Iraq Seizes Kirkuk, Briefly Knocks 350,000 Bpd Offline

Oil prices spiked on Monday after Iraqi forces seized the oil fields around Kirkuk, which had largely been under Kurdish control since 2014. There were conflicting reports as of Monday, but oil supplies from the region may have been disrupted, although perhaps only temporarily. The military maneuver by Iraqi forces comes as retaliation for the Kurdish independence vote staged a few weeks ago, a move condemned by Baghdad, as well as the governments of Turkey and Iran, both of which have their own Kurdish populations. Iran closed border crossings,…

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IEA: Oil Prices To Hit A Ceiling In 2018

The global oil market continues to make progress, but the ongoing production gains from non-OPEC countries will probably act as a “the ceiling for aspirations of higher oil prices” in 2018, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency. In its monthly Oil Market Report published Thursday, the IEA cataloged the long list of indicators that suggests the oil market has made huge strides this year towards rebalancing. In the second and the third quarter, the global supply/demand balance was in a deficit, putting total inventories…

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Goldman Sachs: Inventory Drawdowns Will Not Continue

The September oil price rally was predicated on improving oil market fundamentals, bolstering confidence that the rebalancing process was accelerating. But the inventory declines reported in the third quarter might be “as good as it gets,” with inventories returning to small increases next year, according to a new report from Goldman Sachs. The third quarter appeared to finally be the turning point for an oil market suffering from a more than three-year downturn. The OPEC deal was finally bearing fruit—inventories started posting…

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Is The War On Coal Really Over?

“The war against coal is over.” That was the claim from EPA chief Scott Pruitt ahead of his announcement that he would rewrite a signature climate change program from the Obama era. On Tuesday, Pruitt’s EPA proposed to withdraw the Clean Power Plan (CPP), a controversial step that seeks to roll back the clock on arguably the most important environmental achievement of President Obama. In fact, some argue that the CPP ranks up there along with the healthcare overhaul as one of Obama’s top domestic policy victories. The Clean…

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The Permian Boom Is Coming To An End

The pressure on shale drillers to throttle back on their aggressive drilling continues to crop up in new places, and there are growing signs that the Permian is slowing down. Shale companies spent just $5 billion on land deals in West Texas in the last six months, a fraction of the $35 billion spent in the prior nine-month period, according to the Houston Chronicle, citing Wood Mackenzie data. It’s the latest piece of evidence to suggest that “Permania” might be easing. The hottest shale basin on the planet has suffered from rising…

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IEA: “Era Of Expensive Renewables Is Over”

After a record breaking year in 2016 for solar PV, the IEA overhauled its forecast for the next five years, significantly raising the projected growth profile for renewable energy. In its new report, Renewables 2017, the IEA argued that it now sees renewable energy as a serious global force, increasingly taking market share away from coal and natural gas. The Paris-based energy agency cited 2016 as a watershed moment, a year in which 164 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity came online around the world, more than triple the amount of new…

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What Really Killed The Oil Price Rally

The oil market gained a lot of momentum in August and September, and Brent flirted with $60 per barrel toward the end of last month. But suddenly, oil prices have pulled back from their recent highs, and could head lower unless some bullish data emerges. The recent rally—unlike other rallies over the past three years—has been underpinned by substantial improvements in the underlying fundamentals. Global refined product stocks are just a bit above the five-year average, having drained significantly in recent months. Crude stocks are…

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Oil Prices At A Ceiling, Or Just Getting Started?

Oil moved back into bull market territory this week, with Brent prices jumping to a more than two-year high at $58 per barrel. A confluence of events has given a jolt of optimism to oil prices, with market sentiment at its most positive arguably in years. The proximate spark from earlier this week was the Kurdish referendum, which raised the specter of a sizable supply outage when Turkey threatened to cut off Kurdish oil exports through its territory, and Baghdad joined in by calling for an international boycott of Kurdish oil sales. So far, there…

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What Happens If Trump Trashes The Iran Nuclear Deal?

U.S. President Donald Trump trashed the Iran nuclear deal at the UN last week, sparking speculation about whether he intends to pull the U.S. out of the deal before a key deadline by mid-October. The U.S. president needs to recertify the agreement every three months, with the latest deadline coming up on October 15. There’s speculation that this time around, President Trump won’t issue a recertification, a move that could trigger the withdrawal of the U.S. from the international accord, with far-reaching consequences for U.S.-Iranian…

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Is The Sun Setting On The Solar Boom?

The U.S. solar industry is expected to see its expansion significantly curtailed this year after installing record capacity in 2016, marking the first annual decline in installations for the industry. A new report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) raises some question marks for the trajectory of the solar industry. In the second quarter, the U.S. installed 2.38 gigawatts of new solar PV. A decent performance, but with two quarters in the books, the industry is only on track to install 12.4 GW of new capacity in…

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