Politics, Policy, Economics - Since 2010

Fears that taking Scotland out of the EU would make growth and diversification of the Scottish economy impossible only help the fact tha...

Scottish Independence Helps With Big Oil




Fears that taking Scotland out of the EU would make growth and diversification of the Scottish economy impossible only help the fact that Scotland has a chance to make it on their own. This month they began the march towards a second referendum. Despite the UK vote to leave, Scotland's votes were 62% in favor of remaining, with a well represented voter base in every local authority area.

Despite the usual hospitality and whisky exports, Scotland's major exports include: Aerospace & Naval Systems, Barley, Automobiles, Business & Financial Services, Chemical Products, Computers, Computer Software, Electricity, Electronics, Fish, Confectionery, Oil & Gas, Pharmaceuticals, Renewable Energy, Scotch, Ships, Textiles, Timber, Water. There is a wide a diverse industry here. That aside Scotland supplies the UK with a tremendous amount of oil. Scotland also gets cut out of a lot of the oil revenues. Recent offshore oil findings maybe the largest discovered yet and deep water drilling is creeping back into the picture. If the new oil discovery is half as expected Scotland should have hundreds of billions for their population of 5 million. A 2012 report by the Scottish Government and led by Alex Salmond - who is a former oil economist in addition to the former first minister - stated:

  • Oil & Gas is one of Scotland’s greatest industrial success stories, having transformed the economic well-being of the UK over the last 40 years. With as much as £1.5 trillion of oil remaining to be extracted from reserves around these islands, an increasingly buoyant export sector now reaching 100 different countries, and emerging opportunities to deploy the sector’s vast expertise in other offshore projects, the industry has a bright future.

 Scottish Offshore Oil & Gas Income

  • Scottish production increased by 21.4% compared to 2014-5, and accounted for 81 per cent of the UK total*
  • In 2015-16, oil and gas fields in Scotland accounted for 96 per cent of UK crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGL) production, and 60 per cent of UK natural gas production*
  • In 2015-16, the approximate sales value of oil and gas produced in Scotland is estimated to be £13.4 billion*
  • The approx. sales value decreased by 23.5% compared to 2014-15, despite an increase in production over the year, due to sustained low prices*
  • In 2015-16, operating expenditure (excluding decommissioning) on oil and gas production in Scotland is estimated to be £6.8 billion, down 6.7% compared to the previous year*
  • In 2015-16, capital expenditure on oil and gas fields in Scottish waters is estimated to be £10.2 billion, down 17.6% compared to the previous year*
Scottish Total Income
Also in 2012 Angus Armstrong mentioned:

  • The Geneva agreement on natural resources under the sea dictates that they are divided by the median lines. Most people accept that the Geneva approach is the standard approach. Which gives Scotland 91% of revenues.


Scotland has the ability to position itself as a classic Europe-type economy - except one rich with oil money. They can have the pick of any industry from that footing, they can court whomever. If Scotland breaks from the UK they can do near anything they want. The economics are outstanding. The trade bloc choice would then be to join the EU or stay out like Norway.


* Source: Oil and Gas Production Statistics 2015-16, Scottish Government

Washington Post: How oil rich is Scotland?

UPS is adding more intermodel stations to China's mega Europe-Asia railway. The Atlanta-based parcel shipping giant rece...

UPS Goes Long With Eurasia Rail (Investing.com)



$UPS - Median Share Price


UPS is adding more intermodel stations to China's mega Europe-Asia railway. The Atlanta-based parcel shipping giant recently added stations in China, Poland and Germany to its intermodel rail service between Europe and China. The London to Yiwu trip runs 12,000 km in 18 days. Rail is half the cost of air and take half the time as sea transport and the span is incredable. The railway crosses Belgium, France, Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Poland, before coming through China.
  • According to Railway Gazzettee: Changsha, Chongqing, Suzhou and Wuhan have been added in China, joining Zhengzhou and Chengdu. The additional locations have been chosen for their proximity to manufacturing, commercial and cultural centres in inland China. Duisburg and Warszawa have been added to the European end. The industrial Ruhr area of Germany provides access to rail, river, road and air transport, while Poland is a centre for e-commerce fulfillment, research and development and manufacturing. UPS offers full container and less-than-container-load services in both directions. Customs clearance is limited to China and European import/export countries, and security options include GPS tracking. Temperature control is available for sensitive cargo.


