‘This Is Masochism’: Russia Wages An Oil War Against Saudi Arabia, US Amid Coronavirus Concerns

From The Daily Caller

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Chris White Tech Reporter

March 09, 2020 11:07 AM ET

Oil prices dropped Monday as Saudi Arabia and Russia haggle over whether to reduce crude production amid fears that coronavirus will hamper air travel and potentially wreck the global economy.

Prices fell into the $30s as the Saudis push for a cut in output to prop up prices, while Russia went the other way, and decided to infuse the market with hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil, according to The Washington Post. Moscow is worried that the U.S. will use shale oil to take advantage if Saudi Arabia ease off production.

Basement-low oil prices could substantially impact oil companies and the global markets, which are already being hurt by fears related to coronavirus. Brent crude dropped to $35 per barrel; and the price of West Texas Intermediate crude fell to $32 from $41 per barrel, a four-year low.

“From the point of view of Russian interests, this deal [to cut production] is simply meaningless,” Mikhail Leontiev, a spokesman for the Russian oil giant Rosneft, told a Russian media outlet Sunday night.

He said the U.S. would be sure to step up shale production if production is cut.(RELATED: REPORT: Chinese Censors Jumped In To Suppress Online Messages Warning About Coronavirus Spread)

“We, yielding our own markets, remove cheap Arab and Russian oil from them to clear a place for expensive American shale. And to ensure the efficiency of its production. Our volumes are simply replaced by the volumes of our competitors. This is masochism,” Leontiev added.

President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Rosneft in February for transporting Venezuelan oil. The president says Russia is propping up the Maduro regime in shipping oil to the socialist country.

Some analysts said the problem could metastasize, dropping oil prices still further.

″$20 oil in 2020 is coming,” Ali Khedery, a former U.S. official in Iraq, wrote Saturday on Twitter. “Huge geopolitical implications. Timely stimulus for net consumers. Catastrophic for failed/failing petro-kleptocracies Iraq, Iran, etc. — may prove existential 1-2 punch when paired with COVID19.”

Others believe a market overreaction to the virus spread could trigger an actual emergency.

171 thoughts on “‘This Is Masochism’: Russia Wages An Oil War Against Saudi Arabia, US Amid Coronavirus Concerns

    • Let them fight! We’ll have cheaper fuel prices for a while! And if fracking can’t compete during this crude fight, no biggie-they can just turn down the pumps until reasonable prices resume!

      • The unfortunate part is that these downturns are not orderly. Individual businesses and their employees, customers and creditors are hurt. Overall though, you’re right and cheaper fuel prices help consumers.

      • The good news is that the fracking in Pennsylvania and Ohio is producing mostly natural gas which is insulated somewhat from the oil wars. While natural gas is historically cheap, the spot price hasn’t budged in the last month.

      • I wonder if the Saudis are picking this time for an oil price war to kick the Iranians while they are down. We’ve closed off quite a bit of the Iranian export market, but not all, so this will definitely still hurt, between this and the coronavirus and the ongoing unrest there it could push them closer to a tipping point.

    • Buy as much cheap oil as you can and leave your reserves in the ground. You would not want it if they gave it away for free?

    • More interesting will the the reaction of the warming cabal who see 2020 as their year to remake the world economy along their lines, which are not free market but planned market.

      Corona is good for them (never let a crisis go to waste), bad economy is good for them (lessens likelihood of trump rel-election), general instability is good for them (supports narrative that free market is a failure).

      Low oil price, however, is NOT good for them. At least not for the short term of their 2020 goals anyways. It will be hard, very hard to tell people that they cannot use cheap energy to recover from this crisis and must use expensive green energy. This is a really hard sell and I can’t see it working for 2020 anyways.

      Longer term it can be beneficial for the warming cabal as they are working very hard to destroy the oil industry by cutting off its financing. That normally would be quite hard, but at 30$ oil it is much easier to convince investors that the ROI isn’t worth it.

      • ” free market ” ? If I’m not mistaken is the US a Federal Reserve planned market and therefore a socialist country where direct taxation made you less than a slave and gave those in power absolute control.

        • The US is not a centrally-planned and controlled economy; far from it!

          And Trump managed to pass tax reform and relief, which provided more economic freedom a few years ago.

          Admittedly, the central banks are on course to implode since their basic business model is unsustainable (just look at the derivatives mess), but Trump is adverse to fixing that sytem and is working to replace it, hence another heavy-handed burden lifted.

          • The economic heart of fascism in the 1930’s was the “government-private industry alliance.”
            It still is.
            In this alliance, the state provides limited funds and promotion of favored businesses. The businesses provide profits that are taxed. The state’s bureaucrats increase their influence over the economy by way of favored business enterprises.

            Chief Justice Roberts and the Fascist Economy
            Gary North

            In upholding Obamacare, which is in fact Pelosicare, Chief Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion.
            To the extent that his opinion has established a precedent, Roberts has at long last legalized open economic fascism to America. Of course, it has been alive and well ever since the New Deal, and really since the First Bank of the United States (1791 to 1811). But now it has been placed under the judicial umbrella of a Supreme Court decision.
            Economic fascism is the doctrine that there is a government-business alliance that makes the nation wealthy or strong militarily. This idea has never had a judicial basis before. Now it does.

            The first fascist agency in post-Constitution history was the First Bank of the United States.

            https://www.garynorth.com/public/9722.cfm

          • Interesting, controlling the money supply is no different than the government openly running all the major corporations in the country.

            Did you economic education stop in the 3rd grade?

    • Actually they picked the best time … that is why they chose it. Last thing you want to start is a supply fight when demand out-strips supply because if you increase supply the market absorbs it, if you decrease it the price rockets and your competition has a field day.

    • Black Swans.
      Corona virus –> pandemic –> world economy shrinks –> oil glut –> OPEC production cut–> Russia balks –> Saudis pick a fight –> oil prices collapse — > US oil industry go into Bust cycle.

      Events no one saw coming until they had occurred.

  1. It’s the Saudis who are increasing production in response to the Russians who didnt want to reduce production. Not the other way round.
    The US production will be hit hard as it’s often high cost oil

    • and Canadian tar sands oil will be hit even harder.

      But this is Putin cutting off his foot because his toe hurts. Venezuela can only sink lower and need Russia support to stay afloat. Cuba is drowning. Putin’s Persian Gulf ally Iran is in economic freefall with both oil prices cratering and the corona virus hitting them harder than Italy.

      Putin doesn’t understand the resilience of the US capital market system and that US shale frackers will rise like the Phoenix even stronger and leaner still than 2016 from the ashes of this meltdown.

      • It always amazes me the number of people who consider themselves smarter than Putin but whose position and importance in the world is limited to posting on a climate blog.

