Drumbeat: August 16, 2013

From The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future
August 16, 2013 - 10:10am

Foreseeing Trouble in Exporting Natural Gas MIDLAND, Mich. — As Dow Chemical’s chief executive, Andrew N. Liveris has made himself into something of an outcast among his fellow business leaders. The reason? He is spearheading a public campaign against increased exports of natural gas, which he sees as a threat to a manufacturing renaissance in the United States, not to mention his own company’s bottom line. But many others say such exports would provide far more benefits to the country than drawbacks, all part of a transformation that promises to increase the nation’s weight in the global economy. WTI Oil Trades Near Two-Week High Amid Unrest in Egypt West Texas Intermediate crude traded near the highest price in two weeks as an escalating conflict in Egypt fanned concern that oil shipments through the country may be disrupted. Futures were little changed after rising for a fifth day yesterday, capping the longest stretch of gains since April. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood urged supporters onto the streets after noon prayers to protest the killing of hundreds of their number. A weather system heading for the Gulf of Mexico has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next two days. Crude and fuel export terminals in Libya remain closed, while Iraq’s oil ministry said the nation plans to increase exports in September. “The market isn’t sure of future direction and is looking at the news on balance,” Ole Hansen, the head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said by phone. “The market is now better prepared for disruptions than before, as we see more supply elsewhere.” With Energy Costs Lower, Producer Prices Were Flat in July, Evidence of Little Inflation WASHINGTON — Producer prices were flat in July, providing further evidence of very little inflationary pressure in the economy. The Labor Department reported on Wednesday that a drop in natural gas and gasoline costs left its seasonally adjusted producer price index unchanged for the month. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 0.3 percent increase. Stuart Staniford: Saudi Arabian Oil Production The above graph shows Saudi production of crude and condensate (ie oil) from 1995 through July. There are several data sources, but the black line is the average. The red curve is the number of oil rigs working in the country, and is a rough proxy for the level of effort being made to maintain or increase production. In the middle of the price spike in 2005-2008, Saudi Arabia began to reduce production, rather than increasing it, and at the same time increased drilling over the very low level they had traditionally maintained. This suggested to some of us difficulty maintaining production (probably due to long-standing under-investment in developing new resources to replace aging fields). Major oil companies' emphasis on gas is growing ever deeper When Shell announced the successor to its chief executive Peter Voser, it set a few tongues wagging. Ben van Beurden, the current head of refining, had not been among those tipped to lead the company come January. Mr Van Beurden's role in the downstream business sits awkwardly with the company's focus on upstream projects, and the struggle to replace the crude reserves on its books. But a closer look sheds insight not only into Shell's strategy, but the industry trend that defines it. More clashes feared as protesters vow 'Friday of anger' in Egypt Cairo (CNN) -- As Egypt faces the gruesome aftermath of clashes that left hundreds dead, demonstrators plan to defy an emergency order and take to the streets to mark "Friday of anger." The Muslim Brotherhood promised huge protests, and Egypt's military government showed no sign of easing its crackdown, setting the stage for what could become another catastrophic encounter of security forces and protesters. "The struggle to overthrow this illegitimate regime is an obligation," the Muslim Brotherhood said on its website Friday, while urging people to protest peacefully. Dana Petroleum monitoring growing unrest in Egypt Aberdeen-based oil firm Dana Petroleum has said it is continuing to monitor events in Egypt after pulling non-essential staff from the country amid growing political unrest. Dana stated it had taken the step to ensure the safety of staff. Iran intercepted Indian oil tanker for pollution concerns: spokesman TEHRAN (Xinhua) -- Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday that the country has

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