Market Journal

Crude price forecasts climb

March 28, 2011

Barclays Capital in London expects oil prices to average $106/bbl for West Texas Intermediate and $112/bbl for North Sea Brent this year, up from a December forecast of $91/bbl each, and climb to $185/bbl and $184/bbl, respectively, in 2020.

War, disaster jolt oil markets

March 21, 2011

Like some Biblical curse, war and natural disaster rode roughshod over world oil markets in late March as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization enforced a no-fly zone in Libya while Japan struggled to regain control of its nuclear power plants and economy damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

Japan quake scrambles market

March 14, 2011

Crude prices dropped $2-3/bbl Mar. 11 at initial reports a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan—“the sixth-largest earthquake recorded anywhere in the world since 1900 and the largest to hit Japan since records began in the 1870s,” said analysts at the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London.

MENA strife lifts crude to 2-year high

March 7, 2011

Fighting in Libya and general unrest in the Middle East and North Africa sent the price of crude above $102/bbl Mar. 2 in the New York market—“the first time in more than 2 years” the front-month contract closed above $100/bbl, said analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc.

Libyan fight favors refiners

February 28, 2011

In the last full week of February, front-month crude posted the largest weekly gain in 2 years in the New York market as turmoil in Libya shut in 850,000 b/d of crude production.

Volt vehicle lags on green list

February 21, 2011

In another indication that Chevrolet’s hybrid-electric Volt might become the next Edsel-size automotive disaster, the car barely placed in the recent American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) annual Green Book ratings of the most environmental friendly vehicles, coming in last at unlucky 13.

Brent tops WTI as benchmark

February 14, 2011

As the international benchmark other crudes are priced against, “West Texas Intermediate is dead, long live North Sea Brent,” said analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc.

Weaker payroll data lower oil prices

February 7, 2011

Energy prices fell Feb. 4 with North Sea Brent dropping below $100/bbl in London and West Texas Intermediate down to less than $90/bbl in New York, partly in response to weaker-than-expected US payroll data.

Egyptian riots lift oil prices

January 31, 2011

After waffling all week, the March contract for West Texas Intermediate shot up $3.70 to $89.34/bbl Jan. 28 on the New York Mercantile Exchange as civil unrest in Egypt put Wall Street in a panic.

US should reduce distillate stocks

January 24, 2011

The US needs to “export more distillates or cut refinery production” before Gulf Coast stocks become “difficult to manage,” said Olivier Jakob at Petromatrix, Zug, Switzerland.

Brent nears $100/bbl

January 17, 2011

On Jan. 12, the benchmark February crude contract increased 0.8% to a 2-year high of $91.86/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while in London, North Sea Brent crude came within $2 of $100/bbl oil, which hadn’t been seen since October 2008.

Oil at $100/bbl would harm economy

January 10, 2011

Financial markets and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are repeating their 2008 mistake in assuming the world can live with $100/bbl oil, said Olivier Jakob at Petromatrix, Zug, Switzerland.

Oil price strengthened in 2010

January 3, 2011

Front-month crude prices waffled in late December, dropping below $90/bbl Dec. 30 before rebounding to $91.38/bbl Dec. 31 in the last trading session of 2010 in New York.

2011 to be 'Year of the USA'

December 27, 2010

Jim O’Neill, chairman of asset management at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., predicted the Standard & Poor’s 500 index will continue its vigorous growth, climbing as much as 20% in 2011.

Oil to top $100/bbl again

December 20, 2010

As Edmund Burke, British statesman and philosopher, famously said, “Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.” Now, industry analysts are forecasting oil will again top $100/bbl in 2011.

OPEC retains current production

December 13, 2010

As was generally expected, oil ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries made no official production changes during their brief Dec. 11 session in Quito, Ecuador.

Crude prices peak in December

December 6, 2010

Crude oil prices hit their highest peaks so far this year in early December, with West Texas Intermediate at a 25-month high and North Sea Brent above the “psychologically important” $90/bbl.

No joy in troubled oil patch

November 29, 2010

It’s the holiday season—a time to be jolly and to look back at the accomplishments of the past year. But there’s been no joy in the oil patch since Apr. 20 when the deepwater Macondo well blew out in the Gulf of Mexico, sank the Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible rig, and for all practical purposes pulled the US offshore drilling industry down with it.

The loaning of the green

November 22, 2010

The December crude contract jumped 1.8% to $81.85/bbl Nov. 18 in New York on the imminent bailout of the Irish banking system by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

G20 failure drags down oil prices

November 15, 2010

Crude prices, US stock markets, and corporate energy stocks fell Nov. 12 as the Group of 20 (G20) major world economies refused to back a US effort to get China to raise the value of its currency.

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