Libyan crisis

Saudi Arabia has raised oil output about eight percent to above nine million barrels per day (bpd) to make up for a near halt in Libyan exports, an industry source said, helping prices fall further from the highest since 2008.

Some European oil firms said they were looking to buy more crude from Iran and the West’s energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency, said on Friday there was no need for an immediate strategic stock release.

The Saudi move follows reassurances from Riyadh earlier in the week that it was prepared to act to prevent shortages as a result of the rebellion in Libya that has sharply reduced the fellow OPEC producer’s 1.3 million bpd of exports.

“We have started producing over 9 million barrels per day. We have a lot of production capacity,” the industry source familiar with Saudi production told Reuters. That would be up more than 700,000 bpd from January.

Top exporter Saudi Arabia is the only country able to pump large amounts of extra oil at short notice. It sometimes steps in unilaterally to meet shortages or when it feels prices have risen to levels that may threaten economic growth or oil demand.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has resisted calls for a formal increase in output and says it does not plan to meet until June.

Iran’s deputy Oil Minister Ahmad Ghalebani told the semi-official Mehr news agency he saw no need for an emergency OPEC meeting and that Iran would continue to comply with OPEC policy on quotas.

“There is no shortage of oil in the global crude market stemming from political turmoil in Libya and other North African countries that requires an increase of Iran’s oil exports,” Ghalebani told Mehr.

Brent oil prices jumped close to $120 a barrel on Thursday, the highest since August 2008.

News of Saudi Arabia’s higher output came as disruption to Libyan supplies worsened. Libya is the world’s 12th-largest oil exporter and a source of high-quality crude oil, most of which flows to Europe.

Libya’s crude exports have almost halted because of reduced production, a lack of staff at ports and security concerns, industry sources told Reuters earlier on Friday.

Other oil producers may also see increased demand as a result of the Libyan crisis.

Italy’s third-largest oil refiner, Saras, is looking to Russia, Iran and other Caspian countries to replace crude oil shipments from Libya, an executive said on Friday.

The International Energy Agency, which represents consumer countries, has said between 500,000 bpd and 750,000 bpd of crude, less than 1 percent of global daily consumption, had been removed “at present” from the market.

European oil companies have not taken up Saudi Arabia’s offer of more supplies yet, industry sources have said, with some saying Saudi crude would not be a suitable substitute for Libyan oil at their refineries.

In addition, they are not in need of extra supplies for now. The IEA said on Friday European refiners threatened by a shortfall had covered their needs well into March


Poor Economies

One of the most expensive final consumer prices for petrol is in one of Europe’s oldest and most poor economies ...Portugal...
Filling a car with Regular 95 Octane is now a staggering 1,56€ per liter, until the start of the middle east unrest there was no need for the consumer petrol price to be inflated 20% above the real crude market price.
Portugal is in a recession that will be aggravated even further by rising prices which include, coffee, soft drinks, electricity, water and the announced 10% increase in the price of bread, not to mention that the petrol companies Galp.BP, Repsol and Cepsa inflate prices in a weekly basis according to the monopoly of the government and these same companies.
Petrol prices in Portugal are the most expensive ever, in a country were the unemployment passes the 11%, education is one of the worst in Europe, health care appalling, if this continues civil unrest will no doubt happen.

Dubai’s benchmark

Middle East shares continue to slump, sending Dubai’s benchmark stock index down the most this month, on concern political unrest in the region may spread and also the fact that OPEC have failed to control crude prices in the $85 per barril range,allowing speculation to once more affect the market.
Emaar Properties PJSC, builder of the world’s tallest skyscraper, dropped 4.7 percent. Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest Shariah-compliant lender, fell the most since November.
The DFM General Index retreated 3.7 percent, the most since Jan. 30, to 1,536.45 at the 2
p.m. close in Dubai. Kuwait’s gauge tumbled 2.5 percent, led by Mobile Telecommunications Co. as the company’s board rejected all purchase offer for its 25 percent stake in Zain Saudi Arabia.

Arab governments are cracking down on pro-democracy activists as uprisings that toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt spread to Libya, Algeria, Yemen and Bahrain. Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, a member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family, said on Feb. 17 that the kingdom may see protests unless King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz introduces reforms, according to BBC Arabic TV.
The spread of the geo-political tension into Bahrain is causing investors to be risk averse,the risk of spreading is dependent on each country’s situation. If you have a country with high inflation, an autocratic regime, high unemployment and a big percentage of the population that is below the poverty level and young, then the risk is high.

Bahraini protesters were considering the government’s offer of talks to resolve a conflict now in its seventh day as a Libyan opposition group warned of a “bloodbath” at the hands of security forces seeking to crack down on calls for political change sparked by Egypt and Tunisia.