        Well apparently he is stepping down in 2024, maybe there’s an opening for all these political geniuses with an infallible grasp on the world economy and international politics.

        • It always amazes me the number of people who can not refute what others say, so they fall back on denigrating those they disagree with as people “posting on a blog”. It’s called an ad hominem, and all it really accomplishes is to highlight the weakness in ones own argument. Spectacular own goal there Greg. way to go.

          • Yeah, but Greg’s point still stands, and he isn’t claiming by implication to be smarter than Putin. As for the suggestion that Greg is doing the same thing it’s like saying that pushing an old woman in front of a bus is the same as pushing her out of the way of it. They both involve pushing the old woman but the point and morality are very different. Basically, to render Greg’s point wrong it would be effective to show that the Putin critic was right, and that Putin doesn’t know what he’s about.

          • That smart people do dumb things, especially when their egos get involved is a hypothesis that does not need to be proved.
            On the other hand Greg seems to feel that Putin is so smart that it’s proven that he never makes mistakes.

          • Poor Jim, confusing an ad hominem with an actual argument. Shall we extend the fallacy? Since Trump is a billionaire and the elected President of the United States, he is undoubtedly smarter and more correct than you in all things, right? After all you haven’t achieved even a fraction of that…

          • Yeah, but Greg’s point still stands

            His point was nothing but an ad hominem. It only stands in the way all other ad hominems stand: as a testament to weakness of his own position.

        • Putin is an autocrat, so is, regardless of intelligence, much more vulnerable to letting personal issues control his decisions than more democratic leaders.

          • Oh, that’s clearly and inarguably true. Trump and Boris Johnson, to name just two such, never let their personal feelings/issues get in the way of decisions they make, on account of their deep respect for democratic institutions. . . They are as vessels, mere instruments even, for the will of the majority, the essence of democracy.

        • Who believes Putin is stepping down?

          Putin Sets Path to Stay On as Russia’s President to 2036
          Putin Sets Path to Stay On as Russia’s President to 2036
          Bloomberg via Yahoo News· 4 hours ago
          He spoke after a surprise appeal by ruling United Russia lawmakers for him to stay on as president…

          Putin lays out path to staying in power
          Putin lays out path to staying in power
          AFP via Yahoo News· 32 minutes ago
          Russian President Vladimir Putin laid out a path Tuesday to staying in power beyond 2024, as lawmakers approved sweeping reforms to the constitution. In …

          Putin approves changes allowing him to stay in power until 2036
          Putin approves changes allowing him to stay in power until 2036
          Reuters via Yahoo News· 7 hours ago
          Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday opened the door to constitutional changes that would…

          • Putin’s problem is figuring out a way to prevent his successor from putting him in jail or using other means to take him out.

        • Russia’s GDP is about $1.5 trillion (2019).
          America’s GDP is about $22 trillion (2019).
          No contest.
          Vlad The Impotent loses every which way.

      • What happens when Moodys downgrades shale oil corporate debt to junk status? Then their interest repayments will rise and they will have to pump more oil to service that debt which in turn leads to lower oil prices making it even harder to service the debt.

        If they were only bit players in the market then it wouldn’t lead to a downward spiral, but they have become a victim of their own success. There will be a big shakedown coming.

        • It doesn’t matter as much as one might think. From the previous WUWT story on the subject.

          Such a strategy demonstrates a misunderstanding of American bankruptcy laws. While the crash in oil prices that began in late 2014 did ultimately result in hundreds of shale producers declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the net result of that process is that most of those companies reorganize themselves and come back with far less debt load. The strategy also fails to recognize that most producers have already put hedges in place for most of their equity production through the remainder of 2020 and beyond.

          As David Middleton put it:

          Production will decline because less wells will be drilled. When oil prices recover, the rig count will rise, more wells will get drilled and production will rise again.

        • Really? You took out a car loan, and when interest rates went up the lender came back to you for more money? Yeah, I didn’t think so. It doesn’t matter what Moody’s does to the status of firms working the Permian Basin. They’ve already got the money at whatever rate was set at the time of the loan. It would only affect future borrowing, and if the industry is going into hibernation, there will be precious little of that. Those caught short on operating capital may get slammed, but if you can tick along on whatever income you can generate you’ll be OK. Remember, the drilling costs are, pardon the expression, already sunk. Those who can still generate positive cash flow from a platform at $30/bbl will do just fine.

          • Oil company lending is certainly more complicated than a car loan. There are all kinds of exotic products with terms structured to fit the development scenario of the oil project.

            My oil company currently has a large revolving line of credit. The interest rate is NOT fixed.

          • You can cut off lending to Companies that have larger budgets than some nations? How long do you think it would take them to setup their own lending system?

          • Pillage Idiot (you name appears to be very appropriate) Moody’s is a bond credit rating company. “Junk status” refers to the Bond’s rating being below investment grade. Corporate bonds *are* usually fixed rate.

            Revolving lines of credit are *not* bonds and thus are not rated by Moody (though, obviously, a company with a “junk bond” rating likely isn’t in very good financial shape, hence the poor rating, and thus not likely to be offered low rates from other types of lenders who base the rates they offer on their assessment of the companies ability to pay them back – IE the risk in lending to them – and not specifically on it’s Moody bond ratings).

        • A changing rating doesn’t impact debt already issued. Only new debt.

          The players in this market are already aware of how the cost of debt service impacts the profit picture. They’ve been playing in that market for over 100 years.

        • What happens when Moodys downgrades shale oil corporate debt to junk status? Then their interest repayments will rise and they will have to pump more oil to service that debt which in turn leads to lower oil prices making it even harder to service the debt.

          You clearly don’t understand how debt works. downgrading the oil companies bonds to junk status doesn’t change the interest on the *existing debt* (Corporate bonds are usually fixed rate. Municipal bonds can be variable interest rate but the rate on a variable rate bond usually isn’t tied to the bond’s Moody rating, so still would not be altered by a change in the Moody rating).

          What a downgrading of Moody’s rating would do is make it more expensive for that company to issue *new* debt (as lending to the company would be seen as very high risk). It’s also affects the price that the existing bonds will trade for on the open market, but that only affects investors who are buying/selling the existing bonds, it has no affect on the debt obligations of the company that issues that bond as they company already has the money the bonds were issued for and are obligated to pay that back with the amount of interest that the bonds were issued with – no more, no less.

          In short, it’s obvious that you don’t know what you are talking about, Vincent

      • Thinking quickly, Justin Trudeau, Canada’s own Green Warrior, wrecked the oil industry and piled on costs. We’d like to sell you our product but we will give it away instead.

