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  1. U.S. Oil Prices Hit 7 Year High U.S. oil prices surged to a seven-year high last Thursday, rising to more than $90 a barrel, and this could be bad news for the fight against the climate crisis. The surge comes a little less than two years after oil prices dipped below zero for the first time during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, when supply outstripped demand. However, since then demand has risen while producers have worked to moderate supply, as CNBC explained. “The oil market is so tight that any shock to production is going to send prices soaring,” foreign-exchange company Oanda’s Ed Moya told CNBC. “OPEC+ production is on cruise control with their gradual increase strategy, which means oil seems like it’s going to make a run towards $100 oil pretty soon.” Right now, one shock to production is the extreme weather event that has brought cold and snow to oil-producing regions in the U.S. “The latest upswing was triggered by a cold snap in Texas, which is fueling concerns about production outages in the Permian Basin, the largest U.S. shale play. A year ago, a period of extreme cold weather had caused massive disruptions to oil production there,” Commerzbank commodity analyst Carsten Fritsch said in a note to clients reported by MarketWatch. The winter storm has knocked out power to 350,000 homes and businesses in states including Texas, Tennessee and Arkansas, and more precipitation and ice is forecast for the eastern U.S. last Friday. Another factor in the surging oil prices are worries over tension between Russia and the Ukraine, as well as instability in the Middle East, CNBC reported. Finally, OPEC+ said last Wednesday it would not increase production to meet demand, but would instead stick to its original plan of upping production by 400,000 barrels a day, as CNN reported. The rebound in oil prices is another example of how the falling energy use of the initial lockdown period has not yet eased a transition to a renewable energy economy. U.S. greenhouse gas emissions rose 6.2 percent in 2021 compared to 2020 levels, for example, rising faster than the economy rebounded. And the economic rebound means that global coal demand has risen to record levels, The New York Times reported. High oil prices might mean that production increases after global investments in oil and gas projects fell by 30 percent in response to the pandemic. ExxonMobil said last Tuesday it would up its spending on new wells and other projects by as much as 45 percent. However, it’s also possible that high oil prices might drive consumers away from fossil fuels when possible, prompting them to purchase electric vehicles, for example.
  2. Oil could break the stock market’s back if crude ‘goes parabolic’ — How to prepare Oil futures are trading at seven-year highs, adding to jitters around a teetering stock market, and investors should be prepared for the possibility of a further surge to the upside, one chart watcher warned on Wednesday. “Oil could be what breaks the market’s back if it goes parabolic here. Watch out, but also make sure you have exposure to oil in case it does happen,” wrote technical analyst Andrew Adams in a note for Saut Strategy. West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, has blown through price resistance levels that Adams said he had previously expected to give it some trouble. “When resistance is completely ignored, there’s usually a good chance an asset is going higher, but now there is a heavier resistance area around $85 where it stalled out late last year before dropping more than $20,” Adams said. “Above there, I don’t see much resistance at all until closer to $95 and by that time we could see some real fear about oil prices weighing on consumers that are already dealing with higher prices everywhere else. “Higher oil prices should continue to help the oil companies, but it also raises costs on many other industries and could further harm margins,” he wrote. WTI pushed well above the $85 level in Wednesday’s session. The front-month February contract CL.1 CLG22 rose 1.8% to close at $86.96. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its highest close since Oct. 8, 2014. See: Oil builds on its highest price in more than 7 years as supply worries persist March Brent crude BRN00 BRNH22, the global benchmark, closed at $88.44 a barrel, a gain of 1.1%, on ICE Futures Europe, for its highest settlement since Oct. 13, 2014. WTI is up nearly 16% so far in the new year, while Brent has rallied 13.7%. Stocks, meanwhile, have stumbled to begin the new year as Treasury yields have surged, a move attributed largely to expectations the Federal Reserve will be much more aggressive than previously expected in raising interest rates and otherwise tightening monetary policy this year. In One Chart: Stock-market warning signal: Here’s what surging bond yields say about S&P 500 returns in next 6 months Treasury yields stabilized on Wednesday, but stocks remained under pressure, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite COMP entering correction territory, defined as a drop of 10% from a recent peak. The Nasdaq is down 8.3% since the turn of the year, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA has dropped 3.6% and the S&P 500 SPX is down 2.8%. Read: The Nasdaq Composite just logged its 66th correction since 1971—here’s what history says happens next in the stock market Energy, however, has remained a bright spot in equities, with the sector up more than 16% so far in the new year and one of only two of the S&P 500’s 11 sectors, alongside financials (up 0.4%) in positive territory. Oil stocks are taking a cue from crude, poised to either break out and continue the rally or take a break, Adams said. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production exchange-traded fund XOP is up 12.6% in the month to date, but fell 1.1% on Wednesday. XOP is off to a great start to the year and its “big picture” chart is positive. But it’s trading at its upper volatility band and near where it ran into resistance a couple months ago — a “critical spot,” he said (see chart below). “It’s hard for me to suggest going heavy on it and oil stocks in general here at such an uncertain point, but I continue to think pullbacks in this group are for buying and oil stocks continue to be the best source of alpha in this market,” Adams wrote.
