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Archive for the ‘FUELS’ Category

DEREGULATED FUEL NOT NECESSARILY A GOOD THING (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 15, 2009

15 January 2009

by Siseko Njobeni – Energy Affairs Editor

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FUELS, GASOLINE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

PETROBRAS INVESTE US$ 4 BI EM DIESEL MENOS POLUENTE (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 14, 2009

[ 13/01/2009 ]

Agência Estado

PUBLISHED BY ‘JORNAL CRUZEIRO DO SUL’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘JORNAL CRUZEIRO DO SUL’

Posted in A QUESTÃO ENERGÉTICA, BRASIL, CIDADANIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, DEFESA DO MEIO AMBIENTE - BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, EXPANSÃO INDUSTRIAL, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, FUELS, GLOBAL WARMING, INDÚSTRIAS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, POLLUTION, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

SCHLUMBERGER BEGINS LAYING OFF HUNDREDS OF U.S. WORKERS – OILFIELD SERVICES GIANT SCHLUMBERGER LTD. (SLB) HAS BEGUN LAYING OFF HUNDREDS OF WORKERS IN THE U.S. AND AROUND THE WORLD IN THE FIRST OF WHAT EXPERTS SAY WILL LIKELY BE A WAVE OF JOB CUTS IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 11, 2009

Friday, January 09, 2009

by Ben Casselman – The Wall Street Journal – Dow Jones Newswires

PUBLISHED BY ‘RIGZONE’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘RIGZONE’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, PETROL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNEMPLOYMENT, USA | Leave a Comment »

EXXON MAY PUMP UP ASSETS AS VALUATIONS FALL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 10, 2009

10 Jan 2009, 00:00 hrs IST

AGENCIES

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, PETROL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

OIL GIANT COMES IN FROM THE COLD – EXXON FUNDED GLOBAL WARMING DENIAL FOR YEARS. YESTERDAY, IN AN ASTONISHING U-TURN, IT CALLED FOR THE IMPOSITION OF GREEN TAXES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 10, 2009

Saturday, 10 January 2009

by Stephen Foley in New York

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FUELS, GASOLINE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, PETROL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STATE TARIFFS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | 1 Comment »

NORTH SEA OIL EXPLORATION FIRM COLLAPSES (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 10, 2009

Thursday 8 January 2009 15.30 GMT

by Terry Macalister – The Guardian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PETROL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

MEGA REFINERY AT JAMNAGAR READY IN RECORD 36 MONTHS (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 9, 2009

January 5-11, 2009

A Business Correspondent

PUBLISHED BY ‘PROJECTS MONITOR’ (India)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘PROJECTS MONITOR’ (India)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FUELS, GASOLINE, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

PEPCO TO GET 90 PER CENT OF KESC’S FEDERAL SUBSIDY (Pakistan)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 7, 2009

Tuesday, 06 Jan, 2009 – 09:15 AM

by Sher Baz Khan – PST

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL SUBSIDIES, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, PAKISTAN, RECESSION | Leave a Comment »

GOVT BOOKS P21.3B FROM REFINERY SALE (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 7, 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

by Lawrence Agcaoili

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA STANDARD TODAY’ (Philippines)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA STANDARD TODAY’ (Philippines)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FUELS, GASOLINE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PHILIPPINES, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

PANEL WANTS FUEL TAXES HIKED TO FUND HIGHWAYS (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 2, 2009

January 1, 2009

by Joan Lowy – Associated Press Writer

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FUELS, GASOLINE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STATE TARIFFS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION (NPC) BIDS OUT P33.6-B WORTH OF FUEL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 2, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

by Myrna M. Velasco

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA BULLETIN’ (Philippines)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA BULLETIN’ (Philippines)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PHILIPPINES, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

SETOR DE COMBUSTÍVEIS FECHA 2008 COM RECORDE DE VENDAS (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 18, 2008

Terça-feira, 16 de Dezembro de 2008 13:11

Nielmar de Oliveira – da Agência Brasil

PUBLISHED BY ‘CAMPO GRANDE NEWS’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘CAMPO GRANDE NEWS’ (Brazil)