The long move by UPS is a smart strategy to increase market share and get a leg up on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). It is no secret that mega-giant Amazon could move into the parcel shipment space and wipe out a good amount of U.S. domestic parcel business revenues through margin competition, free shipping and outright replacement. In addition FedEx (NYSE:FDX) has better metrics over the past few years - they have outperformed UPS - despite having numerous weak points. By increasing the international supply chain and freight capacity over the next two years, UPS will position their international parcel, supply chain and freight lines to outpace revenues generated from U.S. domestic operations. UPS received postive analyst rankings in January and February with an average price target of $115.29 per share. Merrill, Barclays, BMO and JP Morgan currently have the security listed at hold.

  • This rail service is expected to save customers up to 65% versus air freight and improve time-in-transit by 40% versus traditional ocean freight service.The new rail service offers closed circuit TV monitoring during train transition, seal management, alarms and optional GPS container tracking. The customs clearance process has been simplified and is limited to China and European import/export nations. It also offers several other improved facilities that will provide customers with fast and cost effective shipping solutions. - Cindy Miller, President of UPS Global Freight Forwarding

On 23 June last year, the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. As I have said before, that decision was no reje...

Prime Minister’s letter to Donald Tusk triggering Article 50


On 23 June last year, the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. As I have said before, that decision was no rejection of the values we share as fellow Europeans...









Prime Minister’s letter to Donald Tusk triggering Article 50

Published 29 March 2017


The process in the United Kingdom


On 23 June last year, the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. As I have said before, that decision was no rejection of the values we share as fellow Europeans. Nor was it an attempt to do harm to the European Union or any of the remaining member states. On the contrary, the United Kingdom wants the European Union to succeed and prosper. Instead, the referendum was a vote to restore, as we see it, our national self-determination. We are leaving the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe – and we want to remain committed partners and allies to our friends across the continent.


Earlier this month, the United Kingdom Parliament confirmed the result of the referendum by voting with clear and convincing majorities in both of its Houses for the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. The Bill was passed by Parliament on 13 March and it received Royal Assent from Her Majesty The Queen and became an Act of Parliament on 16 March.

Today, therefore, I am writing to give effect to the democratic decision of the people of the United Kingdom. I hereby notify the European Council in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Union. In addition, in accordance with the same Article 50(2) as applied by Article 106a of the Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, I hereby notify the European Council of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Atomic Energy Community. References in this letter to the European Union should therefore be taken to include a reference to the European Atomic Energy Community.

This letter sets out the approach of Her Majesty’s Government to the discussions we will have about the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union and about the deep and special partnership we hope to enjoy – as your closest friend and neighbour – with the European Union once we leave. We believe that these objectives are in the interests not only of the United Kingdom but of the European Union and the wider world too.

It is in the best interests of both the United Kingdom and the European Union that we should use the forthcoming process to deliver these objectives in a fair and orderly manner, and with as little disruption as possible on each side. We want to make sure that Europe remains strong and prosperous and is capable of projecting its values, leading in the world, and defending itself from security threats. We want the United Kingdom, through a new deep and special partnership with a strong European Union, to play its full part in achieving these goals. We therefore believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the European Union.

The Government wants to approach our discussions with ambition, giving citizens and businesses in the United Kingdom and the European Union – and indeed from third countries around the world – as much certainty as possible, as early as possible.

I would like to propose some principles that may help to shape our coming discussions, but before I do so, I should update you on the process we will be undertaking at home, in the United Kingdom.
The process in the United Kingdom

As I have announced already, the Government will bring forward legislation that will repeal the Act of Parliament – the European Communities Act 1972 – that gives effect to EU law in our country. This legislation will, wherever practical and appropriate, in effect convert the body of existing European Union law (the “acquis”) into UK law. This means there will be certainty for UK citizens and for anybody from the European Union who does business in the United Kingdom. The Government will consult on how we design and implement this legislation, and we will publish a White Paper tomorrow. We also intend to bring forward several other pieces of legislation that address specific issues relating to our departure from the European Union, also with a view to ensuring continuity and certainty, in particular for businesses. We will of course continue to fulfil our responsibilities as a member state while we remain a member of the European Union, and the legislation we propose will not come into effect until we leave.

