Thursday, March 03, 2005

Attention: Chinese Fire Drill in Progress.

Among other weirdness:

"Acting OPEC Secretary-general Adnan Shihab-Eldin said the possibility of oil prices rising to $80 a barrel over the next two years is highly unlikely, but he couldn't rule out the chances of such a steep spike, Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas reported, Dow Jones Newswires said."

Inventory data all over the place.

Refinery outages.

Maybe OPEC will cut production, maybe they won't, maybe they'll send more sour crude, but in the end, everybody's confused.

WSJ reporting [$] that Unocal (UCL), Occidental (OXY) and Devon (DVN) may be takeover targets, with ChevronTexaco (CVX) and maybe Shell (RD) looking at UCL in particular. This is after earlier reports that a Chinese company was interested. CVX apparently sitting on $9.3 billion in cash and it's reserves replacements haven't been sparkling. [Note: not an invitation to buy UCL, it's already trading up.]

Confusion in Bolivia over it's development of it's large natural gas deposits.

WSJ reporting [$] the Russian government consolidation of it's holdings in Gazprom close to done. Gazprom has 117.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent reserves, vrs # 2 ExxonMobil at 21.2 billion. #3 is Lukoil (also Russian) at 20.5. Now do you see what Putin's up to?

Reports of worker shortages in the oil patch. Not only can't they find enough fields, they can't find enough people to work 'em!

A good article with a take on investing in oil companies currently.

US Department of Energy starting to talk about how to mitigate Peak Oil. This sounds more like a research paper they may have (accidentally..) funded than a DOE document to me.


"In the developed nations, the economic problems associated with world oil peaking and the resultant oil short-ages will be extremely serious. In the developing nations, economic problems will be much worse."

"World oil peaking represents a problem like none other. The political, economic, and social stakes are enormous. Prudent risk management demands urgent attention and early action."

Coal as the new black gold? Say it ain't so..

Are we at a historic moment? I'd say so.


"But I would bet that the advance is far from done, even as crude oil nears its historic high of $56 per barrel this week. For even though half of the top-gaining 25 stocks in the S&P 500 this year hail from the energy sector, they still represent just a tiny fraction of that market proxy -- and of most investors' portfolios."