Posted in A QUESTÃO ENERGÉTICA, BIODIESEL, BIOFUELS, BRASIL, COMÉRCIO - BRASIL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ETHANOL, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FUELS, GASOLINE, INTERNATIONAL | Leave a Comment »

ICELAND INCREASES TARIFFS ON WINE, TOBACCO AND OIL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

12/12/2008 – 11:59

PUBLISHED BY ‘ICELAND REVIEW’

Iceland’s Althingi parliament accepted new laws yesterday on increasing the tariffs on alcohol, tobacco, oil and automobiles by 12.5 percent as well as introducing a tax on driven kilometers and an excise tax on vehicles and fuel.

According to the budget bill, the aforementioned tariffs were going to increase by 11.5 percent next year, but now the increase is 12.5 percent and takes effect already today. The state treasury will as a consequence have an additional income of more than ISK 3.5 billion (USD 30 million, EUR 23 million) in 2009, Morgunbladid reports.

The State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland (ÁTVR) said the price of tobacco will increase immediately, but it will take some time before the price of alcoholic beverages increases.

Minister of Finance Árni M. Mathiesen said at Althingi yesterday that the state tariffs on these products had depreciated with the development of the consumer price index and that the current increase is meant to counter that development.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir explained that the purpose with the new laws is to protect those who have the lowest wages. Child benefits and interest relief will remain unchanged, she said, and personal exemption will increase by ISK 2,000 (USD 17.25, EUR 12.99) next year, Fréttabladid reports.

However, the tariffs will also influence indexation and increase loans. “It is obvious that this will go straight into our loans. It is a very controversial path to take because it will also have an impact on the highly indebted state treasury, no less than households. I doubt that the state treasury will benefit from this in the end,” President of the Confederation of Labor (ASÍ) Gylfi Arnbjörnsson told Morgunbladid.

Runólfur Ólafsson, managing director of the Icelandic Automobile Association (FÍB), is equally critical of the new laws; expenses for average-sized cars will increase by ISK 20,000 (USD 172, EUR 130) per year because of them.

The price of gasoline and diesel oil will also increase considerably, by ISK 7.70 and 6.40 (USD 0.07 and 0.06, EUR 0.05 and 0.04) per liter respectively, and Ólafsson said it is not good at all that the state is going to take advantage of the recent decrease in the price of fuel in such a way.

Arnbjörnsson told Fréttabladid that the government only plans to increase benefits to senior citizens and the disabled by 9.6 percent, but not in consistency with indexation. The benefits of these groups are indexed and should thus increase every month, he said.

“They are planning to take four billions [ISK 4 billion = USD 34 million, EUR 26 million] from the poorest people. It is so incredibly unjust that we cannot agree to it,” Arnbjörnsson said.

Minister for Social Affairs Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir said Arnbjörnsson is wrong in his assumptions.

“We added two billions to the social security system compared to what was estimated in the budget bill. Next year pension benefits will be higher than ever compared to the lowest salaries of ASÍ,” Sigurdardóttir explained.

Click here to read about other recent measures taken by the government.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘ICELAND REVIEW’

Posted in ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, COMMERCE, COMMERCIAL PROTECTIONISM, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FUELS, GASOLINE, ICELAND, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, STATE TARIFFS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, TOBACCO | Leave a Comment »

AFRICA’S CHINESE CONNECTION AND THE DOWNTURN (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 27, 2008

Posted to the web on: 27 November 2008

by Greg Mills – (*)

YOU know that it’s a globalised world when the man in front of you on the flight from Hong Kong THE GREAT WALLto Beijing starts a conversation, across several rows of seats, about the fast-bowling merits of Dale Steyn versus those of Morne Morkel — in Afrikaans.

Yet this very phenomenon — of an increasingly integrated world of trade, technology, skills and capital — is not only seen to be under threat due to the global economic crisis, but in the eyes of some is the cause of the crisis.