From the start and throughout the discussions, we will negotiate as one United Kingdom, taking due account of the specific interests of every nation and region of the UK as we do so. When it comes to the return of powers back to the United Kingdom, we will consult fully on which powers should reside in Westminster and which should be devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But it is the expectation of the Government that the outcome of this process will be a significant increase in the decision-making power of each devolved administration.

Negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union

The United Kingdom wants to agree with the European Union a deep and special partnership that takes in both economic and security cooperation. To achieve this, we believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the EU.

If, however, we leave the European Union without an agreement the default position is that we would have to trade on World Trade Organisation terms. In security terms a failure to reach agreement would mean our cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened. In this kind of scenario, both the United Kingdom and the European Union would of course cope with the change, but it is not the outcome that either side should seek. We must therefore work hard to avoid that outcome.

It is for these reasons that we want to be able to agree a deep and special partnership, taking in both economic and security cooperation, but it is also because we want to play our part in making sure that Europe remains strong and prosperous and able to lead in the world, projecting its values and defending itself from security threats. And we want the United Kingdom to play its full part in realising that vision for our continent.

Proposed principles for our discussions

Looking ahead to the discussions which we will soon begin, I would like to suggest some principles that we might agree to help make sure that the process is as smooth and successful as possible.
i. We should engage with one another constructively and respectfully, in a spirit of sincere cooperation

Since I became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom I have listened carefully to you, to my fellow EU Heads of Government and the Presidents of the European Commission and Parliament. That is why the United Kingdom does not seek membership of the single market: we understand and respect your position that the four freedoms of the single market are indivisible and there can be no “cherry picking”. We also understand that there will be consequences for the UK of leaving the EU: we know that we will lose influence over the rules that affect the European economy. We also know that UK companies will, as they trade within the EU, have to align with rules agreed by institutions of which we are no longer a part – just as UK companies do in other overseas markets.
ii. We should always put our citizens first

There is obvious complexity in the discussions we are about to undertake, but we should remember that at the heart of our talks are the interests of all our citizens. There are, for example, many citizens of the remaining member states living in the United Kingdom, and UK citizens living elsewhere in the European Union, and we should aim to strike an early agreement about their rights.
iii. We should work towards securing a comprehensive agreement

We want to agree a deep and special partnership between the UK and the EU, taking in both economic and security cooperation. We will need to discuss how we determine a fair settlement of the UK’s rights and obligations as a departing member state, in accordance with the law and in the spirit of the United Kingdom’s continuing partnership with the EU. But we believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the EU.
iv. We should work together to minimise disruption and give as much certainty as possible

Investors, businesses and citizens in both the UK and across the remaining 27 member states – and those from third countries around the world – want to be able to plan. In order to avoid any cliff-edge as we move from our current relationship to our future partnership, people and businesses in both the UK and the EU would benefit from implementation periods to adjust in a smooth and orderly way to new arrangements. It would help both sides to minimise unnecessary disruption if we agree this principle early in the process.
v. In particular, we must pay attention to the UK’s unique relationship with the Republic of Ireland and the importance of the peace process in Northern Ireland

The Republic of Ireland is the only EU member state with a land border with the United Kingdom. We want to avoid a return to a hard border between our two countries, to be able to maintain the Common Travel Area between us, and to make sure that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU does not harm the Republic of Ireland. We also have an important responsibility to make sure that nothing is done to jeopardise the peace process in Northern Ireland, and to continue to uphold the Belfast Agreement.
vi. We should begin technical talks on detailed policy areas as soon as possible, but we should prioritise the biggest challenges

Agreeing a high-level approach to the issues arising from our withdrawal will of course be an early priority. But we also propose a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. This should be of greater scope and ambition than any such agreement before it so that it covers sectors crucial to our linked economies such as financial services and network industries. This will require detailed technical talks, but as the UK is an existing EU member state, both sides have regulatory frameworks and standards that already match. We should therefore prioritise how we manage the evolution of our regulatory frameworks to maintain a fair and open trading environment, and how we resolve disputes. On the scope of the partnership between us – on both economic and security matters – my officials will put forward detailed proposals for deep, broad and dynamic cooperation.
vii. We should continue to work together to advance and protect our shared European values

Perhaps now more than ever, the world needs the liberal, democratic values of Europe. We want to play our part to ensure that Europe remains strong and prosperous and able to lead in the world, projecting its values and defending itself from security threats.