      • While shale, and other tech developments, will revamp the US oil production eventually it is a common and very capitalist approach to compete on price. Russia survived 2014 and they are way stronger and in a much better position now so they have said they can survive 5-10 years with oil below $30 so why cut production.

        If anyone is cutting off their nose to spite their face it is the Saudis. They didn’t like Russia’s “no more cuts” line and are trying to punish them. Problem is they require $80+ to run their country and Russia only needs $50. Neither is in a good position at $30 but Russia is way better off.

        Good for the rest of us who use fuel 🙂

    • It’s the Saudis who are increasing production in response to the Russians who didnt want to reduce production. Not the other way round.

      hey don’t try and turn around a decent attempt at Putin bashing by stating facts . Whose side are you on?

        • How is saying “we are not going to cut more production” in any way provoking?

          Lets face it, the Saudis are used to strong arming OPEC and ordering people around but that doesn’t work with Russia. They will go along only if it suits their purpose.

          If you look at it from a technical standpoint the Russians are completely correct. Any cuts by OPEC+ would be picked up by increased US output so why bother with more cuts? Let the Saudis throw a hissy fit and cut prices. Prices drop, marginal developments are shelved and things level out at a lower level. Once the recession ends demand picks up and price moves up.

          The Saudis tried and failed spectacularly to kill off the shale oil in 2014/15 so this whole “blame Russia” routine is laughable. This is simply round 2 of the same but with a virus recession added to the mix.

    • “The US production will be hit hard as it’s often high cost oil”

      You’d think so.

      But I don’t think it works like that. With oil, as with many other things, you make your investment up front, then (hopefully) recover it over time. Once you’ve paid a eyewatering amount to drill a well, you sell whatever comes out of the ground at whatever price you can get and hope that eventually you’ll recover your money. And yes that’s more than a little oversimplified.

      So, probably what’ll be affected short term isn’t so much US production as drilling of new wells. At least that’s what’s happened in the past. To get a historical overview, go to https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/crude-oil-rigs and select MAX.

      Longer term, US production will fall also of course. Depending on how long the Saudis and Putin can play at making each other miserable.

      • In the meantime, the XLE ETF is paying over 10% dividend yield alone, and if things go back to normal in a year, it will double in price on top of that.
        This is when fortunes get made.

      • Exactly. Especially when you look at the chart of oil price vs US rig count you will see it is the drilling that follows closely not the production. That said the shale oil wells deplete quicker than conventional fields so within a year production should fall.

        Barring technological developments that make more oil recoverable (always a possibility) production in the US should start to slow then drop slowly as well.

    • SO… Perhaps the Local US Oil Producers should buy the Low Cost Oil from the Saudi and Russian producers during their Oil Price Wars and resell it to the US so as to remain solvent until prices stabilize and/or Russia runs out of oil

      • Lets see, you want US companies to spend their money buying Russian oil at the market price, ship it to the US, and sell it at the market price.

        All the while giving Russian oil companies the money they need to stay in business.

        Basically US oil companies beggar themselves in order to protect Russian oil companies.

      • You are correct, any one who can buy cheaper in Russia or any other part of the world should do that. But unfortunatelly big old boys will not allow it.

        Usually they tell you story like this–it is them our enemies what are doing this to us and similar baloney stories…

        since fall of the USSR you have all kind of new enemies — were good job for military industrial complex.

  2. Is this really Saudi Arabia’s economic war against Iran?
    Iran Oil production has plummetted 90% since Trump’s 2018 sanctions.
    With oil prices down > 45% ($65 to ~ $33), Iran’s government revenues are down with oil providing < 9% of its budget.
    Iran is experiencing (and hiding) a massive internal coronavirus epidemic with a major impact on the economy. Iran is seeking to work with Russia to strongly increase oil recovery and production.
    Is this MBS' effort to forestall Russia's involvement and hit back at Iran for its rocket attack on Saudi the refinery?
    Iran Crude Oil Exports Drop To Less Than 250,000 Bpd In February>Iran Crude Oil Exports Drop To Less Than 250,000 Bpd In February
    Saudi Arabia’s Archenemy Is Taking Advantage Of The Oil War

    • Good point, David. It looks like Iran could be one of the major losers in this oil price drop.

      Iran needs a good revolution. They need to get rid of the insane Mad Mullahs and join the rest of the civilized world.

      • That is no accident … do you think they are friends just because they are both Arab?
        Saudi Arabia = Sunni, Iran = Shiites
        They hate each other

        • LdB. You are correct about the predominant religious differences, but you are completely wrong to say that Iran is “Arab.”

          Arabs do live in Iran, but only about 1.5 million out of a population of about 83 million.

          Mexico has as many Arabs as Iran, and both Argentina and the USA have far more.

          Does that mean that you think Argentina and the USA are “both Arab”?

          • Depends on what one means by “Arab”, Andy. It’s clear from the context of LdB’s comment that he’s using Arab as a short hand for Middle-Eastern Muslims (Sunni vs Shiite Muslims to be exact). While that may not (strictly speaking) be the correct usage of the term Arab, context should still be your friend when trying to understand what others are saying.

    • If Iran is hiding “a massive internal coronavirus epidemic”, how is it you know about it? From what I can tell, this is pure speculation by the main-scream media based on a few shaky bits of information.

    • David… not so hidden. The Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracking app shows the extent. That the country’s travellers have taken it to Hungary already has drawn the spotlight.

  3. Q – Why has the American economy been prospering for the last eight years or so?
    A – Because of cheap energy.

    Cheap energy is a stimulus, just the thing we need to offset the damping effects of coronavirus. Please Mr. Putin, make the cost of oil go down some more, if it’s not too much trouble, thanks a lot.

  4. This is getting nuts…

    It’s no time for the Saudis or Russians to torpedo oil prices and cause global economic havoc.

    Oil prices are now below total production costs for many oil producing countries, which is insane, and may soon be below US’ shale oil all-in costS of around $27/bbd.

    The entire world is freaking out over the coronavirus, and they need to calm down.

    A COVID19 vaccine will start testing in about 4 weeks and Spring weather will naturally cause infections to taper off quickly. I’m sure that by this winter officials will have fast-trackEd approval of a COVID19 vaccine and we’ll be fine.

    The MSM needs to stop politicizing this, people need to wash their hands and just shut up. This panic is getting ridiculous.