But that’s not how China sees things, in spite of some loss of export markets because of the credit crunch.

The formula for global economic growth has, over the past two decades , in simple terms, comprised western consumption of cheap Asian goods fuelled by access to cheap credit produced in turn by high Asian savings.

The cheapness of Asian goods relates to their productivity, which is related once again to the number of workers that are joining the global economy — 20-million annually from China’s rural to urban areas, at the last estimate.

Once in the cities they produce (up to three times) more and save more.

The downturn in demand for manufactured goods is likely to hit China hard — just as it has depressed commodity prices, the third leg of the western consumption-Asian thrift formula.

The supply of African oil and minerals has driven up continental growth rates, of course, and radically changed the level of external interest in African affairs.

China has been in part responsible for “globalising” Africa.

In doing so, it has certainly shown African prospects in a different light to the one shone by western firms and governments.

This relationship is represented in a plethora of statistics: In 1980, China’s share of world trade was less than 1%. By 2003 it had risen to 6%, where exports make up one-third of China’s gross domestic product. In 1980 China’s exports were worth less than $20bn. Last year, they exceeded $1-trillion. Such trade largely involves China’s processing of raw materials and the assembly of parts.

China’s trade with Africa has dramatically increased from $11bn in 2000 to $56bn in 2006 and $73bn last year, much of the increase due to oil.

Beijing has an African trade target of $100bn by 2010.

The second-largest global energy importer behind the US, China imported more than 6-million barrels of oil per day in 2006. This figure is expected to double in the next 15 years.

With only half of its energy needs now supplied by domestic sources, Angola has become China’s largest suppler of oil, while Sudan and Nigeria are important investment partners.

China today receives about one-third of its oil imports from Africa, comprising just less than 10% of the continent’s total oil exports. By comparison, the US purchased one-third of a percent of Africa’s total oil exports in 2006.

By 2006, more than 800 Chinese state-owned enterprises were active in Africa, with Chinese firms investing more than $6bn in 900 projects. The following year, China invested $4,5bn in African infrastructure projects alone.

Yet current figures put the downturn in manufacturing order books by more than 50% worldwide. China’s third-quarter growth has dipped to 9% from 12% last year. A loss of markets and growth, potentially compounded by rising labour costs depressing productivity, is a spectre that no Chinese politician fancies.

Beijing believes it will cope with the credit crisis by focusing on substituting its internal market for those lost overseas. Hence the announcement of a $586bn infrastructure stimulus package.

For example, the Chinese government has committed, in the short-term, an extra R1-trillion to railway infrastructure. That will buy a lot of steel, and much else, at current prices.

For this reason, for the moment, China aims to continue with its strategy to secure raw materials from Africa at source, in so doing managing the prospect of input price inflation.

This offers further prospects to African businesses with an appetite for partnership in exploiting the long-term trend of increasing global flows of capital to emerging markets.

But despite its strategy to beef up internal demand, China retains a big stake in globalisation.

Without sizeable external markets it cannot provide for its citizens, with all the economic fallout and political instability that would denote.

For experience teaches that large numbers of job seekers cannot be absorbed by government, or to satisfy local demand. For China, as in Africa, if they cannot find a place for themselves in the global economy, many will not be able to find a place at all.

(*) – Dr Mills heads the Brenthurst Foundation and has been researching in China.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MACROECONOMY, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, PETROL, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES | Leave a Comment »

VENEZUELA, RUSSIA SAY OIL PRICES MUST STABILISE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 27, 2008

Posted to the web on: 27 November 2008

Sapa-AP

CARACAS – Venezuela will support Opec oil production cuts until prices increase, Oil Minister Venezuela's Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez speaks with the media in Caracas, Feb. 8, 2008Rafael Ramirez said yesterday.

During a visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, he said Venezuela will support Opec production cuts of 1-million-barrels per day at Opec’s upcoming meeting on Saturday. But if new cuts are not enough to increase prices, “we will keep cutting until the market stabilises,” he said.