The task before us


As I have said, the Government of the United Kingdom wants to agree a deep and special partnership between the UK and the EU, taking in both economic and security cooperation. At a time when the growth of global trade is slowing and there are signs that protectionist instincts are on the rise in many parts of the world, Europe has a responsibility to stand up for free trade in the interest of all our citizens. Likewise, Europe’s security is more fragile today than at any time since the end of the Cold War. Weakening our cooperation for the prosperity and protection of our citizens would be a costly mistake. The United Kingdom’s objectives for our future partnership remain those set out in my Lancaster House speech of 17 January and the subsequent White Paper published on 2 February.

We recognise that it will be a challenge to reach such a comprehensive agreement within the two-year period set out for withdrawal discussions in the Treaty. But we believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the EU. We start from a unique position in these discussions – close regulatory alignment, trust in one another’s institutions, and a spirit of cooperation stretching back decades. It is for these reasons, and because the future partnership between the UK and the EU is of such importance to both sides, that I am sure it can be agreed in the time period set out by the Treaty.

The task before us is momentous but it should not be beyond us. After all, the institutions and the leaders of the European Union have succeeded in bringing together a continent blighted by war into a union of peaceful nations, and supported the transition of dictatorships to democracy. Together, I know we are capable of reaching an agreement about the UK’s rights and obligations as a departing member state, while establishing a deep and special partnership that contributes towards the prosperity, security and global power of our continent.

Total US Coal Jobs: 65,971 (Total in 2015) & 74,931 (Total in 2014) . Representing a -12.0 change.  Source: EIA Coal Job Surve...

Coal Jobs Are Not Returning







Total US Coal Jobs: 65,971 (Total in 2015) & 74,931 (Total in 2014). Representing a -12.0 change. Source: EIA Coal Job Survey. I am not the bad guy here, just the voice of economic realism. Coals jobs are not coming back. If you see that as a downside then the upside is that coal is at least back in the vocabulary of the American news media. That should lend to more activity in the industry.



source: tradingeconomics.com

• The Economics Are Against The Jobs: Coal is simply not cost-competitive with other fuels in generating electricity — primarily cheap and plentiful natural gas as a result of the shale gas revolution, which has resulted in massive displacement of coal-fired generation by highly efficient, natural gas-fired combustion turbines. Coal has declined from its historically dominant position — from 2000 to 2008, coal supplied about 50 percent of U.S. power generation — to the point where, this year, for the first time, natural gas (with 33 percent of electricity generation) will outstrip coal (with 32 percent) as the U.S.’s primary electricity source, a transition that has occurred far more quickly than anyone thought possible. In addition, the cost of renewables, both wind and solar, continues to decline, and utilities are increasingly integrating these carbon-free sources of generation into their portfolios, to the exclusion of coal plants. In 2015, wind and solar power represented two-thirds of all new electricity-generating capacity in the United States, and in some parts of the country they are cheap enough to compete with natural gas. @ Yale Environment


“My administration is putting an end to the war on coal,” Mr. Trump said in remarks ahead of the official signing at the Environmental Protection Agency, repeating a campaign slogan in which he promised to bring back mining jobs. @ WSJ

High Grade Copper (Prices Since '67) The whisper is turning into a loud clapping sound...Copper is back. Fine. Granted. Will it pr...

High Grade Copper Insight

High Grade Copper (Prices Since '67)

The whisper is turning into a loud clapping sound...Copper is back. Fine. Granted. Will it propel oil?
Seems the answer is yes. As of 1:37PM we are at $2.6310 (F:HG). Gold is ticking higher from the POTUS GOP healthcare snafu.








In this day and age you can burn and lose cash at alarming rates, while breaking laws (not just breaking, out right colluding) and still ...

A Look Back At The Billion Dollar Leveraged Loans To Uber and Airbnb


In this day and age you can burn and lose cash at alarming rates, while breaking laws (not just breaking, out right colluding) and still take out a loan larger than most can comprehend and pay a coupon at 5% a year. That is America. That is capital markets. God bless it so long as it does not explode and effect anyone.

