Posts Tagged ‘Crude Oil’
By Olga Belogolova
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 | 9:10 a.m.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is set to make a record-breaking $1 trillion in export revenues this year if crude oil prices remain above $100 a barrel, an the International Energy Agency official told the Financial Times.
“It would be the first time in the history of OPEC that oil revenues have reached a trillion dollars,” Chief IAEA Economist Fatih Birol told the Financial Times. “It’s mainly because of higher prices and higher production.”
The possibility of a record-breaking year comes as continued unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, engagement in Libya, and signs of an economic recovery renew debate among policymakers over how to deal with rising global oil prices and their ties to national security.
President Obama will weigh in on the issue today when he speaks about his new four-part “Plan for America’s Energy Security” at Georgetown University. And Republicans and oil state Democrats have argued for expanded offshore oil and gas drilling in light of rising prices and foreign oil dependence.
On Tuesday, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., introduced legislation that expands drilling and the Interior Department said in a report this month that the oil industry isn’t using a large portion of their drilling leases.
The report, along with other energy security concerns, will likely be discussed at Hastings’ Natural Resources Committee hearing this morning, where Bureau of Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) director Michael Bromwich is scheduled to testify on his FY 2012 budget.
Read the entire article HERE.
By Gary Strauss
If political unrest in Libya spreads to other oil-rich countries and the ensuing chaos disrupts crude oil production, gas prices could hit $5 a gallon by peak summer driving season, industry analysts say.
Oil prices soared to the highest level in more than two years as violence spread in Libya and Moammar Gadhafi’s grip weakened. Only a small amount of Libya’s oil production appeared to have been affected, though analysts fear revolts will spread to OPEC heavyweights like Iran.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate for April delivery jumped $4.59, or 5% to $94.30 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The last time oil traded at that level was Oct. 2, 2008. The April contract traded as high as $98.48 per barrel.
“If this thing escalates and there’s a good chance that there’d be a shift in supplies, $5 gas isn’t out of the question,” says Darin Newsom, senior analyst at energy tracker DTN.
The average price of regular gasoline is expected to rise to $3.25 within a few days, says Tom Kloza, chief analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. That’s 2.5% above Tuesday’s $3.17 national average.
Spanish oil company Repsol-YPF said Tuesday that it suspended operations in Libya, which produced 34,777 barrels of oil equivalent per day last year. Other oil companies, including Italy’s Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, U.K.-based BP and Germany’s Wintershall, started pulling out employees. Meanwhile, key Libyan officials resigned and air force pilots defected amid a bloody crackdown on the protests.
Libya holds the most oil reserves in Africa and is the world’s 15th-largest crude exporter at 1.2 million barrels per day, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Any production losses out of Libya could be quickly absorbed by other countries like Saudi Arabia, which can ramp up production as much as another five million barrels per day. The main concern stalking markets is that revolts in the Middle East and North Africa will spread to OPEC heavyweights, particularly Iran, the group’s second-largest producer.
Read the entire article HERE.