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    oil prices

    The International Energy Agency's (IEA) report on global oil demand projections, combined with the continuing oil supply glut, pushed oil prices below $30 a barrel.

    What we have here is the classic balance of supply and demand. Here, the levels of investment and investor interest in oil and natural gas companies follow a simple logic.

    When supply exceeds demand, investors lose interest and prices fall. On the other hand, when demand outgrows supply, investors go back in, raising prices.

    But these days that dynamic has been fundamentally altered - half of that equation is no longer in question.

    And that leads us to the final step needed for oil prices to recover...

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oil production

Saudi Arabia's Oil "Proposal" – Here's What's Really Going On

Saudi Arabia

Last week, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak claimed that Saudi Arabia had proposed a 5% cut in oil production.

That set the oil price roller coaster off and running, with crude prices shooting up to levels not seen in a month.

There is only one problem. My contacts in OPEC and Saudi Arabia tell me that things look very different behind the scenes.

Here's what's really going on...

These Are the Three Reasons Why U.S. Oil Production Hasn't Declined… Yet

oil well

Over 2015, a persistent surplus in oil production has offset significant cuts in forward capital commitments and a decrease in drilling - the number of drills in the field is now less than one-third of what it was when the slide began last year.

But U.S. oil production has remained high, despite a clear contraction in operations. This is perhaps the least understood event of the past year.

There were essentially three reasons why this occurred... and they explain the next phase in oil markets...

Negotiations Over Oil Production Broke Down – but Not for the Reasons You'd Think

moor-saudi-arabia

In the UAE's oil capital of Abu Dhabi, OPEC and Russia have been negotiating a coordinated cutting of oil production, which would lead to a movement up in global crude prices.

Unfortunately, any anticipation about these meetings was effectively negated over the past few days by three unexpected factors.

And while the Persian Gulf has long been the center of the world's energy markets, these three factors were, surprisingly, dictated elsewhere... the first one somewhere you'd least expect it...

How a Surprising Alliance Could Shake Up the Oil Sector

flags

Events in Abu Dhabi Friday point to OPEC having a brand-new ally in the oil sector - one no one would expect...

This unexpected partnership could have a massive impact on oil production moving into 2016.

Here's what you need to know about this potential new alliance...

Why Oil Production Is Increasing, Despite the Oil Glut

oil rig sunset

Despite weekly declines in the number of working rigs in the American market (now at the lowest levels in some six years) and rising cuts in capital commitments for new projects, the market surplus in oil is once again rising.

Crude oil prices are languishing in the face of what is projected to be another build in U.S. production stockpiles.

Given all that has been said about an oil glut, why is oil production continuing? Here's what you need to know...

Why Are Gas Prices So Low?

oil

Why are gas prices so low right now?

The average price of regular unleaded is hovering around $2.40 a gallon - almost a dollar less compared to a year ago.

Here's a look at what's responsible for the lower prices we're seeing at the pump these days...

Will OPEC Cut Production?

oil

Yesterday, OPEC released a bulletin saying low prices "remains a cause for concern" and OPEC is "ready to talk to all other producers."

The news has investors wondering: Will OPEC cut production?

Here's what you need to know about the cartel's dicey situation...

How Much Oil Does the U.S. Have Compared to Other Countries?

how much oil does the US have

If one number summarizes the global oil market, it’s 93,002,710.

That’s how much oil was produced around the world every day in 2014. But how much oil does the U.S. have compared to the world’s top producers?

This chart shows how much the top 15 oil-producing countries generated in 2014…

My Latest Read on the Oil Market (or Why It Gets Better from Here)

oil market

American crude is flowing into the oil market, setting new records. But soon the shale-inspired oil glut will shrink.

We have a paradoxical situation playing out in the oil market. The supply side is, for once, no longer a worry. But U.S. production is climbing despite the glut.

Here's what the numbers say about the future of the oil market...

Beware of Pundits Playing the "Iran Oil Card"

Iran oil

It's getting to be crunch time in the negotiations between the West and Iran over Tehran's nuclear program.

Despite an ill-advised attempt by U.S. senators to scuttle the talks, it's clear the negotiations in Geneva will continue.