Uber Technologies Inc. has raised $1.15 billion from a new high-yield loan, according to a person familiar with the matter, as the ride-hailing company stockpiles cash to ward off regulatory and competitive threats around the world. The new leveraged loan, Uber’s first, brings the amount raised in debt and equity to more than $15 billion and helps its existing shareholder base avoid stock dilution. Uber will pay a yield of about 5% on the leveraged loan, this person said. The Wall Street Journal first reported last month that Uber hired banks to issue debt of up to $2 billion with a yield of 4% to 4.5%. Uber’s loan was arranged by four banks, with Morgan Stanley leading and Barclays PLC, Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. participating, according to the person. See @ WSJ

The LA Times compared it to a "junk bond"

Airbnb did a similar deal despite losing over $100M. Losing tremendous amounts of money does not matter when you are risking it all on what? How on earth can Uber or Airbnb ever get more valuable? The short answer is that - unless we are surprised - it will not.

"Airbnb Inc. secured a $1 billion debt facility from some of the largest U.S. banks to help the home-sharing company develop new services and fund growth initiatives, people familiar with the matter said. The debt deal was led by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. Airbnb, last valued at $25.5 billion, has watched Uber Technologies Inc. raise more than $11 billion in cash and debt. That number could climb by at least $1 billion when Uber, worth almost $68 billion, closes its latest debt financing" @ Bloomberg


Home ownership rates are below normal. Demographically things are askew, but the planning of demographics and economic spending should n...

Housing Drags Down Economy By $300M




Home ownership rates are below normal. Demographically things are askew, but the planning of demographics and economic spending should not surprise anyone. It never allowed for much of a change in spending patterns, and it assumed too much similarity without choices - and a rigid age bracket. An article from August 2016 highlights issues going into Q4 and 2017 - which they blamed on student loans, tighter credit and a basket of demographic spending patterns in flux...


- The homeownership rate stood at 63.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That was down from a high of 69.2% during the housing boom and below the 65% economists say is a normal level. Strict mortgage lending standards, younger households putting off marriage and children and a lack of inventory of homes for sale are combining to depress homeownership - @ WSJ





source: tradingeconomics.com





- The housing recovery that began in 2012 has lifted the overall market but left behind a broad swath of the middle class, threatening to create a generation of permanent renters and sowing economic anxiety and frustration for millions of Americans. Home prices rose in 83% of the nation’s 178 major real-estate markets in the second quarter, according to figures released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors. Overall prices are now just 2% below the peak reached in July 2006, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices. But most of the price gains, economists said, stem from a lack of fresh supply rather than a surge of buyers. The pace of new home construction remains at levels typically associated with recessions, while the homeownership rate in the second quarter was at its lowest point since the Census Bureau began tracking quarterly data in 1965 and the share of first-time home purchases remains mired near three-decade lows - @ WSJ 

We are just a wee bit above 2006 prices - so there has been a 10 year lag on pricing. This should not come as a surprise. Fundamentally I see housing stock as a fixed situation. We are likely over the big population booms and builds that allowed housing to be a (small but significant) piece of US GDP. We are likely to see more jobs lost to construction, mortgages and related industry, outside of utilities and maintenance. Take the US Northeast for example: renovations and re-buildings verses new construction. In Atlanta we have condominiums, which never seem to suite anyone but the builders in a land rich city. Apartments are great, but the luxury set is correlation to wealth and population.

“I don’t think we are in a normal housing market"
- Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors

Last Weeks: Housing Post At Chaganomics


In the face of long term low prices for oil, Middle East producers are pre-selling their oil and future produced reserves. Export finance ...

Middle East Oil Producers Pre-Selling Oil


In the face of long term low prices for oil, Middle East producers are pre-selling their oil and future produced reserves. Export finance deals and trade finance arrangements are being made with Oman and other sovereigns in the Middle East. This approach allows producers to lock in profits and provides fast cash. 

