• Category Archives Energy
  • Earthquake Detected Near North Korea Nuclear Test Site; China “Suspects Explosion”

    In what may be the latest major escalation involving North Korea – and potentially the nation’s 7th nuclear test – China’s earthquake administration said it detected a magnitude 3.5 earthquake in North Korea, which it suspects “was caused by an explosion”, raising fears that the rogue state has tested another nuclear bomb. The Chinese administration said in a statement on its website that the quake was recorded at a depth of zero kilometers, while Xinhua said the epicenter was in roughly the same place as a similar shallow earthquake on 3 September, which turned out to be caused by North Korea’s sixth and largest nuclear test.
    ***
    However, in analyzing the same earthquake, South Korea came to a different conclusion, and said it was likely to be natural or man-made such as a nuclear test. South Korea’s weather agency assessed the seismic activity as a natural event.
    “The quake is presumed to have occurred naturally,” an agency official said, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. “A sound wave, which is usually generated in the event of an artificial earthquake, was not detected.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 23, 2017.


  • Gold Bullion Fails to Recover $1300 Even as Dollar Retreats Post-Fed, Kim + Trump Trade Insults

    Gold bullion rallied almost $10 per ounce on Friday from yesterday’s 4-week lows against the Dollar but failed to recover what analysts called the “key pivot” of $1300 despite claims of safe-haven buying after Pyongyang threatened to test a nuclear bomb over the Pacific Ocean.
    The Yen rose faster versus the Dollar, erasing last week’s 0.7% gain in gold for Japanese investors, as Kim Jong-un – leader of the regime in neighboring North Korea – called US President Trump “deranged”, and Trump called Kim a “madman”.
    “Chinese interest was once again prevalent to underpin the early session bid,” says one Asian bullion desk.
    Ratings agency S&P today downgraded China‘s sovereign debt one notch to A+, saying that credit growth remains strong and “deleveraging is likely to be [too] gradual.”
    This was the ” wrong decision” Beijing’s Finance Ministry replied.
    Chinese gold premiums, over and above the global reference rate of London prices, held Friday at $7 per ounce, still below the typical incentive for new imports of $9-10 per ounce.
    After India’s gold bullion imports tripled from a year ago to $15 billion-worth in April-August, “We don’t favor a blanket restriction on gold imports,” the Economic Times today quotes a Commerce Department official, “[because] it may involve disputes in the World Trade Organisation.”

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/22/2017.


  • Global Markets Spooked By North Korea H-Bomb Threat; Focus Turns To Brexit Speech

    S&P futures retreated along with European and Asian shares with tech, and Apple supplier shares leading the drop while safe havens such as gold and the yen rose, as the war of words between U. S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un escalated and North Korea threatened to launch a hydrogen bomb, leading to a prompt return of geopolitical concerns. Trade focus now turns to a planned speech by Theresa May on Brexit (full preview here).
    As reported last night, the key overnight event was the latest threat by North Korea that its counter-measure may mean testing a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific, according to reports in Yonhap citing North Korea’s Foreign Minister. North Korea’s leader Kim said North Korea will consider “corresponding, highest level of hard-line measure in history” against US, while he also stated that President Trump’s UN speech was rude nonsense and demonstrated insanity and inhumanity which confirmed North Korea’s nuclear and missile advances are on right path and will continue to the end. There was more on the geopolitical front with the Iranian President
    informing armed forces that the nation will bolster its missile
    capabilities, according to local TV.
    As a result, treasury yields pulled back and the dollar slid the most in two weeks following North Korea’s threat it could test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean. Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index edged lower as a rout in base metals deepened, weighing on mining shares. WTI crude halted its rally above $50 a barrel as OPEC members gathered in Vienna.
    US stock futures pulled back 0.1% though markets were showing growing signs of fatigue over the belligerent U. S.-North Korea rhetoric. ‘North Korea poses such a binary risk that it’s very hard to price, and at the moment investors just have to look through it,’ said Mike Bell, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management. Despite the latest jitters, MSCI’s world equity index remained on track for another weekly gain, holding near its latest record high hit on Wednesday as investors’ enthusiasm for stocks showed few signs of waning.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.


