How to Profit from the Rapidly Emerging Market for Nuclear Batteries Mini nuclear reactors have been in service for decades in the military, especially on naval vessels. And now their commercial application is officially here. Several smart companies are introducing these "nuclear batteries" to the energy market. They're designed to deliver power to smaller communities […]
Just as the United States makes an impassioned push for tougher economic sanctions on Iran, China is reportedly increasing its gas exports to the volatile Middle East nation.
Chinaoil- the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp's (CNPC) trading unit- shipped two cargoes totaling 600,000 barrels of gasoline to Iran in exchange for $55 million, according to Reuters. The cargoes were Chinaoil's first direct sales to Iran since at least January 2009, according to Reuters data.
Additionally, Unipec- the trading arm of the China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) (NYSE ADR: SNP)- agreed to sell 250,000 barrels of gasoline to Iran.
The sales couldn't come at a worse time for the United States. Washington has spent months lobbying the international community to tighten sanctions on Iran, which is openly expanding its uranium enrichment capacity.
The world 's biggest natural gas exporters met today (Monday) in Algeria and agreed to index gas prices to oil as shrinking U.S. natural gas imports are causing a global supply glut.
"All ministers agreed and supported that we continue our efforts to achieve indexing gas to oil," said Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko.
The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) members include Russia, Iran, Qatar and eight other nations that hold two-thirds of the world 's gas reserves. They 've watched gas prices fall nearly 50% in the past two years. Current gas prices of $4 per million British thermal unit (BTU) are about 20 times lower than oil, but are usually around 10 times lower than oil.
U.S. natural gas prices have fallen 28% since December as an increase in the U.S. shale rock gas supply has reduced the need for U.S. natural gas imports. Shale rock gas is retrieved from tight rock formations and its U.S. boom led the country to extract more gas than Russia last year for the first time since 2001.
Russia 's energy giant Gazprom has a five-year plan to take 10% of the U.S. natural gas market share, but U.S. shale gas exploration has put a damper on that goal.
"The influence of shale gas raises the prospect of change on gas markets," Russian Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev told Reuters. "We have a problem with shale gas. This is not only my position, but the position of Gazprom as well."
As the United States becomes a less reliable consumer, gas suppliers aren 't having much luck replacing the lost business.
Oil prices are at their highest level in more than a year and a half and are likely to head even higher as the global economy bounces back from recession.
Benchmark crude for May delivery rose $1.75 to settle at $86.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) Monday. That followed gains of $1.11 a barrel on Thursday and $1.39 a barrel last Wednesday.
In all, prices are up over 5% since last week and over 70% since April 2009. And right now oil is trading at its highest level since Oct. 8, 2008, when crude settled at $88.95.
SandRidge will pay $2.50 in cash and 4.78 SandRidge shares for each Arena share – a 17% premium to Arena's $34.26 Thursday closing price. The combined company will be valued at around $6.2 billion.
This purchase makes SandRidge one of the largest producers of conventional oil and gas in West Texas. It's the second acquisition for the company since November, when it paid $800 million for Forest Oil Corp. (NYSE: FST) properties.
U.S. President Barack Obama generated a lot of hubbub with his decision to open up parts of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico to oil drilling.
We've all heard the criticisms that some of the geological surveys are as much as 30 years old, and the arguments that the ecological impact of drilling off the U.S. East Coast isn't worth the accessible oil, which some critics estimate could play out in as little as six months at current demand levels.
But even after more than a day of debate over the motivations for – and possible results from – President Obama's apparent energy policy about-face, one thing is very clear: This announcement has nothing to do with oil.
It's all about the U.S. dollar.
President Barack Obama announced will lift a 20-year ban on offshore oil and natural gas drilling and exploration, hoping to create jobs, generate revenue and reduce the United States' dependence on foreign oil.
Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar released a detailed plan to allow drilling off the Atlantic coast, eastern Gulf of Mexico and north coast of Alaska, provided coastlines are protected. Environmental concerns about the possibility of oil spills initially caused the drilling ban. Drilling would still be prohibited from New Jersey northward, on the Pacific Coast and in Alaska's Bristol Bay.
The plan aims to bolster the United States' ability to supply its own energy, but also acknowledges the need to move toward clean energy policies and protect natural resources.
Sometimes big things come from small meetings.
As an example, consider one particularly contentious 1927 session at the Royal Institute of International Affairs that took place at Chatham House in the center of London's Westminster. It originated an idea now used worldwide – the famous Chatham House Rule. Under its most recent revision (2002), the Rule allows the participants of a meeting to use the information received there, but prohibits them from revealing the identity or affiliation of anyone else present.
The Chatham Rule also governed the meetings I attended at Windsor Castle outside London from a recent Friday through to the early-morning hours of the following Monday. These meetings were the annual consultations of the Queen's Windsor Energy Group, which were meant to be private, high-level, discretionary advisories. This is one of the few "old boys" clubs left in the world where talk can translate directly into action.
As the price of crude oil moves above $80 a barrel, consumers are wondering just how high gas prices can go.
Now is the time for such questions.
It's during the month of March that the market begins to readjust inventory and production in advance of the summer driving season. This usually means that production shifts from heating oil to gasoline.
Actually, the real issue is what refined products will be emphasized in the production process. To put it bluntly, U.S. refineries have insufficient capacity to handle all needs.
And that could make you some serious money.
Oil prices yesterday (Wednesday) rose $1.23, or 1.5%, to close at a two-month high of $82.93 on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) a fter the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries opted to keep its production quotas in place.
However, it may not be much longer before prices take off again, possibly hitting $100 a barrel by the end of the year.
Current prices are "beautiful," Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told reporters before OPEC's meeting.
"The producer is looking at this price, the consumer is looking at the price, the investor is looking at the price, and everybody is saying this is great," he said.
OPEC, which supplies about 40% of the world's oil, set its official cap at 24.845 million barrels per day (bpd) in December 2008 and has kept it there for five straight meetings. In that time oil prices have more than doubled.