The Fuse

Petropolitics

OPEC/MENA

Will OPEC’s Production Cut Delay the Neutral Zone’s Return?

If there is an extension of the OPEC cut in May, then a re-start date for the Neutral Zone would likely be pushed to Q4 2017 or into 2018 as a result of a lack of short-term benefits for Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Read More

OPEC/MENA

Iraq’s Oil Prospects After ISIS

Success and security over the long-term for Iraq depend not on only defeating ISIS soon but also on addressing new and unique priorities, lingering vulnerabilities, and old grievances, many of which are oil-related. Read More

OPEC/MENA

Saudi Energy Minister: Too Soon to Commit to Extending Production Cut

Speaking at a major conference in Houston, the Saudi Energy Minister said there is cause for “cautious optimism” for the industry but warned against “irrational exuberance.” Read More

OPEC/MENA

Russia Poised to Meet Its Production Cut Pledge Next Month

The biggest questions at CERAWeek this year is whether OPEC and its non-OPEC counterparts will recommit to throttling back in May and whether U.S. shale can fully offset these cuts and push down prices. Read More

OPEC/MENA

Saudi Aramco IPO Encounters Resistance From Domestic Critics

Plans to open up the Kingdom to outside investors will continue to cause fissures within the country, and may also bring about tensions within the OPEC cartel. Read More

OPEC/MENA

Despite Risks, OPEC Likely to Extend Cuts for 2H 2017

The growing confidence among hedge funds for higher prices and the expectation of a tighter market during the second half of the year make it more likely than not OPEC will continue to manipulate output. Read More

OPEC/MENA

Panama Papers Perfectly Exemplify Exploitation of Wealth and Power in Petro States

The Panama Papers are another reminder of the extreme wealth, corruption, and opaqueness that is common to leadership in so many oil producing countries. Read More

Petropolitics

Amid Talks of Production “Freeze,” Russian Oil Already Facing Decline

Russia's oil industry has hit a post-Soviet record, but it lacks access to the investment capital it needs to maintain output. Read More

OPEC/MENA

Capitol Crude: The Hazards of Islamic State Oil

Cross Post: I joined Platts reporters Herman Wang and Brian Scheid to discuss ISIS oil operations, revenues and exports; we also touch on bigger questions like whether or not international prices impact the ISIS market. Read More

Economics

Energy Security Lessons from House of Cards

Compared to other storylines in House of Cards, the energy subplot is not completely out of the realm of possibility. It wasn’t all that long ago the U.S. and global oil markets were in a crisis, with producer countries having outsized power. Read More

Economics

Hedge Funds’ Bullishness on Oil Isn’t Supported by Fundamentals

Whether the current rally has staying power is up in the air, but overall fundamentals suggest otherwise, despite recent ambiguous headlines that have been interpreted as supportive. The rebound has been largely technical in nature, with hedge fund positions exaggerating the price move upward. Read More

OPEC/MENA

OPEC: Breaking Down Naimi’s 'Lack of Trust'

Issues of mistrust among OPEC members date back to the group’s inception, although they have compounded over the years. Throughout the cartel’s history, members have overproduced, in order to sell more volumes and boost revenues, sometimes by excessive amounts, causing widespread suspicion and distrust. Read More