    • If it passes initial safety testing, it will be given to a single human volunteer in a tiny ascending dosage to see if it causes any immediate awful side effects.
      That is the first if.
      If that goes well, it will be given to a few more, after enough time has passed for all the data to be reviewed and for any delayed effects to have presented themselves.
      This is a process that typically takes a decades or longer.
      There is zero chance it will be in less than a year, and 18 months is a more likely minimum.
      And if that all goes well, and it actually works…which most do not…they can apply for approval and begin to ramp up manufacturing.
      All very iffy.
      If Bernie wins, expect them to drop the effort, since they will be ordered to give it away free after spending many many hundreds of millions of dollars to make and test it.
      Ever notice how most countries ever invent zero new drugs or vaccines?
      Because they got people demanding that anything invented needs to be free cause it is immoral to make money when lives are at stake…and so no one spends their money or time even trying.
      One in 5000 drugs makes it from lab to drugstore, and the average time for that to happen is 12 years.
      The two companies with vaccine candidates have never actually made a single vaccine that has immunized anyone or even passed clinical trials and been approved.
      Zero corona virus vaccines exist.
      But now we will have one in a few months because why?

      • That’s not exactly true. It will be tested out of the US where “safety” requirements are much less stringent or non-existent. China will have no issues giving it to thousands of their citizens to test efficacy. With the panic, we are currently at the “throw it at the wall and see what sticks” stage.

        You can’t compare apples to oranges here.

        • Yeah, and the quality of that testing data will be at the same level as everything else made in China – suspect at best. IOW, the FDA won’t accept it.

    • Yes Samurai, – Greffex, out of Houston, says they’ve leap frogged using one of their previous vaccines for a Coronavirus-19 vaccine. Team predicts if proves out then vaccine available at the “latest” in 18 months. If govt. deems it a priority & after 4 weeks of animal testing allows for human testing then vaccine would be available by end of 2020.

    • How does lowlow oil prices cause economic havoc?

      Yes, producers get hit but everybody else benefits with lower energy prices and extra cash in their pockets!

      Only those heavily invested in oil, like Putin, are complaining.

      Everybody else is having a party!!

      Remember, competition is what keeps the markets honest!

      • And the one doing the dumping knows very well the economy it is attacking is very weak. Without the oil revenue to prop it up, it’s only a matter of time before the weaker party has to agree to a deal. Watch this space for the reboot of OPEC mark 57 nor whatever they are up to these days.

      • To the extent that it depresses the broader markets, it hurts anybody with an IRA or 401K – in the short run. As long as those fund managers don’t panic, the market will recover (because the country’s economic fundamentals are sound) and that value will return. That’s the tough part, waiting it out hoping that your fund managers don’t dump perfectly good equities at low prices and replace them with low yielding “safer” junk, only to buy back in at higher prices later.

        • Actually, the market has already rebounded by 5% just today. The market is going to be jumpy for a while – keep your hands in your pockets. It’s best just to ride this out for now.

      • Russia and Saudi Arabia flooding the oil market with excessive supply during rapidly falling demand due to irrational consequences of COVID19 isn’t free-market enterprise at work—- it’s insanity

        Such insanity causes needless firings, massive profit losses, bond/loan defaults, bankruptcies, suspension of production, a spike in unemployment rates, bank instability. cancelling capital investments, rapid stock market declines, etc.

        It also causes political/economic instability with bad-actor oil-producing countries like Iran and Russia who wouldn’t think twice about having state-sponsored terrorists commit acts of war like bombing Saudi oil fields, pipelines, and oil tankers to “fix” oil prices..

        One shouldn’t just look at the positive aspects of irrational behavior, but must always look many moves ahead and consider what the negative consequences will be.

        There are a lot of moving parts…

  5. The U.S. owns the $.
    Russians and Saudis can fight in mud as long as they wish.
    The shale industry in the U.S. will get cheap $ and laugh at them.

    • I don’t think this has anything to do with the US. Saudi Arabia and Russia have there own issues they are involved in a proxy war in Yemen, something that doesn’t really get airtime on MSM.

      • Yes and no. the Saudi-Russia conflicts of interest certainly pay a large part. However, Russia’s dislike of US shale is also a factor. Russia didn’t want to cut production because they see that as a gift to US shale – they’re not too happy that US shale production continues to increase while they’ve had to decease production (due to previous OPEX+ agreements).

  6. Just remember who Putin would actually like to see as US President.

    1. A President who puts American interests first, vigorously funds the US military, and who is pushing US energy dominance policies for oil and natural gas?
    or
    2. A President who wants to shut down US domestic oil and natural gas production, make drastic cuts to US defense spending to fund “free stuff” for his base support and more welfare, believes in Green New Deal, and wants to make US borders effectively non-existent for anyone who wants to enter.

    It’s really a no-brainer who Putin really wants to see running the US when you understand Russia’s self-interest lies in expensive oil and natural gas prices on the world markets.

    The US Democrats want the American people to believe it’s Donald Trump that is Putin’s puppet. But like all, things the Democrats say, this is just deflection. They know it is themselves who are the ones doing Putin’s bidding by trying to shutdown US domestic energy production and allow the UN to dictate US domestic energy policy with the climate scam, while the industrial capacity and the US middle class gets wiped out with unaffordable energy bills.

    • Exactly!

      Trump has thrown the biggest monkey wrench into the Globalist political machine imaginable!

      $Trillions upon $Trillions are at stake–all spent to reconfigure the world’s political system after transforming the US into a weak and very compliant country!

      Trump has countered with a plan that frees the world, not enslaves it! Just think about that!!

      • Or 2…. a president who uses his position to benefit his family, including selling out US interests to China for a 1.5 billion dollar investment to his son’s new investment managing adventure, created in partnershil with John Kerry’s son. CHINA is the country to fear. They have LOTS of resources and Russia has not so much. It amazes me that the MSM and Democrat party has been able to keep the Clinton, Biden, etc. Democrat connections with China off the front pages since the Al Gore fundraising scam was “prosecuted” in 1996.

  7. Climate change propaganda is essential part of the oil war. Oil poor Europe is the strongest in trying to find an option to oil and coal.

  8. This will test the thesis that the world is awash in oil.

    Struggling to establish market share?

    That happens in a market that has more supply than demand.

    There is a tremendous amount of oil above ground in storage tanks and sea going tankers.

    And in established oil reserves… the United States owns two of these.

    Nations that can’t sell their oil.

    The world awash in oil.

    Political bubbles burst, oil at the cost of production, plus reasonable profit, is it possible?

    • My idea is for Trump to expand the strategic oil reserve.
      Buy up all excess production, double or triple the SPR if he can, cheap.
      Prop up the price, make a yuuuuge profit down the road, beat them guys who have ripped us off for decades at their own game.
      Just buy it up…Trading Places style.

          • Putin geared his whole economy on oil production once but the price dropped like a rock; now he’s throwing rocks at his own oil production!

            I find it hard to see an upside for Putin! Sounds like he runs Russia’s oil industry like his military machine where profitability takes a back seat, if there even is one!

            So yeah, we could be seeing $33 oil for quite a while!

          • We have to borrow money in order to buy that oil. You have to factor interest costs over time before you can calculate whether a profit has been made.