President Hugo Chavez has said he’s proposing Opec countries consider setting a price range for oil to stabilise the global market.

“Let’s look for a band between $80 and $100; we’re thinking about that,” Chavez said Monday.

“We think that price would be a fair price for oil.” Venezuela is a founding member of Opec, which cut production by 1,5-million-barrels per day last month to boost prices.

While Russia is not an Opec member, Chavez has often spoken of the necessity to strengthen relations between Opec and Russia. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev did not respond directly when asked if he would support Chavez’s price band, but said Russia wants “just and stable” oil prices.

“These don’t need to be really low or really high” he said through an interpreter. In Nymex trading, prices for light, sweet crude for January delivery rose slightly to settle at $54,44 a barrel yesterday. Oil prices have recently fallen to a third of their July value.

Among other things, yesterday’s prices were affected by speculation that Russia – one the world’s largest crude producers – may join Opec in output cuts, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said in New Delhi on Tuesday, Press Trust of India news agency reported.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FOREIGN POLICIES, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, OPEC, PETROL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, RUSSIA, VENEZUELA | Leave a Comment »

WORLD BANK TO LOAN ANGOLA $1B

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 22, 2008

Nov 20, 2008 1:35 AM

The World Bank will loan an estimated $1 billion to Angola between 2009 and 2013 to help the oil-rich WORLD BANK LOGOAfrican nation diversify its economy, the World Bank’s director for Angola said.

“Between June of 2009 and June of 2013 we will make available an estimated $1 billion in loans to the Angolan government to help diversify the economy away from oil,” Alberto Chueca told Reuters.

“Angola is beginning to diversify its economy, but it still has a long way to go,” he added.

Angola rivals Nigeria as sub-Saharan Africa’s largest petroleum producer, with oil making up over 80 percent of the southwestern African nation’s exports and a projected 58 percent of gross domestic Secretary-General with Joao Bernanrdo de Miranda FM Angolaproduct in 2008, according to the World Bank.

Angola’s government, however, is keen to boost investment and production in non-oil sectors, including agriculture and banking, as it rebuilds an economy shattered by a 27-year civil war.

Luanda has received billions in oil-backed loans and credit from China to help rebuild ports, railways, roads and other infrastructure damaged by the conflict, which ended in 2002.

Source: Reuters

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘ONE NEWS – TVNZ’ (New Zealand)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, ANGOLA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CHINA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FUELS, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MARITIME, PETROL, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, ROAD TRANSPORT, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, WORLD BANK | Leave a Comment »

LA CAIXA SUPEDITA LA VENTA DE SUS ACCIONES DE REPSOL A UN ACUERDO ENTRE SACYR Y LUKOILLAS COTIZACIONES DE LAS TRES EMPRESAS SUBE MÁS DEL 8% – La suma de ambos paquetes accionariales obligaría a lanzar una OPA – La Caixa podría participar en la financiación de la otra operación

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 21, 2008

Actualizado viernes 21/11/2008 12:39

por Javier González

MADRID.- Criteria Caixacorp negocia con la petrolera Lukoil la venta de su participación en Repsol YPF Logo ruso de Lukoil - Foto - EFEsi ésta logra un acuerdo paralelo con Sacyr Vallehermoso. “Si – la compañía rusa – alcanza un acuerdo con Sacyr para la compra de su participación en Repsol, – la filial de La Caixa – podría incorporarse parcialmente a la venta”, ha reconocido Criteria en un comunicado remitido a la Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV).

Si Lukoil pactase la compra de la totalidad de ambos paquetes, el 20% de Sacyr Vallehermoso y el 12,68% de Criteria Caixacorp (9,8% directa), estaría obligada a lanzar una OPA por superar el 30% de la petrolera española, aunque el ofrecimiento “parcial” de La Caixa podría evitar este compromiso. Ambas compañías, que a diferencia de Sacyr Vallehermoso fueron suspendidas de cotización al inicio de la jornada, han vuelto al parqué.