Now, TV pundits have taken to the airwaves suggesting that an agreement would flood the market with Iranian oil.

Combined with production surpluses in the United States and elsewhere, the "instant" prognosticators are pushing their Armageddon pricing scenario again, putting additional pressure on oil prices.

Meanwhile, those playing the new "Iranian card" are shorting oil even further.

It's just the latest example of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It works like this...

Chicken Little of "The Sky is Falling Brokerage" hits the airwaves warning of a collapse in prices, only to earn huge off-camera profits based on what he just said.

Meanwhile, average investors are left holding the bag as share prices fall.

There's a big problem with all of this "instant analysis," and I'm going to show you what it is - and how you can resist the temptation to try to catch this "falling knife" altogether...

Oil Prices Are Going Higher (Big Gains Ahead)

oil prices

The prospect for oil prices in the near future looks significantly more positive. By the end of the second quarter or shortly thereafter, we believe oil prices will rise.

This is despite the recent monthly report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that projects a more prolonged oil glut than initially forecast.

Here is what the IEA got wrong...

What's Next for Crude Oil Prices and Stocks After OPEC Meeting

crude oil prices

Last week's OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, was billed as the most important gathering of the cartel in years, with huge implications for crude oil prices.

The meeting's importance was felt almost immediately. After OPEC nations announced they would not cut oil production, oil prices plummeted. WTI crude oil is now down 37.8% from June and Brent oil is down nearly 40%.

Here's what investors can expect from oil prices moving forward, and the best strategy for oil stocks now...

Stocks to Buy: A Recent Sell-Off Gave Us This "Miracle Material" Bargain

Sand

I was one of the first analysts to pronounce this as the "Golden Age of Materials Science."

You know what I'm talking about - all those "Miracle Materials" that are changing our lives: There are the advanced composites that lighten our airliners; the great plastics that increase the "cool factor" of today's cars - while also making them safer and more economical. They include one of earth's more abundant resources, and the new discoveries, such as graphene, that promise to revolutionize biotechnology, computers, and industry.

To continue reading, please click here...

Oil Prices Promise to Head Higher As Mexican Production Dwindles

In addition to Iranian threats and growing demand, dwindling production of crude in Mexico promises to push oil prices higher as well.

Mexico is the third biggest exporter of oil to the United States. That's bad news for the U.S. economy which always gets hit when oil prices rise.

From 2004 to 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy reports such jolts, along with OPEC price manipulation, cost roughly $1.9 trillion. Plus, a recession followed each major blow.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Mexican oil production reached a peak of 3.2 million barrels a day in 2008. And by 2011, it wasn't even producing 3 million barrels a day.

Since then oil production has slipped to 2.5 million barrels a day.

Worse still, Mexico could actually become a net importer of oil within a decade if it cannot find fresh discoveries to make up for the 25% production drop since 2004 and fails to change its current policies.


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This Key Energy Metric Could Make You A Lot of Money

Last week I discussed what EROEI is-and how to use it.

This week I'd like to talk about how this key metric affects the balance of your energy investment portfolio.

Now, this is certainly not the only element in determining preferable stock moves, but it's critical that you know the EROEI because it could make you a lot of money.

Recognizing the real elements that determine the genuine cost of energy production, EROEI is becoming an important factor in estimating profit margins.

And those margins certainly influence the performance of a stock as we've seen all across the energy value chain in recent months.

EROEI refers to the amount of energy used to produce energy.

If this ratio produces a figure of 1.0, EROEI is telling us that it takes one barrel of oil equivalent to produce one barrel as a result.

Anything under 1.0 means that more energy is consumed in the production process than is gained as an end product.

EROEI has the advantage of being a useful yardstick throughout the energy curve - from upstream production sites (wellheads, generating facilities) through midstream (gathering, transit, storage and initial processing) to downstream (refineries, terminals, wholesale and retail distribution, end use).

Some applications of EROEI are already in wide usage, although we don't tend to think about them in these terms. Energy-efficiency ratings on appliances, heating and cooling systems, windows, or building supplies are an application at the end of the energy curve.

But how can we use this to fine-tune an investment portfolio?

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