          • At the risk of invoking the presence of our forums resident Banker conspiracy theorist, perhaps the Fed Reserve should start it’s own SPR. When it’s pumping out the money (which it’s already doing, and will continue to do) it can add a bunch of cheap oil onto it’s balance sheets and sell that oil later when prices go back up or when needed during shortages.

          • Two of the major banks sre already doing that with silver!

            Normally, the gold to silver price ratio is about 15:1. Currently it is in the range of 90:1, which means the silver price is being manipulated so the banks can stock up while they can, to then realize windfall profits when supply/demand forces exceed their ability to keep the price low, which they won’t mind, of course–their $billions will turn into tens of $billions!

          • Rocky, who do you believe is busy spending billions so that banks can make millions in the commodities market?

          • $Millions?? Where did I say $Millions?

            When the central bank system collapses, as it is bound (actually designed) to do, and the US abandons the petrodollar in favor of a precious metals-backed currency, what do you think the price of gold and silver have to do?

            And which financial institutions hold significant positions in silver (preferring to take physical delivery, no less)!

            You can continue to hold Federal Reserve notes if you want, but soon that will no longer be the world’s reserve currency! Several major states have been planning the demise of the fed reserve dollar for years! Their oil transactions are no longer tied to the dollar–they don’t even use dollars!

            Total world debt is far, far beyond hope of ever recovering (derivatives are now meaured in $quadrillions) and Trump, the master of bankruptcy, will spend the Fed into insolvency with a few extra $Trillion for infrastructure, then pull the plug!

            Trump hasn’t worried about over spending his budget by over a $Trillion a year since he became president–have you ever wondered why?

          • Normally, the gold to silver price ratio is about 15:1. Currently it is in the range of 90:1, which means the silver price is being manipulated so the banks can stock up while they can

            that’s one (conspiracy) theory. Doesn’t make it so. The more likely reason is that people are panic buying Gold as they panic sell stocks – driving up the price of gold.

            besides that, your “normally” is incorrect. The ratio has very rarely been below 20 over the past 100 years (and then only briefly during three periods: the 19teens, 1960s and again in the 1970s. Similarly the ratio has only been around 90 briefly during three periods: 1940s, 1990s and now – making 90 about as normal as below 20!). And, incidentally, hasn’t been below 30 since 1980 and has mostly been above 50 for the past 40 years!

            https://www.macrotrends.net/1441/gold-to-silver-ratio

          • Yes, John, you are right–the median gold to silver ratio is around 40 to 1 so my number is wrong! But I still believe the silver price is manipulated to benefit big institutional investors that wield political power!

          • James F. Evans,
            Reports claim that Putin is prepared to dump oil on the market for years if that’s what it takes to defeat US fracking!

            So my comment about oil prices remaining low for quite a while is quite possible! I’ve even seen predictions that gasoline could drop to the $1 per gallon range in some US markets!

    • Or, consider this: I have an oil company, and I drill and pump oil out of the ground.
      It costs me $45 a barrel to get it delivered to the customer.
      But now, I can buy it from Russia, Saudi Arabia, wherever, for $32.
      So why am I not buying it from them and storing it, knowing it will be worth a lot more than that eventually?
      Yeah I know…dumb…no one has enough money or a place to put it, but still…

      In any case, I was not crying for copper or steel miners when the price fell hard, or for home builders or real estate brokers when the price of houses fell sharply from the way-too-high prices that had been propping up the economy.
      And I aint crying for anyone who is gonna fall on hard times because gas just got someone less expensive, either.
      In the 1990s bottled water cost more than gasoline.
      We survived just fine.

      • Where is the oil company getting the money to buy all this oil?
        Companies don’t keep millions in the bank. What money they do have will be needed to service existing debt and pay the salaries of the people they can’t afford to lose, so that they will be able to resume drilling and pumping once prices rise.

        • I have several friends working as professionals in the oil fields and big companies shed them without hesitation and pick them up again when needed. It really is a rather fluid workforce!

    • Gas futures are trading at about $16 right now as I type this.
      Got as low as $1.05 today.
      Only twice in the past ten years was it less, and not for long.
      But prior to all them hurricanes in 2004 and 2005, the price had never been this high.
      How many Tesla orders just got cancelled?
      Maybe none, but I know when gas was below a dollar again in the 1990’s, suddenly those old Detroit gas guzzlers selling for $300 and with engines that would power an airplane, and back seats the size of a living room sofa did not look so dumb for a while.

      • £1.23/litre – For two reasons:

        1. Your politicians (and ours) will take as much in taxes as you will give them
        2. Your politicians are experts at boiling frogs. Ours, not so much.

    • I wonder if that Virginia price for gasoline includes the brand-new gasoline tax increase of 10 cents per gallon passed by the new, radical Democrat legislature? I hear they are getting ready to pass a bill to allow illegal aliens to have drivers licenses. They are not wasting any time implementing their radical agenda!

      And look at California! All the way down at the bottom of the list (Hawaii is a special case). High gasoline prices stifle economic activity, California.

  9. Time for a reminder of why so many greenies oppose our oil production:

    THEY ARE BEING PAID BY RUSSIANS

    Some News Articles About Russia Interference

    Russian Money Suspected Behind Fracking Protests, New York Times, NOV. 30, 2014
    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/01/world/russian-money-suspected-behind-fracking-protests.html

    Is Putin funding anti-fracking groups? Republicans think so — and so did Hillary Clinton
    https://www.salon.com/2017/07/16/is-putin-funding-anti-fracking-groups-republicans-think-so-and-so-did-hillary-clinton/

    These provocative images show Russian trolls sought to inflame debate over climate change, fracking and Dakota pipeline
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/03/01/congress-russians-trolls-sought-to-inflame-u-s-debate-on-climate-change-fracking-and-dakota-pipeline/

    Intelligence: Putin Is Funding the Anti-Fracking Campaign
    http://www.newsweek.com/intelligence-putin-funding-anti-fracking-campaign-547873

    Time to Shine a Light on Putin’s American Propaganda Arm
    http://www.newsweek.com/time-shine-light-putins-american-propaganda-arm-542642

    Putin Is Funding Green Groups to Discredit Natural Gas Fracking
    http://www.newsweek.com/putin-funding-green-groups-discredit-natural-gas-fracking-635052, Newsweek, 7/11/17

    ”The Sierra Club used the Chesapeake Energy money, donated mainly by the company’s chief executive from 2007 to 2010, for its Beyond Coal campaign to block new coal-fired power plants and shutter old ones..” New York Times, FEB. 13, 2012
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/science/earth/after-disclosure-of-sierra-clubs-gifts-from-gas-driller-a-roiling-debate.html