La Caixa, que asegura “no tener conocimiento” de que el grupo constructor haya pactado nada con la petrolera rusa, ha anunciado también que celebrará una reunión con otras entidades bancarias para tratar la financiación de esta operación.

Otra inversora con la que podría estar negociando Lukoil es Mutua Madrileña. Según Europa Press, fuentes próximas a Mutua Madrileña aseguran que negocia la venta de su 2% de participación con la petrolera rusa.

Criteria Caixacorp (+0.22 / +9.44%), brazo inversor de La Caixa, ha puesto así nombre a los “contactos informales” con los que negocia la venta de “toda o parte” de su participación en Repsol.

Por su parte, Repsol YPF (+0.63 / +4.63%) es el centro de atención por el interés de Lukoil en adquirir una participación del 30% en la compañía.

Sacyr Vallehermoso (+0.74 / +10.05%), propietaria de una participación del 20% en la petrolera que es objeto de interés de Lukoil, no ha sido suspendida en Bolsa y su cotización se disparaba al abrir la jornada.

La principal accionista de Repsol puso a la venta sus acciones para poder hacer frente a la crisis inmobiliaria. Así, la constructora conseguiría liquidez para aliviar la abultada deuda del grupo constructor e inmobiliario, que asciende a más de 18.000 millones.

El presidente del Gobierno, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, dejó abierta la puerta a una hipotética entrada de la petrolera rusa en Repsol porque es privada y su accionista mayoritario, con un 20% de su capital social, es la compañía estadounidense ConocoPhilips.

No obstante, el presidente del Gobierno aseguró que el Ejecutivo permanecerá “atento para que las cosas se hagan bien y sean favorables a los intereses estratégicos de España”.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘EL MUNDO’ (Spain)

Posted in COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FUELS, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, NATURAL GAS, PETROL, RUSSIA, SPAIN, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

UE DESCARTA REDUÇÃO DE INVESTIMENTOS EM BIOCOMBUSTÍVEIS – Para o bloco, a meta de uso de um quinto de energia renovável até 2020 é essencial para a Europa

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 20, 2008

19 de Novembro de 2008

Eduardo Magossi/Agência Estado

O comissário da UE (União Européia) para Energia, Andris Piebalgs, disse nesta quarta-feira (19) em São Paulo que o bloco não deverá reduzir seus investimentos e suas metas de utilização de combustíveis renováveis em função da atual crise econômica. Segundo ele, a meta de uso de um quinto de energia renovável até 2020 é essencial para a Europa, não apenas política e economicamente, mas também como forma de garantir o suprimento energético necessário.

Piebalgs participou nesta quarta (19) de coletiva de imprensa na sede da Unica (União da Indústria da Cana-de-Açúcar) após reunir-se com representantes do setor sucroalcooleiro do Brasil. O comissário é responsável pela Diretiva Européia Sobre Fontes Renováveis de Energia, documento que reúne critérios que devem ser adotados para garantir a produção e suprimento de biocombustíveis na Europa. As metas da Diretiva se estendem até 2020.

O documento ainda será votado pelo Parlamento Europeu, o que deve acontecer em 8 de dezembro. Se aprovado, a principal meta é reduzir as emissões de gás carbônico em 20% até 2020. Nesta redução, 10% deverão vir do setor de transporte. Segundo o comissário, a maior parte da redução do setor de transporte deve acontecer pela utilização de biocombustíveis, embora não existam metas especificadas para etanol, biodiesel ou carros movidos a bioeletricidade. A segunda meta é de que 20% da energia utilizada pela Europa seja substituída por uma fonte renovável.

Piebalgs disse que os critérios adotados pela Diretiva não dão margem para questionamentos sobre barreiras não tarifárias. “Estive reunido com analistas brasileiros e nenhum deles levantou a possibilidade de que os critérios propostos pela UE possam gerar algum painel na Organização Mundial do Comércio”, disse. Ele também afirmou que a União Européia não terá condições de atender toda a demanda por biocombustível que será gerada com a aprovação da Diretiva. Ele acredita que 20% dessa demanda deverá ser importada e que o Brasil poderá ser uma fonte se atender a todos os critérios de sustentabilidade contidos na Diretiva. “O Brasil é um país responsável e sério e tem se mostrado capaz de garantir o desempenho sustentável do setor sucroalcooleiro.”

