Saturday, August 17, 2013

Who Steals Nigerian Crude Oil?

“Insanity has been described as doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.”

Nigerians have been treated to a theatre of the absurd in which those close to the oil scene and those who should be the prime suspects for the incessant theft of crude are the same people complaining about it and passing the buck among themselves. Jonathan’s government is obviously powerless to stop the grand larceny or is unwilling to do so. Meanwhile, we face real fiscal catastrophe this year and next year if the theft is not checked. Who are the culprits? Take your choice from the list below.

“Oil workers………
“Security agents……
“NNPC officials…..
“Top govt officials….

Three-Pronged, Energy-Based Approach Needed to Generate Resurgence of American Manufacturing

Staying focused on a clean energy agenda and working collaboratively across the business, academic, and government sectors is the key to sparking a resurgence in United States manufacturing and to mitigating climate impacts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson said today.

President Shirley Ann Jackson
President Jackson was addressing a forum on American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness, jointly sponsored by General Electric, the Council on Competitiveness, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE-EERE), and hosted by the GE Global Research Center, in Niskayuna, New York.

Energy Security Market Worth $67.90 Billion by 2018

Dallas, TX -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/16/2013 -- The report "Energy Security Market by Power Plants (Nuclear, Thermal And Hydro, Oil And Gas And Renewable Energy), By Technologies (Physical, Network Security), Professional Services - Global Advancements, Forecasts & Analysis (2013 – 2018) " segments the global energy security market into various sub-segments with in-depth analysis and forecasting of revenues. It also identifies drivers and restraints for this market with insights into trends, opportunities, and challenges.

MarketsandMarkets has segmented the global energy security by type of power plants: nuclear energy security, oil and gas energy, thermal and hydro power, renewable energy; by type of solutions: physical security solutions, network security solutions; by regions: North America (NA), Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe (EU), Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Latin America (LA).


All Eyes on Iran’s Next Oil Chief

Bottom Line: Newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rohani has chosen his new oil minister, but the Supreme Leader is sending signals that the choice is not acceptable to hardliners.

Analysis: Rohani has chosen Bijan Namdar Zanganeh for the country’s new oil minister. Zanganeh has served as oil minister before, under president Mohammad Khatami. He left the post in 2005. Hardliners see him as too soft and there feathers were particularly ruffled by Zanganeh’s record of selling gas below market prices to foreign countries. That the Iranian Supreme Leader is against Zanganeh’s appointment was made clear in a scathing criticism of him that appeared in an Iranian newspaper controlled by the Supreme Leader’s camp.

Crude Trades Above $107 as Supplies Dip - Analyst Blog

The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory release showed that crude stockpiles logged a larger-than-expected decline. The report further revealed that within the 'refined products' category, gasoline stocks fell, while distillate supplies were up from the week-ago level. Meanwhile, refiners scaled down their utilization rates by 1.5%.

The supportive crude data from the U.S. government, together with the ongoing unrest in Egypt that could destabilize the resource-rich Middle East and further tighten the global supply picture, has nudged the commodity above $107 a barrel.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) Petroleum Status Report, containing data of the previous week ending Friday, outlines information regarding the weekly change in petroleum inventories held and produced by the U.S., both locally and abroad.

The report provides an overview of the level of reserves and their movements, thereby helping investors understand the demand/supply dynamics of petroleum products. It is an indicator of current oil prices and volatility that affect the businesses of the companies engaged in the oil and refining industry.
Analysis of the Data
Crude Oil: The federal government's EIA report revealed that crude inventories fell by 2.81 million barrels for the week ending Aug 09, 2013, following a decrease of 1.32 million barrels in the previous week.
The analysts surveyed by Platts - the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Financial Inc. ( MHFI ) - had expected crude stocks to go down some 1.5 million barrels. A steep drop in Gulf Coast supplies led to the stockpile drawdown with the world's biggest oil consumer even as domestic production continued to spike, now at their highest level since 1989.

In particular, crude inventories at the Cushing terminal in Oklahoma - the key delivery hub for U.S. crude futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange - were down 1.36 million barrels from the previous week's level to 38.52 million barrels. Stocks are currently at their lowest since Mar last year and 25.7% under the all-time high of 51.86 million barrels reached in Jan.

As a result of the sixth weekly inventory decline in 7 weeks, at 360.49 million barrels, current crude supplies are now 1.6% below the year-earlier level, though it is still close to the upper limit of the average for this time of the year. The crude supply cover remained at 22.7 days - same as in the previous week. In the year-ago period, the supply cover was 23.4 days.

Gasoline: Supplies of gasoline were down for the first time in 3 weeks despite a decline in domestic consumption. The fall in gasoline inventories could be attributed to lower imports and domestic production.
The 1.17 million barrels withdrawal - below analysts' projections for a 2 million-barrels decrease in supply level - took gasoline stockpiles down to 222.43 million barrels. Notwithstanding this drawdown, the existing inventory level of the most widely used petroleum product is 9.2% higher than the year-earlier level and is near the top half of the average range.

Distillate: Distillate fuel supplies (including diesel and heating oil) were up 2.03 million barrels last week, surpassing analysts' expectations for a 1 million barrels rise in inventory level. The increase in distillate fuel stocks - the second in as many weeks - could be attributed to weaker demand and higher imports, somewhat negated by the effects of lower production.

At 128.48 million barrels, distillate supplies are 3.5% above the year-ago level but is close to the lower limit of the average range for this time of the year.
Refinery Rates: Refinery utilization edged down 1.5% from the prior week to 89.4%. The analysts were expecting the refinery run rate to decrease 0.3% to 90.6%.
Stocks to Consider

With spot crude price staying strong - at around $107 a barrel - brokerage analysts are likely to upgrade their forecasts on oil-weighted companies and related support plays, leading to positive estimate revisions. While all crude-focused stocks - including behemoths like Exxon Mobil Corp. ( XOM ) and Chevron Corp. ( CVX ) - stand to benefit from rising commodity prices, companies in the exploration and production (E&P) sector are the best placed, as they will be able to extract more value for their products.

In particular, one can look at Matador Resources Co. ( MTDR ) - a small-cap, undervalued E&P player - as a good buying opportunity. Dallas TX-based Matador Resources, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), with current focus on the high-return Eagle Ford shale formation in South Texas, is expected to witness earnings growth of 232% in 2013 and 32% in 2014. Moreover, a price-to-book (P/B) ratio of just 2.3 suggests that the stock is still undervalued. In fact, shares of Matador Resources have risen from $12.78 to $15.96 since we recommended it on Crude Prices Surge: 3 Stocks to Buy Now on Jul 22.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Our Role In The $1.9B Malabu Oil Deal Fraud - Shell

Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited (SNUD) is in the centre of the Malabu Oil deal scandal, for which it is being investigated by the British police. The Nation has obtained documents filed at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in which Shell explains how it was caught in the web.
The controversy over the $1.092, 040,000 Malabu Oil deal continues with one of the parties, Shell Nigeria opening up on how it acquired 40 per percent equity in Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245 in 2000.