    Russia’s Quiet War Against European Fracking, Foreign Policy, June 20, 2014
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/06/20/russias-quiet-war-against-european-fracking/

    Gasland, Russia and Hysteria Regarding Hydraulic Fracturing, Ambassador Keith C. Smith (ret.) ,February 2014
    http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/item/2014/0105/op/op02smith_frac.html

    Russia in secret plot against fracking, Nato chief says, Telegraph, 19 Jun 2014
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jun/19/russia-secretly-working-with-environmentalists-to-oppose-fracking

    Foreign Firm Funding U.S. Green Groups Tied to State-Owned Russian Oil Company Rosneft, owned by the Russian state, is the world’s largest oil company / AP Washington Free Beacon, January 27, 2015 5:00 am
    http://freebeacon.com/issues/foreign-firm-funding-u-s-green-groups-tied-to-state-owned-russian-oil-company/

    Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Allegations US Environmentalists May Have Secretly Taken Russian Cash
    http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/10/heres-everything-you-need-to-know-about-allegations-us-environmentalists-may-have-secretly-taken-russian-cash/

    Russia in secret plot against fracking, Nato chief says–“Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia was mounting a sophisticated “disinformation campaign” aimed at undermining attempts to exploit alternative energy sources such as shale gas”,Telegrapph, 19 jun 2014 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/fracking/10911942/Russia-in-secret-plot-against-fracking-Nato-chief-says.html

    Saudi Billionaire Prince: Fracking Competitively Threatens ‘Any Oil Producing Country in the World’ CNS News, January 6, 2014 – 5:35 PM
    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/saudi-billionaire-prince-fracking-competitively-threatens-any-oil

    Leaked emails show Hillary Clinton blaming Russians for funding ‘phony’ anti-fracking groups
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/10/clinton-blames-russians-anti-fracking-groups/

    Russia’s Financial Support for Anti-Fracking Groups Is No Coincidence
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/07/anti-fracking-groups-russia-secret-funding-protects-kremlin-interests/

    Lawmakers Cite Evidence Russia ‘Colludes’ With US Green Groups to Block Fracking
    http://dailysignal.com/2017/07/10/lawmakers-cite-evidence-russia-colluded-with-u-s-green-groups-to-block-frackin/

    Key Republicans call for probe to see if Russia funded anti-fracking groups, Washington Times, Sunday, July 9, 2017
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jul/9/lamar-smith-randy-weber-anti-fracking-groups-fundi/

    Green Groups Go Red, Team With Putin To Fight Fracking
    https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/environmental-groups-take-russian-money-to-oppose-fracking/

    Matt Damon’s Anti-Fracking Movie Financed by Oil-Rich Arab Nation
    “Promised Land was also produced “in association with” Image Media Abu Dhabi, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media, according to the preview’s list of credits. A spokesperson with DDA Public Relations, which runs PR for Participant Media, the company that developed the film fund backing Promised Land, confirmed that AD Media is a financier. The company is wholly owned by the government of the UAE.”
    http://dailysignal.com/2012/09/28/matt-damons-anti-fracking-movie-financed-by-oil-rich-arab-nation/

    The credits on Gasland say it partly financed by one of the Middle East oil producers.
    https://www.dailysignal.com/2012/09/28/matt-damons-anti-fracking-movie-financed-by-oil-rich-arab-nation/

    Stronger Law on Foreign Agents Eyed Amid Russia’s Links to Green Groups
    http://dailysignal.com/2018/02/14/stronger-law-on-foreign-agents-eyed-amid-russian-links-to-green-groups/

    Lamar Smith Claims Russians Are Backing Environmental Groups Attacking Fracking
    https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/06_29_2017%20CLS%20%26%20Weber%20-%20Mnuchin.pdf

    Treasury Dept Asked To Investigate Reports That Russia Funneled Millions To US Environmental Groups
    http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/07/treasury-dept-asked-to-investigate-reports-that-russia-funneled-millions-to-us-environmental-groups/

    Smith and Weber quote sources saying the Russian government has been colluding with environmental groups to circulate “disinformation” and “propaganda” aimed at undermining hydraulic fracturing. Commonly called fracking, the process makes it possible to access natural gas deposits.
    http://dailysignal.com/2017/07/10/lawmakers-cite-evidence-russia-colluded-with-u-s-green-groups-to-block-frackin/

    The Russian Collusion Story the Media Ignores – Russian funding of U.S. environmental groups shows how collusion is done.
    https://spectator.org/the-russian-collusion-story-the-media-ignores/

    U.S. Energy Markets: The Real Russian Meddling the Media Ignores – Still counting on the American left’s useful idiots.
    https://spectator.org/u-s-energy-markets-the-real-russian-meddling-the-media-ignores/?

    Hillary and Lamar: A Meeting of Minds on Russian Collusion – America’s anti-fracking enviros had a strange benefactor.
    https://spectator.org/hillary-and-lamar-a-revealing-meeting-of-minds-on-russian-collusion/

    The Centre for European Studies found that the Russian government has invested $95 million in NGOs campaigning against shale gas. Russia Today television ran endless anti-fracking stories, including one that “frackers are the moral equivalent of paedophiles”. The US Director of National Intelligence stated that “RT runs anti-fracking programming … reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.” Pro-Russian politicians such as Lord Truscott (married to a Russian army colonel’s daughter) made speeches in parliament against fracking.
    https://thecritic.co.uk/issues/december-2019/the-plot-against-fracking/

    • Russia neither started this nor wants any part of it, the one doing the dumping is the party making the point to force the other to an agreement.

    • Since when are the WaPo, NYT, Newsweek arbiter of Russian elegance and not propaganda outlets?
      Simplistic biased narratives forget that the most anti fracking stories were run by EU and their public media channels… hardly pro-Russians.
      As for the schedule of the latest OPEC events, some would be wise to inform themselves instead of rehashing msm stuff they so discard when it comes to their pet climate stories.
      Try here: http://johnhelmer.net/premature-ejaculation-is-a-saudi-problem-not-a-russian-one/

    • H.L. Mencken:

      “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

  10. I can remember about a decade ago reading very carefully researched, fact filled articles written by experts proving beyond doubt that we would never see oil under $100 a barrel ever again.

    • …and probably funded by Putin (indirectly, if course) to maintain that opinion forever!

      Now Putin is breaking his own rules, that silly boy!

  11. The green on outside & red on the inside watermelon ecology pundits are going to be somewhat happy. Who knows what their relationship with compatriots having investments will turn out to be.

    For every 10% oil & gas activity that gets cut outside of Saudi/Rooskie lands, due to their price war, there will be a reduction of 2-4% in the involved Western stock’s earnings (on a basis per stock share). Most Companies/banks exposure is not 100%, but can be felt in terms of the % involved in direct oil & gas operations, as well the % in terms of oil & gas related construction/equipment. This doesn’t even take into account the economic human factors.