O comissário disse, contudo, que a Diretiva não tem nenhum poder sobre as tarifas existentes hoje sobre o biocombustível importado, mas essa discussão sobre tarifas pode ganhar maior relevância na rodada de Doha na OMC após a crise financeira mundial. Para ele, a energia renovável pode ser uma forma de alavancar a economia européia através de novos investimentos. Ele citou estudo recente da Organização Internacional de Energia que estima que o preço do barril do petróleo deverá ficar, em média, em US$ 100 no período de 2008 a 2015.

Unica

Antes da coletiva, o presidente da Unica, Marcos Jank, havia dito que a UE precisa definir com urgência uma política de matriz energética de longo prazo, englobando biocombustíveis, com a participação institucional do Brasil. Segundo ele, esta política deve ser baseada em critérios de sustentabilidade na produção e também no uso de biocombustíveis, que atendam às expectativas tanto dos produtores dos combustíveis alternativos como de exploradores de petróleo, refinadores e governos.

Jank afirmou que a visita do comissário é importante porque o parlamento europeu deve decidir até 8 de dezembro sobre a aprovação da Diretiva Européia sobre Fontes Renováveis de Energia, que propõe que os biocombustíveis utilizados na Europa emitam pelo menos um índice 35% inferior de gás causadores do efeito estufa em relação à gasolina e que sejam produzidos de forma sustentável.

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EX-ACIONISTAS DA YUKOS PEDEM INDENIZAÇÃO DE US$ 50 BILHÕES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 20, 2008

QUARTA-FEIRA – 19 de novembro de 2008

Mais um processo envolvendo a Yukos, a maior companhia de petróleo russa, pode alterar o rumo de Mikhail Khodorkovskyalguns trilhões de dólares de investimentos em energia. Após a sua privatização, depois do colapso da ex-União Soviética, a Yukos chegou a valer US$ 33 bilhões, mas foi desmantelada por meio de sucessivas fraudes e envolvida em operações de sonegação tributária, prejudicando seus acionistas. Depois de declarada falida, seus ativos foram vendidos para companhias de energia nacionais por valores insignificantes.

Alguns diretores da empresa foram presos, incluindo Mikhail Khodorkovsky, executivo principal, que está cumprindo uma pena de oito anos de prisão na Sibéria. Apesar de alguns poucos processos judiciais questionando as vendas dos ativos, porém, os maiores acionistas da companhia, que a ajudaram a se projetar após a privatização, não puderam recuperar seus prejuízos na Justiça da Rússia.

Agora, a GML – antes conhecida como Grupo Menatep -, um fundo de pensão que representava 40 mil empregados da própria Yukos, recorreu a árbitros internacionais reclamando prejuízos da ordem de US$ 100 bilhões. O grupo tinha 51% das ações da Yukos. Mas a questão pode ir além da discussão econômica. O tribunal privado de arbitragem The Hague começou a analisar um processo que irá determinar se a Rússia aplicou o tratado ECT – Energy Charter Treaty, destinado a reduzir as emissões de gás que geram o efeito estufa, além de estabelecer metas de sustentabilidade e desenvolvimento econômico e segurança dos sistemas de energia. A Rússia e mais quatro países – Austrália, Belarus, Islândia e Noruega (leia a relação dos países signátários abaixo) – assinaram mas não ratificaram o tratado.

Tim Osborne, diretor da GML, disse que a Rússia estava tentando evitar cumprir suas obrigações legais ao apresentar uma proposta que evitava compensar os acionistas de Yukos. “A Rússia estava desesperada para ver o tratado em vigor quando queria receber investimentos estrangeiros mas agora não quer seguir as regras”, insistiu.

