More at Stake in Saudi than IPO

King Salman is the last of the Sudairi Seven to rule Saudi Arabia before the next generation (grandsons of King Abdulaziz ibn Saud) takes power. If Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, ascends the throne in the next one to two years, he will rule – absent medical issues or political upheaval – for decades. This will include the period when judgment will be rendered on his Vision 2030 for diversification of the Saudi economy. The oil market’s focus on the Saudi Aramco IPO and its perceived connection to Saudi oil policy should be seen within the context of larger issues related to internal stability.

Trump Tosses Iran Policy to Congress

On Thursday, President Trump will make a speech on Iran in which he is expected to not certify that Iran is in compliance with the Nuclear Deal, as required every 90 days. This will give the Congress 60 days to take up the issue of putting sanctions back in place. At this juncture, a return to the status quo ante “the Deal” is impossible given the positions of the other P5+1 countries. But, Congress may take other steps to turn up the heat on Iran.

Tensions Rise as Kurdistan Votes

The autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq voted for independence last week in a resounding – but non-binding – referendum. Baghdad has dismissed the vote. Turkey and Iran, with large Kurdish populations themselves, have threatened a blockade. Turkey’s threat to shut the Kirkuk-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline puts Kurdistan’s nearly 600,000 b/d of crude exports at risk. Ongoing tensions have already encouraged a temporary run-up in Brent prices, and will keep a small geopolitical premium on the price of crude.

Tensions with North Korea will Continue

Current tensions between North Korea and the international community, but especially the U.S., South Korea and China are bound to continue and threaten military conflict that could escalate to a previously unthinkable outcome. While oil and gas trade with North Korea is quite small, any threat of military action in the region will impact shipping and lift the price of waterborne goods.

CPC Blend Exports to Soar

BOSTON, MA, September 6, 2017 CPC Blend Exports to Soar By the end of this year, higher Kashagan production will cause CPC Blend exports to climb to 1.4 million b/d, according to ESAI Energy’s newly published CIS Watch. By comparison, in the year through August the flow of CPC Blend exports fell short of 1.2…

Shale Producers Drop Rigs and Add Hedges

BOSTON, MA, August 23, 2017 Shale Producers Drop Rigs and Add Hedges Despite a slowdown in the number of rigs being added in the shale basins, output targets will be met or exceeded as producers are adding to their hedged positions, according to ESAI Energy’s recently released North America Watch. Total 2017 shale output will…

International Marine Organization’s (IMO) sulfur content cap on bunker fuels, will destroy fuel oil demand

BOSTON, MA, August 18, 2017 International Marine Organization’s (IMO) sulfur content cap on bunker fuels, will destroy fuel oil demand In its recent five-year outlook on petroleum products, ESAI Energy examines the implementation of the International Marine Organization’s (IMO) 0.5 percent sulfur content cap on bunker fuels, which is slated to take effect globally in…