  3. I stand in prayer!!! Blessings to Jimmy and you....
  4. Dion Rabouin Fri, March 5, 2021, 4:44 AM·2 min read Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals Oil and gas prices jumped on Thursday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied producers said on Thursday that they would extend production cuts into April. The big picture: Oil is being driven by the production cuts of OPEC, a consortium of the world's largest producers, and expectations for a rebound in global demand as more countries emerge from coronavirus lockdowns. Crude oil has been a top performing asset this year, with variants like gasoline and diesel also delivering big gains in 2021 of 38.6% and 24.3%, respectively. The intrigue: OPEC has taken an incredulous approach to the massive rebound, suggesting prices could rise even more meaningfully in the coming months. Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz Bin Salman told journalists at a virtual press conference Thursday that the "jury is still out" on the future of the oil market. “At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, I would once again urge caution and vigilance." “Before we take our next step forward, let us be certain the glimmer we see ahead is not the headlight of an oncoming express train.” What's next: Gas prices in the U.S. already have risen to a one-year high and experts had predicted they could continue rising higher even before the unexpected extension of production cuts by OPEC. In addition to the price drivers see at the pump, this could have implications for the cost of air travel and the price of imported goods, which were already seeing increases thanks to global supply chain disruptions and increased inflation expectations.
  5. @davis411 Maybe they can add to the Zoom icons so in addition to the (stupid) li'l applause or Thumbs Up icons, they give them a Shoe Throw icon, looking a bit like the old Monopoly shoe token.
  6. Some freakin' serious starch in them thar suits!! Think I'd better invest in Iraqi spray starch stocks before this all pops.... jus sayin' Thanks for the post, Thug!
  7. @MEP01 - yeah, you didn't learn that in Sunday School? Like cell phones too, they'll have you worshipping their SIMP cards and you'll start simping. Bad stuff there, ya know? Next thing our cars' nav systems will be rising up and taking us over as well. jus sayin, lol Me, I'll stay with my chunky money, eatin' Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey thank you. Fuel up for a great RV!!
  8. Simple, IMHO - with Iraqi cities in quarantine lockdown, and bank doors closed, they can avoid the panic rush of the RV stampeding through the glass doors so otherwise they'd have all these peeps with face masks on streaming in to exchange bills and no chance of ID'ing them on the CCTV systems..... perfect time for the CBI and friends to go ahead and push the RV button! jus sayin'
  9. (CNN)At least 10 rockets hit al-Asad airbase in Iraq, which houses US forces, a Sunni commander of the paramilitary forces in a nearby town told CNN. Qatri al-Obeidi, a commander in the nearby town of al-Baghdadi, said that the shelling has stopped for now. President Donald Trump visited the base in December 2018 to visit troops after Christmas. Vice President Mike Pence also visited the base in November 2019. The attack follows last week's deadly US drone strike that Trump ordered to kill key Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Iranian state TV reported that the Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, "has hit U.S. Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq with tens of missiles." The IRGC warned the US of of more "crushing responses in case of new aggression," according to state TV. The IRGC said it will target any regional state that becomes a platform for US aggression, a second banner on state TV read. CNN reported earlier on Tuesday that US forces and air-defense missile batteries across the Middle East were placed on high alert overnight Monday to possibly shoot down Iranian drones as intelligence mounted about a threat of an imminent attack against US targets, according to two US officials. Trump was briefed on the reports of rocket attacks, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said. "We are aware of the reports of attacks on US facilities in Iraq. The President has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team," Grisham said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was discussing the situation in Iran when she was handed a note with news of the attack, lawmakers who attended the meeting said. Rep. Dan Kildee, a Michigan Democrat, said she paused the discussion to tell the members of the Steering Committee of the news. "Pray," Pelosi told members, according to Rep. Debbie Dingell. This is a breaking story and will be updated. Updates welcome! D4D
  10. Iran's president says a new oil field in south has been discovered with estimated 50 billion barrels of crude oil. Haven't found more on this yet. Might it affect Iraq's global oil market and prices?