"Oil importers are experiencing uneven and fragile growth, and need to adjust to the challenges of spillovers from their oil-exporting neighbors and the threat from conflicts" - IMF 



This happens in many commodity lines but it is quite a turn from the gold-filled days of $100 oil.
Oil is such a core part of MENA economies and Middle East economics so leveraging the oil for finance is not the normal - yet. 
Arab producers have used bonds to finance their trade in addition to profits from record high oil prices. Today Arab producers and their countries are seen developing serious credit risks unless changes are made. Despite what one may think - these countries have low political risk and locking in structured credit lines is not a terrible plan. The risks are if the bottom falls out borrowers will have to produce more oil. They of course lose any upside for the most part. 


Brent Futures




“Weak oil prices and high exposure to volatile investment assets are driving credit risk for GCC insurers. These factors are partly offset by the low insurance penetration across the region and improving insurance regulation”
- Mohammed Ali Londe, Analyst at Moody’s.  

Weekly Natural Gas Report Region 17-Mar-17 10-Mar-17 Net Change (Bcf) Implied Flow (Bcf) Stocks (Bcf) % Change Stoc...

A Look At: Natural Gas






























Weekly Natural Gas Report
Region17-Mar-1710-Mar-17Net Change (Bcf)Implied Flow (Bcf)Stocks (Bcf)% ChangeStocks (Bcf)% Change
East309368-59-59453-31.8355-13
Midwest506557-51-51572-11.539727.5
Mountain13713700148-7.412311.4
Pacific20820355260-20226-8
South Central932977-45-451,058-11.972528.6
Salt295325-30-30311-5.118163
Nonsalt637653-16-16748-14.854516.9
Total2,0922,242-150-1502,491-161,82614.6
Weekly Oil Report
STUB_13/17/173/10/17DifferencePercent Change3/18/16DifferencePercent Change
Crude Oil1,226.491,222.174.3280.41,196.6329.8622.5
Commercial (Excluding SPR)533.11528.1564.9540.9501.51731.5936.3
Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)693.383694.009-0.626-0.1695.114-1.731-0.2
Total Motor Gasoline243.468246.279-2.811-1.1245.074-1.606-0.7
Reformulated0.0410.046-0.005-10.90.0330.00824.2
Conventional24.5524.638-0.088-0.426.978-2.428-9
Blending Components218.877221.594-2.717-1.2218.0640.8130.4
Fuel Ethanol22.59522.766-0.171-0.822.5190.0760.3
Kerosene-Type Jet Fuel41.82942.059-0.23-0.543.926-2.097-4.8
Distillate Fuel Oil155.393157.303-1.91-1.2162.26-6.867-4.2
15 ppm sulfur and Under136.567138.52-1.953-1.4140.155-3.588-2.6
> 15 ppm to 500 ppm sulfur7.1447.192-0.048-0.77.327-0.183-2.5
> 500 ppm sulfur11.68211.5920.090.814.777-3.095-20.9
Residual Fuel Oil39.57339.1440.4291.145.977-6.404-13.9
Propane/Propylene44.33344.468-0.135-0.362.226-17.893-28.8
Other Oils260.026258.8181.2080.5239.81820.2088.4
Unfinished Oils87.93888.09-0.152-0.289.679-1.741-1.9
Total Stocks (Including SPR)2,033.712,033.000.70802,018.4315.2790.8
Total Stocks (Excluding SPR)1,340.331,338.991.3340.11,323.3217.011.3
Data: US DOE | Source: Zermatt Economics



The world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyers - all in Asia - are clubbing together to secure more flexible supply contracts in a move which shifts power to importers from producers as oversupply grows. Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS) said it had signed a memorandum of understanding in mid-March with Japan's JERA and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) to exchange information and "cooperate in the joint procurement of LNG" - Sydney Morning Herald

+

Natural gas prices continued to rise Friday with traders betting that low production and rising demand for exports mean supplies are tightening despite waning cold weather. Natural gas for April delivery rose 2.5 cents, or 0.82%, to settle at $3.0760 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have increased nearly 20% since this year’s low point on Feb. 21. Colder weather helped drive heating demand in recent weeks at a time when many expected the end of winter would cause demand for the heating fuel to wane. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly update on storage levels showed a fall of 150 billion cubic feet in the week ended March 17--about seven times the average withdrawal for this time of year. Full Article @ WSJ
Oil & Gas Analyst