    There are individuals, institutions & pensions in the developed world who are feeling quite differently than those who assume it is not relevant to their life. Most likely some of the watermelon eco-pundits will find they’ve indirect exposure to the issue, even if scrupulously tried to avoid financial interests in oil & gas.

    A wild card now would be if the USA granted a financing life-line to national fracking industry, which Putin is trying to bankrupt with an undercut production price. It would be “huge” should USA President Trump declare doing so necessary in the national interest – which would in effect be a kind of bail out, calling Putin’s poker hand. Raising the stakes on Putin would be subsequent federal purchases for the USA strategic oil reserve.

  12. Russia Wages An Oil War Against –what a nonsense

    The United States is the top oil-producing country in the world, with an average of 17.87 million b/d, which accounts for 18% of the world’s production.

    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributes 12.42 million b/d, representing 12% of the world’s total production.

    While Russia has fallen in the ranks, it remains one of the world’s top oil producers, with an average of 11.4 million b/d in 2018, accounting for 11% of total world production.

    Now should American government tell individual companies to reduce production and how much?

    • The data you present does not support the claim you made.

      What matters is how much excess oil their is (demand vs production), how large an individual player is doesn’t matter.

    • Now should American government tell individual companies to reduce production and how much?

      American government, unlike say Saudi Arabia or Russia, does not control individual companies like that. Short of passing a law (which would quickly be challenged in court before ultimately being ruled unconstitutional) the US government can not force companies to alter their production rates no matter how much you might wish it would.

      • You say: “American government, unlike say Saudi Arabia or Russia, does not control individual companies like that.”

        That is correct.
        American government control money and interest which help bankrupt companies to stay in business.

        problem is supply and demand.

        supply is high –manipulated by cartel and manipulated by low interest rate which keep insolvent companies in business.

        demand is falling because of corona virus and coming recession.

        but no it is Russian fault — what a baloney.

        • In your opinion, since both Russia and the US governments manipulate currencies and interest rates to promote economic growth, there is therefor no difference between the US and Russian governments.

          Really.

          As to OPEC, they exist to keep supplies low, not high. Your ignorance abut basic economics is astounding.

          • there is therefor no difference between the US and Russian governments.

            both system are mixture of socialism/fascism — word in use is mixed economy.
            today Russia is better than USSR
            today America is worse than America before 1898

            this is what I wrote:
            “supply is high –manipulated by cartel and manipulated by low interest rate which keep insolvent companies in business.”

            cartels like OPEC, are established with idea to keep prices high and to keep competition out.

            supply is high because:
            that same cartel rump up production when price was more than $100 few years back, and now they can not agree how to reduce supply.

            supply is high:
            because when price was high, fracking and sand oil production become viable..

  13. I don’t think the Putin logic may be misunderstood . Work on the North Stream 2 pipeline was recently temporarily stopped under pressure from the American administration, with the idea for Germany to buy somewhat more expensive American liquid gas which needs storing, in preference to on the tap available Russian gas.
    I’m not exactly certain how the oil-gas equation works and at what point the American liquid gas shipped to Europe production becomes unprofitable. It is likely that when the pipeline becomes fully operative it is unlikely that Germany and neighbouring countries will reject cheaper Russian supplies.
    Thus, there might be something to the ‘short term pain for a long term gain’ Putin’s logic.

  14. When OPEC (Saudi Arabia) put forward a plan to cut 1.5 million bbl/d of production, 2/3 of which would be on the Saudis, Russia bailed. So, the Saudis cut prices to certain markets by $8/bbl and intend to ramp up production. OPEC only works because Saudi Arabia generally maintains an excess production capacity of 2-3 million bbl/d.

    Putin spent the past 3 years benefiting from Russia’s participation in OPEC+. This stabilized oil prices, enabling Russia to build up some cash reserves. The ruble is also a floating currency. It’s already been devalued by 10% since Sunday.

    Both nations economies are dependent on oil export revenue and need $60-80/bbl to balance their budgets.

    Putin is not stupid enough to think that their cash reserves and floating currency are enough to outlast Saudi Arabia. He’s also not stupid enough to think that Russia can take market share from the Saudis. Russia doesn’t have significant excess production capacity and their operational breakeven prices is around $59/bbl, $13/bbl more than most shale plays. He may think that $35/bbl oil will kill US “shale”… It will kill quite a few companies, but it won’t kill “shale.” The only calculus that makes any sense is that Putin did this to “stir the pot” of already boiling economic uncertainty ahead of the US elections.

    • Yes, it would benefit all the enemies of the United States if a Democrat is in the White House.

      Our enemies want us to continue down that “Road to Ruin” that Obama set the United States on. Trump has changed the direction of the United States about 180 degrees and has us going in the right direction, and our enemes would like to see that come to an end.

      A choice between Trump and a Democrat for U.S. president is a no-brainer for our enemies. They prefer delusional Democrats to a realist.

    • No I think more likely Saudi Arabia took a chance to force a deals with Russia over Opec+ and the proxy war going on in Yemen. Saudi Arabia and Russia are on opposite sides on the war in Yemen if anyone needs a quick refresher.

  15. The last numbers I can find from EIA show there are over 8,000 Drilled Not Completed wells in CONUS. Those wells are waiting for better prices, or improved technology before they are completed. That is a backlog that few if any other producing regions have.

    The production cost per barrel keeps dropping as the oil industry innovators continue eliminating or optimizing means of production. Fracking is not the specific area of innovation, fracking has been used for decades. Innovation comes in being able to drill horizontally accurately, allowing parallel bores to be drilled over huge (>8,000 ft) distances. The parallel bores have been as close as 48 inches (the last data I got in a personal communication). I’m sure David Middleton has even better data.

  16. Using the same data this could of been called “US wages oil war against Saudi Arabia, Russia amidst corona virus fears.”

    This is either an effort to get click bait or another effort to smear Russia. Using the same arguments this article could have been rewritten where the US was at fault. The Russians chose to let market forces determine the price of oil when the Saudis wanted them to cut production. How in any sane world is this interpreted as Russia waging war? The Saudis would be perfectly happy if the US cut production. Therefore if the US does not cut production that means the US is waging war against Saudi Arabia and Russia.

    • The russians smear themselves, with their funding for anti-fracking protests worldwide. ‘Market forces’? Hardly……

    • Saudi Arabia increasing production to punish Russia for refusing to cut production could be interpreted as the US waging war on both of them?

      Just how much were you paid to write that?