  • US Threat to Cut China Off from the International Dollar May Be Empty

    Earlier this month, the US threatened to lock China out of the dollar system if it doesn’t follow UN sanctions on North Korea. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin threatened this economic nuclear option during a conference broadcast on CNBC.
    If China doesn’t follow these sanctions, we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system, and that’s quite meaningful.’
    The threat may be meaningful, but it also might be empty.
    Mnuchin was talking about locking the Chinese out of SWIFT – Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. The system enables financial institutions to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized environment. Since the dollar is the world reserve currency, SWIFT facilitates the international dollar system.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on SEPTEMBER 21, 2017.


  • The Low Oil Price Guts Another OPEC Oil Exporter

    The low oil price is negatively impacting another OPEC oil exporter as it continues to liquidate its foreign exchange reserves. Algeria, like Saudi Arabia, has seen its international reserves plummet by more than 40% as the oil price fell in half since 2014.
    Algeria joined OPEC back in 1969 and is currently producing 1.1 million barrels of oil per day (mbd). While Algeria is not one of the larger OPEC members, it still exports roughly 670,000 barrels of oil per day. At $50 a barrel, the country receives $33.5 million a day in oil revenues. However, Algeria’s oil revenues have taken a nose-dive as the oil price declined from over $100 in 2014 to below $50 currently:

    This post was published at SRSrocco Report on SEPTEMBER 20, 2017.


  • Oil Prices Today Are Finally Rebounding and Will Hit This Target Before 2018

    Oil prices today (Tuesday, Sept. 19) are trading above $50 a barrel, which puts oil on track for its highest closing price since July. And we predict oil prices will head even higher before the end of the year, too…
    WTI crude oil prices are trading at $50.26 a barrel today and are up 3.5% since just last week, when they opened at $48.23 on Thursday.
    Oil prices continue to rebound after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma wiped out demand across the southeast United States. The destruction of pipelines, refineries, and commerce across Florida and the Gulf Coast region meant oil pumped out of the ground was being stored instead of used. That boosted supplies and lowered prices. Commercial crude supplies rose 2.2% between the weeks of Aug. 25 and Sept. 8.
    Oil prices fell 4% between Aug. 25 and Aug. 30 as Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, and they fell 3.2% between Sept. 7 and Sept. 12 as Irma barreled through the Caribbean and Florida.
    Oil prices have struggled to stay above the $50 a barrel mark this year, despite OPEC renewing its oil production cut in May.
    But our oil price forecast shows oil prices will continue to rise in 2017, and one important oil price indicator shows it’s about to happen soon…

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Dustin Parrett ‘ September 19, 2017.


  • Asian Metals Market Update: September-19-2017

    The trend after the FOMC meet tomorrow in precious metals and currency markets will be interesting. Global shift to electric cars over the coming years can put copper and nickel prices into inertia in the next few years. Some electric cars makers are considering making the car body from Aluminum to reduce car weight. Aluminum could also get a boost from electric cars. Long term fundamentals are looking extremely bullish for industrial metals. Solar power will support silver from getting a breakdown. The real competition to the traditional metals will come from Graphene. I am a big fan of Graphene. Every day I search the net for new uses of Graphene and new processes to make Graphene. I am pretty sure Graphene will soon become a part of daily lives just like copper or aluminum.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 19 September 2017.


  • FPL, Diversity, Distribution and Storms

    What do you get when you reduce diversity of generation of electricity, take offline nuclear plants, demand that nobody use coal any more, and otherwise restrict where power comes from so you have fewer and less-diverse sources of energy?
    You get crap when a hurricane shows up, that’s what.
    Many of those powerless residents are now asking hard questions of the area’s power monopoly, which has spent millions of dollars fighting policies that would have strengthened the grid in the event of a major storm like Irma and, more broadly, stemmed the carbon-fueled climate change likely fueling monster storms.
    “I am one of the many that has now been without power for more than two days as a result of Hurricane Irma,” Elise McKenna, a West Palm Beach resident, told New Times via email. “My confusion came when so many of us lost power during the early hours of the storm that basically avoided us. We’ve been told time and time again that rate increases were to help prepare us for future storms.”

    This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-09-19.


  • Can You Really ‘Shut Down’ a Nuclear Power Plant before a Hurricane?

