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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Saudi, Russia agree oil output freeze

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(Earth is rising over the Moon's Surface), Source: https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateSA5000/photos/a.899877783394135.1073741829.899009183480995/920077631374150/?l=734b9eef72 AFP By David Harding A worker of Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom is seen at work in an oilfield at Cape Kamenny, northern Russia Doha (AFP) - The world's top oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed Tuesday to freeze oil output at January levels in a bid to stabilise an oversupplied market, Qatar's energy minister said. But they made their agreement conditional on the approval of other major producers. The Saudi and Russian oil ministers, along with their Venezuelan and Qatari counterparts, "agreed to freeze the production at (the) January level provided that other major producers follow suit," Qatar's Energy Minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada said. "This step is meant to stabilise the market," said Sada, who is acting president of the OPEC oil cartel, describing the meeting in Doha as "successful". Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said: "This is the beginning of a process which we will assess in the next few months and decide whether we need other steps to stabilise and approve the market. "We don't want significant gyrations in prices. We don't want a reduction in supply. We want to meet demand and we want a stable oil price," he said. Market response was muted, apparently because traders expected a production cut rather than a freeze, especially after output has hit record levels. Oil crept higher, with Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April advancing 50 cents to $33.89 per barrel in late morning deals. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for March delivery added 35 cents to $29.79 a barrel from Monday's closing level. "Whilst a major step forwards considering the official Saudi 'full steam ahead’ approach up until now, the key words in this statement are 'provided that other major producers follow suit'," ETX Capital analyst Daniel Sugarman told AFP. "It appears as if oil prices are already experiencing an initial bump in response to the announcement, but long-term change may well depend upon the reaction of some of the nations who weren't included in this conference," he said. .. View gallery Saudi Arabia's minister of Oil and Mineral Resources … Saudi Arabia's minister of Oil and Mineral Resources Ali al-Naimi (C) says freezing at the Janua … - Market 'disappointed' - It was the first attempt by OPEC and non-OPEC exporters to control production after almost 19 months of oil price declines. Oil prices have tumbled about 70 percent since June 2014, hit by oversupply, sluggish demand and worries about the global economic outlook. The prices came under renewed pressure by the return of Iran to world markets after the lifting of international sanctions linked to its nuclear programme. "We believe, the four of us, that freezing now at that January level is adequate for the market," the Saudi minister said. .. View gallery OPEC's acting president Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada, … OPEC's acting president Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada, minister of energy and industry of Qatar (AF … The Qatari minister said that "intensive communications" will start immediately with other OPEC and non-OPEC producers, including Iraq and Iran, to win their approval and support. The move will benefit both crude exporters and consumers in addition to the world economy, said Sada, who will lead the contacts. Naimi said there should be a consensus between OPEC and non-OPEC producers. "Actually, it is a conditional agreement to freeze (not cut) crude production at January levels," said City Index analyst Fawad Razaqzada. "The news has actually disappointed the market slightly because some people had hoped to see a cut rather than a production freeze," he said. The 13-nation OPEC oil cartel, of which Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Qatar and Iran are members, has refrained from cutting output as it looks to maintain market share in the face of competition from US shale oil producers. Russia -- which is not a member of the oil cartel -- has seen its recession-hit economy damaged further by the slump in oil prices. ============================= Tue Feb 16, 2016 | 4:26 PM EST Saudis and Russia agree oil output freeze, Iran still an obstacle 1:52 PM EST | 01:50 Russia, Saudis strike oil output freeze deal Saudis and Russia agree oil output freeze, Iran. By Rania El Gamal and Tom Finn DOHA (Reuters) - Top oil exporters Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed on Tuesday to freeze output levels but said the deal was contingent on other producers joining in - a major sticking point with Iran absent from the talks and determined to raise production. The Saudi, Russian, Qatari and Venezuelan oil ministers announced the proposal after a previously undisclosed meeting in Doha. It could become the first joint OPEC and non-OPEC deal in 15 years, aimed at tackling a growing oversupply of crude and helping prices recover from their lowest in over a decade. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said freezing production at January levels - near record highs - was an adequate measure and he hoped other producers would adopt the plan. Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino said more talks would take place with Iran and Iraq on Wednesday in Tehran. "The reason we agreed to a potential freeze of production is simple: it is the beginning of a process which we will assess in the next few months and decide if we need other steps to stabilize and improve the market," Naimi told reporters. "We don't want significant gyrations in prices, we don't want reduction in supply, we want to meet demand, we want a stable oil price. We have to take a step at a time," he said. Oil prices LCOc1 jumped to $35.55 per barrel after the news about the secret meeting but later pared gains to trade near $33 on concerns that Iran may reject the deal and that even if Tehran agreed it would not help ease the growing global glut. [O/R] OPEC member Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional arch rival, has pledged to steeply increase output in the coming months as it looks to regain market share lost after years of international sanctions, which were lifted in January following a deal with world powers over its nuclear program. "Our situation is totally different to those countries that have been producing at high levels for the past few years," a senior source familiar with Iran's thinking told Reuters. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh also indicated Tehran would not agree to freezing its output at January levels, saying the country would not give up its appropriate share of the global oil market. SPECIAL TERMS The fact that output from OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC Russia - the world's two top producers and exporters - is near record highs complicates any agreement since Iran is producing at least 1 million barrels per day below its capacity and pre-sanctions levels. Iraq ready to freeze production at January levels pending deal: source Kuwait says committed to Doha oil agreement provided others are However, two non-Iranian sources close to OPEC discussions told Reuters that Iran may be offered special terms as part of the output freeze deal. "Iran is returning to the market and needs to be given a special chance but it also needs to make some calculations," said one source. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said freezing output was not a problem for his country as he anyway expected its production to be flat this year versus 2015. An Iraqi oil ministry source said Baghdad was also happy to freeze production if all parties agreed. "The agreement (if successful) should support oil prices but there are reasons to be cautious. Not all OPEC members have signed up to the deal - notably Iran and Iraq. History would also suggest that compliance may be an issue," said Capital Economics' analyst Jason Tuvey. OPEC has been quarrelling for decades over output levels and Russia, which last agreed to cooperate with OPEC back in 2001, never followed through on its pledge and raised exports instead. Also complicating any potential agreement is the geo-political rivalry in the Middle East between Sunni Muslim power Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran. Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies are fighting proxy conflicts with Russia and Iran in the region, including in Syria and Yemen. In Syria's five-year-old civil war, Riyadh politically and financially backs some rebel groups battling President Bashar al-Assad's government, which has gained the upper hand with the help of Russian warplanes and Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias. RUSSIAN BUDGET The Doha meeting came after more than 18 months of declining oil prices, knocking crude below $30 a barrel for the first time in over a decade from as high as $115 a barrel in mid-2014. The slump was triggered by booming U.S. shale oil output and a decision by Saudi Arabia and its OPEC Gulf allies to raise production to fight for market share and drive higher-cost production out of the market. But although U.S. output has begun to decline and global demand has been robust it has still not been enough to offset booming global production which has led to oil stockpiles rising to record levels. Iraq ready to freeze oil output at January levels pending deal - source Reactions to Saudi, Russia deal to freeze oil output Saudi Arabia has long insisted it would reduce supply only if other OPEC and non-OPEC members agreed, but Russia - the world's biggest oil producer and No.2 exporter - has said it would not join in as its Siberian fields were different from those of OPEC. The mood began to change in January as oil prices fell below $30 per barrel. While Venezuela has been the hardest-hit producer, current oil prices are a fraction of what Russia needs to balance its budget as it heads towards parliamentary elections this year. Saudi finances are also suffering badly, running a $98 billion budget deficit last year, which it seeks to trim this year. But while talking about potential cooperation with OPEC, Russia raised its output to a new record high in January. For a table on OPEC and Russian output, click here "Even if they do freeze production at January levels, you have still got global inventory builds which are going to weigh on prices. So whilst it's a positive step, I don't think it will have a huge impact on supply/demand balances, simply because we were oversupplied in January anyway," said Energy Aspects' analyst Dominic Haywood. (Additional reporting by Alex Lawler, Reem Shamseddine, Ahmad Ghaddar and Amanda Cooper; Writing by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Dale Hudson and Pravin Char) ============================== Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says Baghdad will pay the salaries of the cash-strapped Iraqi Kurdistan's employees if the semi-autonomous region stops its independent oil exports. Falling oil prices have hardly hit Iraq’s Kurdistan region, which like the federal government relies heavily on oil income to provide the majority of its funds. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has been unable to pay the salaries of its workers since September 2015. Officials say they would only pay part of the salaries until the fiscal situation is improved. "Give us the oil and I will give every employee in Kurdistan (their) salary," Abadi said in a Monday interview with the state-run al-Iraqiya television network. In 2014, Baghdad slashed the KRG’s share of the budget in reaction to the construction of a Turkey-bound pipeline by the Kurds. The federal government considers the Kurdish region’s independent crude export via Turkey illegal because the two sides could not conclude an oil and revenue-sharing agreement last year. The premier, who had previously estimated that Kurdistan exports over 600,000 barrels of crude per day, said this is equal to the region's share of the federal budget. "Exports from the region represent around 16 percent of the oil exported... from all Iraq, so the region has obtained its (share of the) budget," Abadi said. Employees in the regional government sector have held demonstrations to express their outrage at unpaid salaries and wage cuts. ========================= About low oil prices... Iran sells a barrel oil for a lower price than non-Islamic €$€£ mercenaries!! So when €$€£ mercenaries steal oil in the Middle East, and try to sell it cheap to Turkey, Iran will offer oil for a cheaper price!! (totally legal) Furthermore.. Iran, Russia and India trade oil only for gold and Euros, not for Dollars!! Tehran pushes to ditch the US Dollar!! What you need to know... (interesting article) http://www.financialsense.com/…/petrodollar-iran-gold-what-… The fall of the Dollar!! (The end) http://www.shiatv.net/view_video.php… The love of money is the root of all evil!! Just follow the paper money.. (I$-RA-€£) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151736161416661&set=a.10150406228516661.388348.698671660&type=3&theater The one-eyed Dajjal (Antichrist) KAFIR (infidel) The Muslim Ummah is bleeding… Due to certain media deceptions that describe disagreements over political positions and religious beliefs. BUT nobody becomes a terrorist overnight!! They (€$€£-mercenaries) are created und funded by machines!! By the MI5, MI6, FBI, CIA, Mossad and the Saudi intelligence!! (Video) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153652306021661&set=a.10151730768001661.1073741826.698671660&type=3&theater Must educate yourselves!! Or are there any questions?? ================================= | Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:06am EST Saudi oil minister to face rival U.S. producers as price rout bites HOUSTON | By Luc Cohen Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi talks to journalists before a meeting of OPEC oil ministers at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna in this file picture taken December 4, 2013. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader/Files Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi talks to journalists before a meeting of OPEC oil ministers at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna in this file picture taken December 4, 2013. Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader/Files This week, Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi will for the first time face the victims of his decision to keep oil pumps flowing despite a global glut: U.S. shale oil producers struggling to survive the worst price crash in years. While soaring U.S. shale output brought on by the hydraulic fracturing revolution contributed to oversupply, many blame the 70-percent price collapse in the past 20 months primarily on Naimi, seen as the oil market's most influential policymaker. During his keynote on Tuesday at the annual IHS CERA Week conference in Houston, Naimi will be addressing U.S. wildcatters and executives who are stuck in a zero sum game. "OPEC, instead of cutting production, they increased production, and that's the predicament we're in right now," Bill Thomas, chief executive of EOG Resources Inc (EOG.N), one of the largest U.S. shale oil producers, told an industry conference last week, referring to 2015. It will be Naimi's first public appearance in the United States since Saudi Arabia led the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' shock decision in November 2014 to keep heavily pumping oil even though mounting oversupply was already sending prices into free-fall. Naimi has said this was not an attempt to target any specific countries or companies, merely an effort to protect the kingdom's market share against fast-growing, higher-cost producers. It just so happens that U.S. shale was the biggest new oil frontier in the world, with much higher costs than cheap Saudi crude that can be produced for a few dollars a barrel.