Bahrain’s credit default swaps climbed 17 basis points to 304, the highest since July 2009 on Feb. 18, according to CMA prices in London. The cost of protecting Saudi Arabian debt against default for five years soared 12 basis points to 138, also the highest in 19 months. Swaps on Saudi Arabia are used as a measure of confidence in the country although they reference
no debt. The contracts pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash equivalent should a government or company fail to adhere to its debt agreements.



WorldWatch chief analyst has informed Reuters that Galp Energia , Portugals main oil company with parterships in Brasils Tupi field has declared that its profits for 2010 reached the 306 milion euros.
These soaring profit margins are based exclusively on the weekly consumer price hikes that the average motorist have been paying since 2008 and are continuing in 2011, Portugal has one of the hieghest consumer prices for oil (gas-USA) in the world.
This year alone profit margin has increased by 16% compared with same time last year, once more as a result of the constant consumer price hike.
The company C.E.O. Ferreira de Oliveira has once more tried to cover up the real reason why the company keeps scoring ever bigger profits at the expence of the motorist.
Weekly consumer hikes are practiced by all involved oil companies with what motorists see as price fixing as all paractice the same inflated price.


Chinas Inflation Pace

China’s central bank will increase interest rates further in coming months as the three moves since mid-October leave household wealth being eroded by accelerating inflation, mainly due to the international crude prices and the OPEC failure to control them.

The People’s Bank of China yesterday raised the one-year lending rate by a quarter point to 6.09 percent and the one-year deposit rate an equivalent amount to 3.2 percent. The deposit rate remains almost 2 percentage points less than the pace of consumer-price gains, giving savers an incentive to buy goods and assets.

Consumer prices rose 5.3 percent in January


Middle-East oil exporters..

As protests continue to rock Egypt, attention is turning to what impact the violence and speculation may have on oil shipments and supplies in the broader Middle East.
Egypt is not an oil exporter, and only about 1.8 million barrels a day move through the Suez Canal, which it controls. That's just 2% of the world's oil supply.
Another two million barrels a day can go through the Sumed pipeline, which also runs through Egypt, connecting the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. The pipeline is used by ships too big to pass through the Suez.
So far, both the pipeline and the canal are operating. But traders fear workers may not be able to get to their jobs due to the violence, which would disrupt supplies.
That would be a pain for oil refiners, and prices would probably rise as they are doing due to speculation. But the oil wouldn't be lost. It could ultimately go around Africa. Analysts say there are more than enough inventories to cover a brief shortage while the crude was in route.
What really has traders nervous -- and is probably the main culprit behind the oil price spikes Friday and Monday -- is that the revolt in Egypt will spread to other Middle Eastern countries.

The Middle East produces over 20 million barrels of oil day, nearly a quarter of the world's supply.
Most of this crude -- over 7 million barrels a day -- is exported from Saudi Arabia.
Most Saudi oil loaded at two massive tanker terminals on the Persian Gulf-- Ras Tanura and Ras al-Ju'aymah.
Also, a pipeline runs across the country to the Red Sea. That's used more as a back up in case of trouble in the Gulf and seldom operates at full capacity.
Most Saudi exports are bound for Asia. Only about 1 million barrels a day come to the United States, about 9% of the country's total imports, according to the Energy Information Agency.
In fact, 75% of the oil that leaves the Persian Gulf via tanker ends up in Asia --mostly Japan, South Korea and China.
Other big Middle East producers include Iran, which exports about 2.4 million barrels per day, mostly from its tanker facility on Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf.
Kuwait exports a similar amount, as does the United Arab Emirates, both by ship.
Iraq brings up the rear in terms of big Gulf exporters. Most of that country's 1.8 million barrels of crude leave on tankers from the Basra Oil Terminal in southern Iraq on the Persian Gulf.
Iraq also operates a pipeline that runs from the northern city of Kirkurk, across Turkey, terminating at the Turkish Mediterranean city of Ceyhan.
The fear isn't so much ideological as it is logistical. A revolution in any of these countries wouldn't permanently cut off the flow of oil. Almost any incoming government, be it socialist, capitalist or Islamist, is going to want oil revenue.
The concern is more that workers won't be able to get to their jobs for an extended period of time if social unrest breaks out.
According to WorldWatch the Gulf states are much richer than Egypt, and are thus able to offer more jobs and benefits to keep their citizens happy. Plus, the oil facilities are well guarded, away from population centers, and don't need many workers to operate.
The market reaction to this is probably speculation by traders, Saudi Aramco is not going to shut down because of demonstrations. Plus, there are no signs that unrest like Egypt's is Spreading to the Gulf's big oil exporting states.


Please note these details may be subject to change THE NEWEST NATION IN EUROPE… PORTAXLAND This European Nation has so many t...