    Soothing words before the storm: ‘Our nuclear plants are now shut down.’ There are those who believe the answers to life’s most pressing questions can be found in one of two movies: ‘The Godfather’ (part one) or ‘The Princess Bride.’ In the latter movie, think of the Spaniard’s vaguely taunting response: ‘You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.’ Which might also be the reply to: ‘Our nuclear plants are now shut down.’
    Right now we are thinking about the Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear power stations in South Florida, in the aftermath of hurricane Irma. But we could have been referring to the South Texas Nuclear Project south of Houston, just a week or two earlier.
    Those Westinghouse pressurized water reactors have six modes of operation, sort of like gears in a car. The highest level of performance, mode 1 includes power operations all the way up to 100% power. Mode 6, the lowest level of operation, describes a plant in the state of being refueled.
    Senior management at NextEra’s utility subsidiary, Florida Power & Light, placed their nuclear reactors in mode 4, ‘hot shutdown,’ as the hurricane advanced towards the plants. (Mode 5 is cold shutdown with far lower internal reactor temperatures.)

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Sep 13, 2017.


  • Irma – Yes All Staff Have Evacuated Florida

    All our staff have evacuated. We were all under mandatory evacuation orders. So thank you for all the concern. Our decision to leave was primarily due to the fact that the storm shifted to the West and the likelihood of power outages potentially lasting days or weeks was the real deciding factor. Generators also depend upon natural gas. If the storm is intense above Sarasota, then there is a potential that even the gas could be turned off. While Irma is not forecast to strike Cuba, it should cyclically speaking. We will see what happens. If this is correct, then Irma may impact the West even more than the Eastern part of Florida.
    This is the 32nd (Pi) Catagory 5 Hurricane since 1924. That is not a good number cyclically speaking. Only five times has more than one Category 5 hurricane formed during the same season -1932, 1933, 1961, 2005, and 2007. Only in 2005 have more than two Category 5 hurricanes formed, and only in 2007 has more than one made landfall at Category 5 strength.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 8, 2017.


  • From Here On… “Things Get Jiggy”

    Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,
    Happy Labor Day everybody. Forward from here, things get jiggy. The nation faces a pile-up of events as we turn the corner on summer and head into the spook-house of autumn.
    This will be the week when the reeking after-effects of Harvey’s journey through Houston become super-vivid. It’s going to be hot-hot-hot there all week, perfect conditions for mold to creep through untold square-footage of soggy sheetrock and plenty of nutriment in the toxic gumbo of lingering standing water for mosquitoes and bacteria to breed like crazy. Bigger surprises will be waiting for some:
    HOUSTON (CNN) – A Texas homeowner returned to his flood-marred home Friday in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey to a shocking surprise: a 10-foot gator in his living room. Brian Foster made the discovery while assessing how badly the water had damaged his house near Lake Houston, north of Houston…. The news media are already calling Harvey the costliest storm in US history, with estimates running to $180 billion. But damage assessments are incomplete for highways, surface roads, bridges, railroad tracks, water and sewer systems, public buildings, dams (Addicks and Barker), natural gas terminals, and port facilities, not to mention homes and business structures. Texas is the nation’s number one cotton producer and the storm blew away many temporary cotton bale storage modules following a bumper harvest. Corn, soybeans, and cattle were also affected.
    The Colonial Pipeline’s hookups to the refineries west of Lake Charles, Louisiana, won’t reopen fully until Tuesday at the earliest. The pipeline conveys 40 percent of the gasoline consumed from Atlanta to Washington, D. C. and extends up to the New York metro area. By next weekend Hurricane Irma looks like she’ll be slamming into the US Atlantic coast somewhere between Jacksonville and the Carolina Outer Banks as a category 3 or 4 event. There’s even talk today of possible cat 5. Will there be enough gasoline on hand for the folks at risk to evacuate? Stand by on that.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 4, 2017.


  • Oil Tanker Logjam Grows To 54 Ships As Gulf Ports Remain Closed

    On Tuesday, just as Hurricane Harvey was peaking, we reported that according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg, as well as MarineTraffic real-time tracking, at least 25 tankers carrying almost 17 million barrels of imported crude oil were drifting near Texas and Louisiana ports, unable to offload because of closures from Tropical Storm Harvey.
    Since then the situation has deteriorated by more than double, and as of Friday evening, Bloomberg reports that 54 tankers with capacity more than 33 million barrels either to deliver imported crude from Latin America, Europe, Caribbean, Africa and Middle East or receive U. S. supplies are drifting off U. S. Gulf Coast as several key ports remain closed while others are open with restrictions.
    The historic “tanker traffic jam”, last observed nearly two years ago as traders scrambled to store crude tankers in the same region in hopes of contango, can be seen on the Marine Traffic map below, only this time it has little to do with the shape of the oil strip, and everything to do with the logistical complications following Harvey :

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 1, 2017.