  11. I recall reading that we assumed we could just move onto Iraqi land as we moved some troops out of Syria, didn't ask permission, so are being asked/told to leave.
  12. Interesting how many of us jump to complain, criticize or otherwise do a Donald Downer, or Debbie Downer. Reading the whole sentence, it says ".... Recommendation to the House of Representatives to wait on the approval of the draft law on oil and gas until the completion of the draft law" (with tip of the hat to 6ly410) I understand this as "let's finish the draft before we approve any of it". Common sense in my book, jus sayin' LET'S DO THI$ !!!
  13. Two Major Saudi Oil Installations Hit by Drone Strike, and U.S. Blames Iran Video: Drone attacks claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels struck two key oil installations inside Saudi Arabia on Saturday, damaging facilities that process the vast majority of the country’s crude output and raising the risk of a disruption in world oil supplies. The attacks immediately escalated tensions in the Persian Gulf amid a standoff between the United States and Iran, even as key questions remained unanswered — where the drones were launched from, and how the Houthis managed to hit facilities deep in Saudi territory, some 500 miles from Yemeni soil. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of being behind what he called “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” and asserted that there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.” He did not, however, specify an alternative launch site, and the Saudis themselves refrained from pointing the finger directly at Iran. President Trump condemned the attack in a phone call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and offered support for “Saudi Arabia’s self defense,” the White House said in a statement, adding that the United States “remains committed to ensuring global oil markets are stable and well supplied.” The Houthis said they had launched the aerial attacks with 10 drones, which would amount to their most audacious strike on Saudi Arabia since the kingdom intervened in Yemen’s war more than four years ago. The Saudi-led bombing campaign has devastated the impoverished country and exacerbated the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The Houthis are part of a regional network of militant groups aligned with and backed by Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival. American and Saudi officials suspect that Iran has dispatched technicians to Yemen to train the Houthis on drone and missile technology. United Nations investigators have written that the Houthis have acquired advanced drones that could have a range of up to 930 miles. That leaves open the possibility that the drones used Saturday had flown from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen. But they may also have been launched from another country, such as Iraq, or from inside Saudi Arabia itself. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has been training its militia proxies in the region, from Lebanon to Yemen, in more sophisticated warfare using drones, according to two people in Iran with knowledge of the programs. In Yemen, for example, after Houthi missiles targeting Saudi Arabia were intercepted, Iran moved to train Houthis in drone technology, taking groups to Iran to master assembling, managing and repairing drones, said the people familiar with the programs. The Houthis have attacked Saudi infrastructure before, primarily with less accurate ballistic missiles. The targeted oil facilities can process 8.45 million barrels of crude oil a day between them, the bulk of production in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter. Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil giant, said production of 5.7 million barrels a day — well over half of the nation’s overall daily output — was suspended. It was not immediately clear how badly the facilities were damaged, but shutting them down for more than a few days would affect the global oil supply. Analysts who closely follow the Saudi oil industry said they were hearing that the impact would not be severe — perhaps only a few days’ outage, which the Saudis could cover. “Crude prices will still rise a bit, but apparently the world economy dodged a bullet,” said Robert McNally, the president of Rapidan Energy Group, a Washington-based market research firm. The Energy Department said that, if needed, the United States was ready to use its strategic oil reserves to offset any disruption in supply. The attacks not only exposed a Saudi vulnerability in the war against the Houthis, but also demonstrated how relatively cheap it has become to stage such high-profile strikes. The drones used may have cost $15,000 or less to build, said Wim Zwijnenburg, a senior researcher on drones at PAX, a Dutch peace organization. The strikes illustrate how David-and-Goliath tactics using cheap drones are adding a new layer of volatility to the Middle East. Such attacks not only damage vital economic infrastructure, but can also increase security costs, disrupt markets and spread fear. While the Houthis do not have significant financial resources, drones give them a way to hurt Saudi Arabia, which was the world’s third-highest spender on military equipment in 2018, investing an estimated $67.6 billion. “This has given the Saudis a challenge they can’t confront, no matter what their financial, military or intelligence capabilities are,” said Farea Al-Muslimi, co-founder of the Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies, which