Ratificação

A GML alega que, sob as regras do ECT, um investidor tem o direito de discordar de questões que envolvam atos de um governoe recorrer a arbitragem internacional. O tratado prevê que a decisão do árbitro é final. A Rússia insiste que os ex-acionistas da Yukos não têm qualquer direito neste caso, porque o país não ratificou o tratado.

Mesmo assim, vários advogados entendem que a Rússia e os outros países que não ratificaram o ECT poderão ser processados por investidores que se sentirem prejudicados. Na opinião dos especialistas Mikhail Khodorkovskyem investimentos em energia, o tratado foi assinado para dar mais segurança aos investidores no setor na década de 90. Agora, o tratado voltou a ser discutido quando se prevê que serão aplicados mais de US$ 25 trilhões em infra-estrutura de produção de energia antes das 2030, de acordo com estimativas de International Energy Agency.

Para Stephen Jagusch, perito de arbitragem de energia da Allen & Overy, o julgamento do caso Rússia-Yukos é importante e poderá influenciar outros julgamentos, apesar de a reivindicação da GML ser considerada “uma gota no oceano”. O pedido de US$ 50 bilhões poderá atingir US$ 100 bilhões.

A GML alega que o mais valioso ativo da Yukos foi confiscado pelas autoridades russas e vendido à Rosneft, a companhia de óleo controlada pelo estado. Seu fundador, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, hoje preso, também foi processado pela GML.

Prisões políticas?

Hoje baseada em Gibraltar, a GML ainda tem bens imóveis e outros investimentos na Europa Ocidental, e é controlada por Leonid Nevzlin, homem de negócios russo em exílio auto-imposto no Israel. Nevzlin deixou a Rússia depois que a Yukos foi desmantelada e tem várias ações criminais em seu país. Platon Lebedev, outro acionista da GML, também está preso na Rússia. Assim como Khodorkovsky, ele sustenta que os processos têm motivações políticas. A fortuna dele foi calculada pela revista de Forbes em US$ 2 bilhões.

Em janeiro, o oligarca Mikhail Khodorkovsky, ex-presidente da Yukos, chegou a fazer greve de fome na prisão para exigir um tratamento digno a Vasily Alexanyan, ex-diretor da companhia, HIV positivo, preso na mesma prisão. Alexanyan, que também é advogado acusou os promotores de reter medicamentos vitais para forçá-lo a assinar falsas confissões que incriminariam Khodorkovsky e outro sócio da Yukos, Platon Lebedev. As acusações apresentadas em janeiro, envolvendo lavagem de dinheiro, podem manter Lebedev e Khodorkovsky na prisão por mais 15 anos.

A Suprema Corte da Rússia rejeitou em janeiro o argumento de Alexanyan, que pretendia ser transferido da prisão para um hospital de civil. Ele também responde a acusações de lavagem de dinheiro, desfalques e sonegação tributária. Ele acusou os funcionários de prisão de mantê-lo deliberadamente em uma cela úmida e imunda, mesmo sabendo que o sistema imunológico dele é frágil, em represália à sua recusa em assinar as falsas confissões contra seu ex-chefe.

A Rússia ignorou os apelos do Tribunal Europeu de Direitos Humanos para a transferência de Alexanyan para um hospital. Terry Davis, secretário geral do Conselho da Europa, expressou a sua “preocupação” com o estado de saúde do detento, em uma carta para o representante da Rússia.

A prisão de Khodorkovsky foi espetacular, em 2003, quando foi retirado de um jatinho sob a suspeita de que se preparava para deixar o país. Acusado de fraude e sonegação tributária em 2003, ele foi condenado em 2005.

Inicialmente seu processo foi visto como uma “vingança” do presidente Putin contra o oligarca, por ele ter apoiado os candidatos de oposição em eleições parlamentárias.

Membros do ECT

A GML contratou um dos maiores advogados da área de arbitragem de da Europa, Emmanuel Gaillard, do escritório Shearman & Sterling, para conduzir o caso. Mas a batalha judicial será demorada, podendo levar algumas décadas.

