: Iran's stand at the 20th World Petroleum Congress exhibition. Photo II:  WPC Exhibition floor & entrance © Gaurav Sharma 2011.

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