Oil Prices

Is Egypt Affecting Oil Prices?

Is Egypt Affecting Oil Prices

With 'black gold on the rise, is it solely Egypt affecting oil prices, or is there another factor at play?

Oil prices hit a nine-month high this week as the "next Arab Spring" erupted in Egypt. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist joined FOX Business to answer: "Why does this have an impact on oil prices? Is it because Egypt's near oil transport regions?"

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The Latest Obama Outrage: the Family's $100 Million Vacation

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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!

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Why the Fed's QE Policy is Bullish for Oil Prices

Most investors have followed what the Fed's QE policy has done to gold, but few realize its impact on oil prices.

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.

These Oil Stocks Are the Big Winners in This Year's "Summer Pop"

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.

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How to Invest in Oil's Final Frontier: The Arctic

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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.

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Oil Price Manipulation Awakens Libor, Enron Ghosts

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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.

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Frack or Fail: Is It Time For California's Liberals to Go?

California is in a LOT of trouble financially. Cities are going under and the state can't balance its budget. It also has almost half a trillion in state pensions to fund and revenue is drying up.
But there is one way out: Tap the largest oil and gas play in the Lower 48.
The question is, whether this left leaning state crowded with special interests like the Sierra Club will actually let oil services companies begin to start fracking on state land.
In our inaugural Money Morning Fight Club brawl, Frank Marchant and Garrett Baldwin square off on this contentious issue. The best part is we are asking you to turn in your scorecard and pick the winner at the end.
So let's get ready to rumble...

Goldman Sachs Is Manipulating Gold Prices Right Before Your Eyes

Company GS

If you want a lesson on how to manipulate gold prices, you need only look at what Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) has been doing over the past few months.

Goldman set the table by predicting a turn in gold prices back in December 2012, which no doubt contributed to the precious metal's 5% decline in the first two months of the year.

At the end of February, Goldman issued a research report that said the big Wall Street bank had soured on the yellow metal, and dropped its three-month target for gold prices from $1,825 an ounce to $1,615, its six-month forecast from $1,805 to $1,600, and its one-year outlook from $1,800 to $1,550.

Then, just yesterday (Wednesday), Goldman doubled down on its negative outlook for gold prices.

The bank's new targets for gold prices are $1,530 in three months, $1,490 in six months and $1,390 in one year.

The double whammy - two downgrades in two months - had its intended effect, as gold prices fell 2%, to $1,558.80, after Goldman released its report. It was the biggest single-day percentage drop for gold in nearly six months.

"If you've ever suspected gold prices are being manipulated, you're not alone - and you're right, they are," said Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald.

The proof is right in front of us.

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Why Oil Prices Aren't Coming Down Despite Big U.S. Oil Boom

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The dual promise of the U.S. shale oil boom was that it would reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lower oil prices that would benefit U.S. consumers via cheaper gasoline.

But while U.S. oil production continues to rise, and gasoline consumption continues to fall, gas prices have remained stubbornly high: The national average was about $3.65 last week.

And that trend is expected to continue, with the United States surging past Saudi Arabia as the world's largest producer of crude oil as soon as 2020. Meanwhile, U.S. gasoline demand is at its lowest in more than a decade - down to 8.7 million barrels a day.

Facts like that have led some pundits to predict falling oil prices. Last year, some politicians were promising that stepped-up U.S. oil production could lower gasoline prices to $2.50 a gallon.

Frustrated U.S. drivers struggling to cope with high gas prices were eager to believe such promises, no matter how unlikely.

Unfortunately, all that new U.S. oil, while helpful in some ways, will not have much effect on gas prices - either now or in the foreseeable future.

"The problem is that prices are not just reflective of new supplies, either too much or too little," explained Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors. "By focusing only on how much is there, these analysts provide a fundamentally distorted view of the oil market."

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Why the "Death of Peak Oil" Still Won't Mean Cheap Oil

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Today (Wednesday) an analyst from Citigroup became the latest lemming to declare the death of peak oil.

In a report entitled "The End is Nigh," Seth Kleinman says a combination of flattening demand and rising supply will cause oil prices to slide slightly by the end of the decade to $80-$90 a barrel.

But while oil companies have made many large new discoveries over the past few years, including big shale oil finds in North America and Australia as well as deepwater finds in the Gulf of Mexico, that doesn't mean oil prices will fall.

In fact, according to Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors, it's far more likely that oil prices will continue to rise over the next decade.

Moors points out what most other analysts seem to be missing - that all of the new oil finds present many challenges that will add to the cost of extraction.

"None of this new volume is light, sweet crude," Moors said. "The average wellhead costs continue to go up, and that moves its way downstream to processing, wholesale, and retail."

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