"I'd just like to hear it from him," said Alex Mills, president of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. "I think it should be something of concern to our leaders in Texas and in Washington," if in fact his aim is to push aside U.S. shale producers, Mills said.
Last week's surprise agreement by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Russia and Venezuela to freeze oil output at January levels - near record highs - did not offer much solace and the global benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 ended the week lower at $33 a barrel and U.S. crude futures CLc1 ended unchanged at just below $30. Prices fell sharply on Tuesday after Iran, the main hurdle to any production control in its zeal to recapture market share lost to sanctions, welcomed the plan without commitment. Iraq was also non-committal. Many U.S. industry executives understand that all is fair in love, war and the oil market, but "the Saudis have probably overplayed their hand," said Bruce Vincent, former president of Houston-based shale oil producer Swift Energy (SFYWQ.PK), which filed for bankruptcy late last year. A PAINFUL TIME The fact that OPEC members are talking to each other offers a ray of hope, according to some industry figures, an indication that the kingdom's own fiscal pain could prompt it to change tact and lead efforts to reach a deal. On Tuesday, Standard & Poor's downgraded Saudi Arabia's credit rating. "The pain is at a threshold right now. People are now willing to sit down and talk about possible remedies to that pain," Mills said. Texas, where oil production has more than doubled over the past five years thanks to the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin fields, is feeling acute pain. The state lost nearly 60,000 oil and gas jobs between November 2014 and November 2015, according to the Texas Alliance's most recent data. Only 236 rigs are still actively drilling wells in the state, down from more than 900 in late 2014, Baker Hughes data showed. Financial distress among U.S. producers has deepened. More than 40 U.S. energy companies have declared bankruptcy since the start of 2015, with more looming as lenders are set to cut the value of companies' reserves, often used as collateral for credit. Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC.N) and rival ConocoPhillips (COP.N) both cut their dividends this month, unusual moves that showed financial stress. THE TIGER HAS TEETH The last time Naimi spoke at CERA Week, seven years ago, OPEC was slashing output to lift prices that sank to $40 a barrel amid the global financial crisis, and he railed against speculators who he blamed for the price plunge. Few oil executives anticipated Naimi's willingness to let prices collapse this time around. Some of them, such as Harold Hamm, the chief executive of Oklahoma-based Continental Resources (CLR.N), even called his bluff. Shortly before the November 2014 OPEC meeting, Hamm cashed in Continental's hedges, calling OPEC a "toothless tiger." In an investor call in August, Hamm said he expected OPEC to begin cuts in September, adding, "we think that may be the first of many." Those have yet to come. A Continental spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Hamm would attend Naimi's speech. Continental shares have tumbled more than 60 percent during the downturn, cutting Hamm's personal fortune by more than $10 billion since 2014. While producers may be more cautious now than before, some are still betting that OPEC will bail them out. EOG's Thomas reckons prices will shoot up as high as $80 a barrel in the second of the year - in part, he says, because OPEC will eventually be forced to yield in the face of fiscal strains. "The whole world is under stress," he said. "I don't care who you are. Even the Saudis are under stress." (Reporting By Luc Cohen; Editing by Terry Wade and Marguerita Choy) =============================

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