2013 crude oil outlook
China is the world's second-biggest importer of crude oil and its companies are on the prowl for oil all over the world.
By 2015, its oil companies are expected to produce more oil outside of China's borders than Kuwait pumps, according to the International Energy Agency.
The global Chinese search for energy has put a new region on the top of its agenda: Arctic oil.
The Arctic oil race is heating up as more countries look for paths in to this new hot source of energy profits.
You see, with the warming and melting of the Arctic ice cap, it is becoming easier to possibly exploit the energy riches that lie beneath the cold waters.
Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors discussed the search for Arctic oil and gas in a recent article. Moors said the long-awaited U.S. Geological Survey's Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal study found that 84% of the total undiscovered oil and gas left on the planet is located above the Arctic Circle. The oil and gas are mainly offshore and in three large basins that lie under shallow seas.
The vast potential of the Arctic for oil and gas piqued the interest of nations with territory north of the Arctic Circle such as the United States, Canada, Russia and Norway.
But it also got the attention of countries - like China - with no direct claim there, but with an increasing appetite for energy.
The Race for Arctic Oil: China and Iceland
The Doomsayers Are Wrong About Oil Prices
The stock market is not the only thing that is up. Crude oil prices have jumped as well rising faster than the S&P for the past month.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) next month futures contract prices for crude oil on the NYMEX increased again last week. That marked the seventh consecutive week oil prices have gained, the first time that has happened since 2009. Overall, WTI pricing level has risen 11% since mid-December.
Now all of this means something pretty important. As we've known for a while now, the oil market has been oversold with values unusually low. This has largely resulted from concerns over demand related to the ongoing recovery/recession debate.
However, that debate has never been a particularly genuine one, certainly not for the last two quarters.
Yes, if we fell off a fiscal cliff or ran into a budgetary wall or failed to raise the debt ceiling and the living room chandelier fell on our heads there would be some substance in the Chicken Little approach to market analysis.
But we haven't, and, we won't.
With Congressional approval ratings just above those of Attila the Hun, they will slink in, kick some cans down the street, and slink out. That means the penumbra behind which the doomsayers have operated is no longer worth the smoke and mirrors it is based upon.
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