Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Oil News for the AM

China's May imports are expected to be a bit less than previous months. Although the article admits that it is difficult to forcast the Chinese demand, forecasters are confident that the demand will be "much lower" due to the fact that 719,000 tons of fuel cargo this week. Of this a good portion is still unsold and will sit in the importer tanks, waiting for orders to come in. This did not seem to impact the Asian fuel oil prices as they are currently on the rise.

China has also managed to get 4 oil drilling licenses from Nigeria. In exchange China will invest around $4 billion in "downstream oil and infrastructure projects".
The two nations have been in talks for several months about such an agreement, which involves China buying a controlling stake in Nigeria's 110,000 barrel-a-day Kaduna oil refinery and building a railroad system and power stations.

Nigeria will offer first right of refusal to China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) for four oil exploration blocks during a licensing round due to be held in Nigeria on May 19.

An opinion piece in the Rocky Mountain News titled, 'A '70s revival on gasoline prices' argues that there is no "quick fix" for the gas price issue. At least none that may not impact us even more down the road.
There are few quick fixes available, though that hasn't stopped some Republicans from embracing a regulatory agenda that would make Jimmy Carter grin. And a rush to legislate could stifle energy production and economic vitality long after the 110th Congress is sworn in next year.

While it is impossible to see who wrote this and if they have any expertise in this particular arena, I find the opinions of the public have important value. After all it is perception that controls the futures prices. Iran may do this, Nigeria issues could cause that, etc, etc.

The US Justice Department is looking into allegations of criminal enterprise in the area of gas supply. The only catch is that it is not in the United States but overseas.
Gas traders to Western Europe face organised crime inquiry by the US
VITAL gas supplies to Western Europe are at the mercy of shady middlemen who have taken control of the gas trade between Russia, Ukraine and Turkmenistan, it was alleged yesterday.
Their unregulated business dealings have contributed to a sharp rise in the price of gas in leading markets, including Britain and Germany.

This link appeared in my inbox today. Apparently the Tax Foundation has gathered a bunch of data that shows how much the US Government has profited from the increase in energy taxes. It is much, much higher than what the oil companies have pulled in.
Due in part to substantial hikes in the federal gasoline excise tax in 1983, 1990, and 1993, annual tax revenues have continued to grow. Since 1977, governments collected more than $1.34 trillion, after adjusting for inflation, in gasoline tax revenues—more than twice the amount of domestic profits earned by major U.S. oil companies during the same period.

technorati tags: , , , , ,