You can tell a lot about crude oil prices by studying one key pattern - a pattern that has abruptly reversed of late. The reasons for the sudden change could have a profound impact on energy investors...
The story of how to invest in oil in the U.S. is changing thanks to a new development...
Before now, much of the increased oil production (U.S. output at a 17-year high) from the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin in Texas never reached the marketplace. It simply piled up in storage facilities at the main U.S. oil hub in Cushing, OK.
The huge inventory of oil at Cushing was the main culprit behind domestic WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil selling at a discount to the global benchmark, Brent crude oil.
But, as pointed out by Money Morning Global Energy Specialist Dr. Kent Moors, that is all beginning to change.
Already the spread between WTI and Brent has narrowed dramatically from about $20 a barrel in February to less than $3 a barrel today.
The reason for the change is the amount of pipeline infrastructure being added to move oil from the Cushing choke point to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
The U.S. and Canada dominate the shale oil boom, but that’s about to change. Dr. Kent Moors details where these other big shale oil reserves reside.
The U.S. oil boom illustrates how energy costs can actually rise as the volume of crude surges. Money Morning's Dr. Kent Moors explains.
I wasn't more than 30 minutes outside of D.C. the other night before my cell phone started ringing.
The calls involved breaking new developments overseas that promise to have a big impact on the global energy markets. They concerned a major global energy situation that is likely to create a domino effect that will have consequences for U.S. domestic policy.
As I wrote up this analysis of the best investments in oil, a familiar saying came to mind: "Everything old is new again."
A truer statement could not be said about the Permian Basin, which is a geological formation roughly 300 miles long and 250 miles across that stretches across west Texas and eastern New Mexico.
Empires have come and gone. Some lasted a blink of an eye and some millennia.
The question is, after 9/11, the rise of China and a great financial crisis, where does the U.S. empire stack up to its predecessors?
Well, it seems the one commonality they all have is the point when their might was undermined by sloth and greed. And entitlements: free bread and circuses. For some it took years, others centuries.
Here, in a compelling and unique address, is what Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of the Roman Empire, might say to President Obama now about how to keep America great.
Read on and share with family and friends...
After banking some very hefty profits for Energy Advantage and Energy Inner Circle subscribers on refining stocks earlier this year, the entire sector now is about to land "between a rock and a hard place."
Once a high-flying place for investors to earn substantial profits, refiners have been under pressure for the last two months. But that's actually just the beginning of what's to come.
How much do you spend on your summer vacation? American households usually spend about $1,200 per person on summer vacations, according to a recent American Express survey.
Presidents spend more on their vacations than you or I. They have to. Air Force One and security does cost more than loading the Honda and heading to the beach.
Here's how much some recent presidents spent our tax dollars on vacation.
Ronald Reagan spent most of his free time at his California ranch. Taxpayers covered the cost of approximately $8 million for presidential travel during Reagan's first six years in office, according to the Los Angeles Times. That amounts to $1.3 million a year.
For George Bush the cost of flying Air Force One to his Texas ranch was approximately $56,800 per trip, for each of the 180 trips according to Media Matters. President Bush spent Christmas during his two terms at the White House so his staff and secret service could spend the holiday with their family, according to Conservative Byte.
Now Obama plans to blow away all previous presidents' leisure travel costs on our dime with a better than Disney World extravaganza trip to Africa.
However Obama had to cancel the safari because of the need to fill the surrounding jungle with snipers to guard the president from wild animals!
Recently, I talked about how crude was beginning to occupy a position as a store of market value ("Why Oil Is Becoming the New 'Gold Standard," May 20, 2013). The development has been a direct consequence of the flight from holding gold.
That flight may be tapering and a new floor established for the next major spike by the metal.
The problem is there is no agreement on which direction that move will be...
These days, a sudden improvement in gold prices may only extend as far as hedge funds and institutional investors covering shorts.
Nonetheless, there is an interesting parallel developing between the plight of gold and crude oil prices.
I have been "in the field" for the past several days and will be back in circulation later this week. But I wanted to send you a note on what's been taking place recently.
The last two trading sessions have seen a spike in oil stocks. The rise has been focused on companies that provide services to early-stage field development, as well as for crude production.
Now, we have witnessed a similar "summer pop" in each of the past three years. It tends to signal a rise in expected medium-term demand for both crude oil and oil products.
However this time around, the improvement isn't reflected in companies across the board, but rather in those emphasizing geographically specific field plays.
Investors searching for how to invest in oil in 2013 should be focused on these latest developments from the Arctic.
In fact, countries are racing to get a piece of what could be the final frontier for oil...
As ice melts in the Arctic region, oil and gas trapped beneath the water becomes more accessible.
Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors recently explained to Money Morning members about the search for Arctic oil and gas.
He spoke about the years-in-the-making U.S. Geological Survey's Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal. The study found that 84% of the total undiscovered oil and gas left on the planet is located above the Arctic Circle, mainly offshore and in three huge basins that lie under shallow seas.
As gold loses some of its luster, Dr. Kent Moors explains why crude oil has become a much better reflection of stored market value. Read more...
Last July, we warned you that oil prices could potentially be manipulated in similar fashion to the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), and now a recent raid of major oil companies highlights this growing danger to the $3.4 trillion-a-year crude market.
The European Commission last week stormed the offices of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE ADR: RDS.A, RDS.B), BP PLC ( NYSE ADR: BP), and Statoil ASA (NYSE ADR: STO) as part of the ongoing investigation to find out whether companies are manipulating oil prices and, if so, how long it has been going on and the possible ramifications.
"The commission has concerns that the companies may have colluded in reporting distorted prices to a price reporting agency (PRA) to manipulate the published prices for a number of oil and biofuel products," the EC said in a statement.
Besides major oil companies, big banks are active in the energy market and would likely benefit from any manipulation, David Frenk, director of research at the financial reform group Better Markets and a former commodities analyst, told CNN.
The ordeal has brought back memories not only of last year's Libor scandal but also of the actions taken 12 years ago by Enron to control energy prices.
The prospects are very good for the oil prices. But the markets promise to be volatile. Here's the best way to build an "oil insurance plan." Read more...