focuses on Yemen. The attacks hit deeper into Saudi territory than most previous Houthi strikes and set off blazes whose smoke could be seen from space. The war in Yemen began in 2014, when the Houthi rebels seized control of the capital and most of Yemen’s northwest, sending the government into exile. A coalition of Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with some support from the United States, began bombing Yemen in 2015, hoping to push the Houthis back and restore the government. Instead, the war has settled into a stalemate, and the Houthis have developed increasingly sophisticated ways of striking back at Saudi Arabia, most notably with drones. The first indications of the Houthis using drones emerged last year, and their capabilities have improved since. The strike on one of the oil installations, in Abqaiq, was particularly worrying because it processes crude from several key Saudi oil fields, said Helima Croft, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, an investment bank. “This is the mother lode for an attack on Saudi infrastructure,” she said. “We have always been concerned about an attack on Abqaiq.” Amy Myers Jaffe, a Middle East energy analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the attacker was “knowledgeable, picking the maximum place for impact and damage.” Rapidan Energy Group called Abqaiq by far the most important oil facility in the world. “A successful attack on Abqaiq is about the worst thing energy security planners think about,” because the specialized equipment there would be difficult to quickly replace, said Mr. McNally, Rapidan’s president and a former White House energy adviser under President George W. Bush. The firm estimated the Saudis have 188 million barrels of oil on hand, or enough to cover a disruption of five million barrels per day for 37 days. Mr. McNally predicted that oil traders would quickly “start doing the math,” potentially sending prices upward. Mr. Pompeo has led the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, trying to isolate Tehran’s cleric-run government with a rolling series of sanctions that have lashed its economy. At the same time, Mr. Trump has said he is open to meeting with Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani — potentially on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this month — as a first step toward striking a new nuclear accord that would also stop its ballistic missiles program and support for extremist groups. Mr. Rouhani repeated this week that he will not negotiate until the United States eases its sanctions. Mr. McNally said these attacks are “likely to put on ice” talk of easing sanctions on Iran, with the consequences depending on how closely Tehran can be linked to them. “Forget about easing sanctions,” he said. “We are talking about a step up on geopolitical risks.” While there were no reports of casualties, the attacks struck at the core of the Saudi economy. They came just as Aramco accelerated plans for what could be the largest initial public offering of stock in the world, an event closely watched by global investors. The Saudi Interior Ministry reported fires at the two processing centers — in Abqaiq and also in Khurais — before dawn on Saturday, and later said they had been attacked with drones. The ministry said both fires had been “controlled and contained,” the Saudi-owned news network Al Arabiya reported without any further details. A Houthi spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sare’e, said that the group’s forces “carried out a massive offensive operation of 10 drones targeting Abqaiq and Khurais refineries.” He did not specifically say that they launched the drones from Yemen. The conflict in Yemen has killed thousands of civilians, many of them in Saudi airstrikes using American-made weapons. It has also created an enormous humanitarian crisis with millions at risk of starvation and millions of others homeless. In a report presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva last week, a panel of experts said both sides in the conflict were committing horrific human rights abuses, including arbitrary killings, rape and torture, with impunity. The atrocities underscored the collective failure of the international community, the panel said. After a period of relative calm, following a cease-fire brokered late last year, tensions have escalated in recent months. Houthi forces attacked Saudi pipelines and other oil infrastructure in May, temporarily halting the flow of crude oil, and in June they struck an airport in Saudi Arabia, wounding dozens of people. In July, in a major blow to the Saudi-led coalition, the United Arab Emirates, which had been providing arms, money and, crucially, ground troops in Yemen, announced a rapid pullout from a conflict that had become too costly. The move left diplomats and analysts wondering whether Saudi Arabia would continue the war on its own. Although the Trump administration has been a vocal supporter of Saudi efforts to deter Iran and its allies in the region, congressional opposition to the sale of arms and the deployment of extra troops in Saudi Arabia has limited the scope of support from the United States. Reporting was contributed by Hwaida Saad from Beirut, Lebanon, Lara Jakes from Washington, Clifford Krauss from Houston, and Farnaz Fassihi from New York.
  14. Thanks, 6ly410 - I'm smelling apple pie.... gold apple pie here! Happy for the Iraqi economy's rise here with greater sharing of their natural resources. Go ArrVeeeeee!!!
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