  17. David Middleton:
    “Russia doesn’t have significant excess production capacity and their operational breakeven prices is around $59/bbl”
    Could you share your source to back-up this most surprising statement?
    Please see this source:
    http://graphics.wsj.com/oil-barrel-breakdown/
    Quote: “Russian oil is among the cheapest in the world to pump thanks to plentiful onshore resources, cheap labor and a well-developed network of pipelines, processing plants and other infrastructure. But the government tax take is levied at the wellhead and on exports, pushing up the costs of producing a barrel.”

    The breakeven is about 12 $/bbl for Russia. Saudi is about 9 $/bbl. That is, before tax.
    I am very surprised by your statement.

      • MarkW,

        No.
        Pumping costs are even lower : average is 3 dollars per barrel in Russia. That include remote Siberian fields. For western fields it is less than 2 dollars, better or same than in Saudi.
        12 dollars per barrel are total operating costs, all included but taxes.

      • MarkW,

        No. The pumping costs alone are even lower. For Russia it is 3 $/bbl. And this is including the remote Siberian fields. For the western part, it is probably at 2$/bbl or lower, close to the Saudi pumping costs, and twice below shale pumping cost.
        The 12 $/bbl are Russian operational costs, all included but taxes. With tax it is 20 $/bbl. This is somewhat below the operational costs of US oil, shale or non-shale, tax included.
        I suspect the 59 $/bbl that David Middleton mentioned is the estimated price Russia needs to sustain its current spending at a government/country level (army, infrastructure, education, pension, etc…).
        This seems to me a very bold claim and a very subjective estimate. Where does that come from? (hence my request for a source). But I’m happy to be proven wrong!

    • You make sense. Due to waves of sanctions, the first following occupation of Crimea, Russia’s ruble is heavily devalued. Russia is highly self-sufficient (though not wealthy) and has its own technology, equipment and labor so it spends rubles, not dollars or other foreign exchange, to produce oil. This unique situation drives down the cost of production when measured in dollars and enhances profitability when measured in rubles. Of course Russia prefers higher prices but it is well situated to weather a price war.

  18. Yep, the end of low cost oil is all around us…..in the fabricated reality of green message managers.

  19. From the article: “″$20 oil in 2020 is coming,” Ali Khedery, a former U.S. official in Iraq, wrote Saturday on Twitter. “Huge geopolitical implications. Timely stimulus for net consumers. Catastrophic for failed/failing petro-kleptocracies Iraq, Iran, etc. — may prove existential 1-2 punch when paired with COVID19.”

    I remember when it was $10 a barrel for oil back during Bill Clinton’s term. That had a lot to do with the good economy back then.

    Low oil and gasoline prices are good for the economy. Good for poor people. It leave more money in their pockets to spend on other things.

  20. It is the Russians who refused to restrict production to sustain prices as they had every reason to damage American Shale and damage the Americans for restricting the completion of the Baltic gas pipeline. The Saudis who wished to limit production then punished the Russians by dumping oil and thus jeopardising the rouble.
    See throughrussianeyes.com

  21. The Russians would not slow down the pumping, they failed to reach a deal with the Saudis who wanted to restrict production, and then they got caught by Saudi retaliation: throughrussianeyes.com

  22. The funniest thing about this entire un-funny situation is that it shows up how much of the “we are running out of oil!” hype is ignorance.
    We have never been running out of oil. The Saudis and co. just pump very little out of their vast reserves to keep prices high. Oil scarcity is an artificial product of the cartel.

  23. Time to fill the strategic reserves. The reserves should act like a capacitor, leveling out the supply to better match the demand. This way much of the oil drilling infrastructure is preserved for when prices go high. If Russia wants to sell lots of its oil cheap, let them – just as long as they are not selling a lot of their oil expensive its a win for us.

    • Indeed. If the price drops low enough, fill the reserve to capacity. Take advantage of the bargain prices.

  24. Occidental cuts capital spending by about 45% to between $3.5 billion and $3.7 billion, from its earlier forecast of between $5.2 billion and $5.4 billion. Payouts to shareholders are cut by 86%.
    Occidental is one of America’s largest shale oil producers.

  25. I wonder where the new breakeven price is for fracked shale oil and gas?

    Back in the first price collapse in the mid 2010s the Saudis thought they were going to strangle the frackers. Only the frackers were learning how to frack cheaper.

    Hey I know! Let’s go frack in NY state!

  26. With lower oil prices comes lower gasoline prices comes increased gasoline usage. This will only increase demand.

    The cure for lower oil prices is lower prices.

  27. A slowdown in oil demand due to the corona virus will probably be short-lived. Right now, lots of people are in panic mode, because they believe that corona virus cases in countries like Italy will continue to grow exponentially unless everybody goes into quarantine or lockdown.

    But even now, the number of new cases of corona virus in China is decreasing, only three months after the original outbreak. Young people seem to be naturally immune to the virus, suffering only mild symptoms, and the average age of those dying from corona virus is 80 years. So, as the disease progresses, old or sickly people will probably isolate themselves, while younger people (who comprise the working class) will realize that the panic is overblown, and start going about their business, just stay away from their grandparents.

    The corona virus is well adapted to cold weather, but spring starts in another 10 days, and warmer weather will help slow the spread of this virus. By late spring or summer, the virus will be on the wane, and people will want to return to life as usual, with more traveling and oil consumption.

    If world oil prices temporarily drop to $30 per barrel or less, those oil wells whose production cost is higher will simply stop pumping, and wait for better times. This will then provoke a shortage, which will cause prices to rise, until some of the marginal wells can re-open.

    The US fracking industry would not be down for long, for two reasons. Russian or Saudi crude oil may be cheap if it is sold in those countries, but the cost of shipping it across the ocean to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico make it more expensive when it reaches the USA. Also, fracked crude from West Texas or North Dakota is lighter, and contains much less sulfur than Middle Eastern oil, so that a barrel of fracked crude, even if it is more expensive, yields more light products (gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel) than Middle Eastern crude, and requires less hydrogen in hydrotreaters to meet sulfur specifications.

    Those who are in panic mode now need to take a few deep breaths and think things through. Markets can go through wild swings, but eventually supply adjusts to demand and price, and the market settles down. The corona virus will probably be a distant memory, like a bad dream, by this coming June. This too shall pass, and life goes on.

    • The bench mark prices like ‘West Texas intermediate’ have fallen considerably, its not just prices in Middle east. In fact WTI can only be piped to Cushing Oklahoma, the main distribution point

  28. More importantly, anyone like to offer suggestions on where the Leopard in the thumbnail picture is from?

    I want to say Panzer Museum in Munster.

  29. The cure for low oil prices has always been low oil prices.
    The longer the low, the bigger effect on supply, the longer the high resulting.
    Boom bust, supply demand, the pendulum swings…..

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