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A Big Time Squeeze for Refineries is About to Begin
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.
Why "Deleveraging Markets" Will Drive Up Oil Prices
I’m set to appear on Fox Business Network this afternoon (at about 2:50 Eastern) to deliver this revelation, but you heard it here first.
Recently, I have been suggesting a narrow trading band for both West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude in London. They’re trading today at about $96.00 and $103.00, respectively.
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?"
Why the Fed's QE Policy is Bullish for 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.
Are the "Special Few" Manipulating Oil Prices?
Last week, a firestorm hit the markets.
In a shocking announcement it was discovered that a "special list" of users had been paying a fee to Thomson Reuters to receive the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index figures two seconds early.
And while most market analysts were aware that there are several tiers of service available for these figures, only a select few knew a higher payment could get them the figure before it is released.
Two seconds. It may not seem like much but it's enough to trigger a massive spike in computerized transactions before the market even knows what the figure is--let alone the average investor.
So what difference does a such a brief leg up to a "special few" mean anyway?...
Quite a bit given what we know about today's computer-generated mega trading programs that make big profits on fractional changes in price.
The massive volume of these transactions destabilize trading environments, cause instantaneous volatility spikes, and drive a range of results having nothing to do with fundamentals or actual conditions.
Not to mention how it all flies in the face of the idea free exchange markets are justified on the outmoded assumption that there is equal access and availability of information.
Now there are possibly even more serious questions emerging and they involve a matter directly relevant to you.
We are learning the same manipulation may be occurring in the energy sector.
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.
How to Invest in Oil's Final Frontier: The Arctic
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.
Why Oil Is the New "Gold Standard"
Something very interesting just happened at the 2013 MoneyShow in Las Vegas.
The purveyors of doom and gloom were all still hawking their services there. But the primary solution they offer - a cure-all elixir for everything that ails markets - was beginning to wear thin.
The usual conviction that this one asset is the remedy was gone. And the seats at these sessions were only half-filled.
Indeed, gold is beginning to lose its luster.
The erstwhile commodity fix has been under pressure of late as well. Yet, even while most eyes have been on declining commodities - especially gold, silver, and platinum - something else has been happening.
Crude oil is emerging as a new replacement to reflect stored market value.
That is good for folks like us who invest in the energy sector, because it will provide a floor to downward pressures in oil prices. It will not counter all forces reducing the price of oil, but it is likely to temper such movements, allowing us some leverage.
Oil Price Manipulation Awakens Libor, Enron Ghosts
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.