WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: OPEC+ picks jaw jaw not war war

An oil pump jack pumps oil in a field near Calgary, Alberta, Canada on July 21, 2014. (REUTERS)
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Updated 18 April 2020

WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: OPEC+ picks jaw jaw not war war

  • Global storage capacity will start to ebb after governments sought to fill their strategic reserves

Oil prices fell again to historical lows as the full impact of the largest oil output cut in history needed time to trickle down to the movement of barrels for May delivery.
Eventually global storage capacity will start to ebb after the low prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic encouraged massive purchases by governments seeking to fill their strategic reserves.
By the end of the week, Brent crude had retreated to $28.08 per barrel while WTI also fell to $18.27 per barrel.
Still the extremely wide spread between Brent and WTI is not helping to make US crude oil exports attractive as physical constraints seems to be dominating market fundamentals.
US crude oil stocks recorded their largest weekly increase at a time of record-low refined petroleum product demand.
Even though the “contango” market structure is too wide, traders and refiners are not showing any interest in buying more oil because they don’t have anywhere to store it. As a result, the US reported the biggest one-week crude oil storage build of all time as refiner demand plummeted.
Commercial crude inventories surged by 19.25 million barrels, eclipsing the previous record-build of 15.18 million barrels realized just one week earlier.
Surprisingly, the “price war” accusation persists with some analysts claiming that it is still simmering, despite the efforts of OPEC+ to restore balance to the market and help to stabilize the collapsing global economy.
The term itself is misleadingly belligerent as the reduction in official selling prices was about staying competitive during a period of unprecedented weak demand.
The Saudi energy minister described the situation as follows:
“A price war is when you are under-pricing heavily, with a view to try and restrain other producers to sell in a particular market. That is not our case. People wait until we do our pricing, and then they assess their pricing according to ours.”


Scammers fool Britons with investment firm clones, says trade body

Updated 28 November 2020

Scammers fool Britons with investment firm clones, says trade body

  • Losses amounted to 9.4 million pounds ($12.56 million) between March and mid-October

LONDON: More than 200 British retail investors have lost nearly 10 million pounds ($13.4 million) in total to sophisticated investment scams since a government lockdown in March to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, a trade body said on Saturday.
Fraudsters cloned genuine investment management firms’ websites and documentation, and advertised fake products on sham price comparison websites and on social media, the Investment Association said.
Greater financial uncertainty and more time spent online have likely contributed to the increase in scams, industry sources say.
Losses amounted to 9.4 million pounds ($12.56 million) between March and mid-October, the IA said, based on information it got from member firms which had been cloned.
“In a year clouded in uncertainty, organized criminals have sought opportunity in misfortune by attempting to con investors out of their hard-earned savings,” Chris Cummings, chief executive of the Investment Association said.
The investment management industry was working closely with police and regulators to stop the scams, he added.
Britain’s Action Fraud warned earlier this month that total reported losses from all types of investment fraud came to 657 million pounds between September 2019 and September 2020, a rise of 28% from a year ago. Reports spiked between May and September, following Britain’s first national lockdown, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting center added.