  • Gasoline Prices Surge After Colonial Pipeline Shutdown, East Coast Fuel Shortages Loom

    Gasoline prices have exploded higher once again this morning – topping the Maginot Line of $2.00 for the first time since July 2015 – following reports that the main conduit for fuel from the Gulf to the East Coast has been shut due to Hurricane Harvey.
    Motor fuel prices climbed as much as 6.6 percent in New York, advancing for an eighth session, while crude oil was little changed. Harvey has shuttered about 23 percent of U. S. refining capacity, potentially cutting fuel-making ability to the lowest level since 2008 and depriving the Colonial Pipeline of supplies.
    Its operator was forced to shut the main diesel line late Wednesday and planned to halt its gasoline line Thursday, meaning motorists from Maine to Florida may soon see higher prices at the pump.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 31, 2017.


  • 9 Reasons Why Trump’s Dream Of Russian Reconciliation Is Now Impossible

    What was once mission difficult is now mission impossible – at least for the foreseeable future…
    ***
    Donald Trump has yet again stated that he seeks to have good or even ‘great’ relations with Russia. Speaking beside Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Trump stated,
    ‘I hope that we do have good relations with Russia. I say it loud and clear, I’ve been saying it for years: I think it’s a good thing if we have great relationships, or at least good relationships with Russia.
    It’s a big country, it’s a nuclear country, it’s a country that we should get along with, and I think we will eventually get along with Russia’.
    In spite of Trump’s stated wishes, the policies of his administration, irrespective of who is actually authoring them, are in total opposition to Russia’s stated geo-political goals and Russia’s geo-strategic interests.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 29, 2017.


  • Big Red Flag For Crude Bulls: Chinese Oil Refining Tumbles Most In Three Years As Fuel Demand Slides

    Slowly but surely, what we have claimed for the past year – that it is the demand side of the oil equation, not the supply, and especially the “Chinese wildcard” that is the critical factor in setting prices – is starting to emerge and be factored in by markets. And so, just days after we posted “Another Red Flag For Oil? China’s Crude Imports Slump To 7-Month Low” arguably catalyzed by the increasingly full Chinese Strategic Petroleum Reserve, overnight we got another major red flag – once again out of China – when Bloomberg reported that China’s oil refining dropped the most in three years for the month of July, while crude output retreated from the highest this year, “as the world’s largest consumer showed signs of losing momentum.”
    According to Bloomberg calculations based on NBS data released on Monday, as shown in the chart below oil processing in July dropped 4.4 percent from the previous month to about 10.76 million barrels a day. While daily refining output typically falls from June to July on maintenance, last month’s fall was the biggest seasonal decline since 2014. Crude oil output fell 3% to 3.84 million barrels a day.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 14, 2017.


  • 15,000 Nuclear Weapons In The World – Mapping Who Has What

    Between North Korea’s constant nuclear test provocations and the recent ‘fire and fury’ comments by President Trump, concerns about nuclear conflict are re-ignited around the world.
    So, how many nuclear weapons are there, and what exactly is happening right now? Let’s launch into it.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 14, 2017.


  • WTI Tumbles After Surprise Crude Inventory Build

    Following the ugliest day in a month for WTI (on OPEC production increase survey), bulls hopes rest on tonight’s API data confirming the recent trend of inventory draws but that was not to be. Against expectations of a 3.1mm draw, API reported crude inventories built by 1.78mm barrels last week. The kneejerk reaction was clear – down hard.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 1, 2017.


  • WTI Surges Towards $50 – Breaks Above Key Technical Level

    Ahead of today’s rig count data, WTI (and Brent) Crude is extending its short-squeeze gains after the bullish inventory data trend was confirmed (shrugging off the surge in production). Signals from an increaisng number of firms that they are cutting capex (and this drilling) has helped send WTI and Brent back above their 200-day moving-averages.
    Halliburton, promising to be disciplined in adding more fracking gear to the oilfields, says U. S. explorers are “tapping the brakes” on drilling as the price of oil struggles to breach $50 a barrel.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 28, 2017.