O tratado ECT indica a arbitragem como o procedimento “standard” para solucionar disputas entre os investidores estrangeiros e os governos, principalmente quando o Estado é “sócio”. De acordo com a secretaria do ECT, já houve 20 processos similares, contra estados como a Hungria, a Geórgia e a Turquia.

Países signitários do ECT – Energy Charter Treaty:

Albania, Armenia, Australia*, Austria, Azerbaijão, Belarus*, Bélgica, Bósnia e Herzegovina, Bulgária, Croácia, Chipre, República Tcheca, Dinamarca, Estônia, União européia, Finlândia, França, Geórgia, Alemanha, Grécia, Hungria, a Islândia*, Irlanda, Itália, Japão, Kazakhstão, Kirgizstão, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lituânia, Luxemburgo, Malta, Moldávia, Mongólia, Holanda, a Noruega*, Polônia, Portugal, Romênia, Russia*, Eslováquia, Eslovênia, Espanha, Suécia, Suíça, Tajikistão, Macedônia,Turquia, Turkmenistão, Ucrânia, Reino Unido e Uzbekistão.

*Países que assinaram mas ainda não ratificaram o tratado.

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Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES, CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FRAUD, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, MONEY LAUDERING, PETROL, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RUSSIA | Leave a Comment »

AUTO-BLUES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008 at 10:40 am

I want to begin with this quote I pulled from Newyorktimes … quoting ROBERT JOHNSONfrom a long time ago.

So how did the famous 1953 quotation from the former General Motors president Charles E. Wilson — that what was good for our country was good for G.M., and vice versa — become a dated notion to so many people?

How true is that… I often do today’s companies abuse this government and walk on it’s people. Instead of helping the economy, so many giants have fallen and as they topple they wish to be propped up by the government… and in all seriousness… in turn propped up by us, the American people.

Now onto the next reasoning behind my theory in American Auto-Maker failing.

3. Tying up the new ways of fuel in lawsuits and legal battle’.

Both fuel makers and car manufactures were trying to tie up the development of alternative non-”gas” car types and energies. Other’s just refuse to take part. Such as Exxon… (link provided)

Last year, Exxon, which is based in Irving, Texas, celebrated its 125th anniversary, marking a straight line that connects it to John Rockefeller’s original Standard Oil Trust before the government broke up the enterprise. While other oil companies try to paint themselves greener, Exxon’s executives believe their venerable model has been battle-tested. The company’s mantra is unwavering: brutal honesty about the need for oil and gas to power economies for decades to come.

And to be honest, brutal prices are also well within many of these fuels companies and car companies mantras. Another great point is some of the great in’s and outs of legal/political things some of the automakers delve into… lobbying.

So far this year, G.M. has spent $10 million on lobbying, out of $95 million in the past 10 years,placing it at No. 16 on the site’s “top spenders” list.

Ford, which ranks No. 19 on the list, has spent $5.7 million this year, out of $80.6 million the last decade.

And the next great fail of both gas/car companies are their will to not change. The strangle hold on oil and the strict standard for car makers all are there to drive out competition and keep prices high. Although this is mainly targeted at auto makers… fuel and the automobile go hand in hand… and often think the same.

(Link)

Oil is not safe, and oil companies do not follow proper precautions. One of our worst ecological disasters ever, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, recently had its punitive damages reduced from what once totaled $5 billion to $500 million. And such pandering to an industry that can afford to pay for the damage they have done, even over a twenty-year span, if not within a year, should have to do so, as this would deter future careless hiring practices and other precautions not taken, both of which contributed to this disaster. And don’t forget Grist’s note, above, of the hundreds of instances of damage from hurricanes (which come by every year, by the way). The oil industry is more confident that they can get off easily when they make mistakes, and are therefore less likely to take necessary precautions.

Both industries see the government as a scape goat. The car makers of America probably feel as though they can just receive help and get off easy when it comes to repaying its debt of following its protocols. As

Barack Obama has said the auto industry should get assistance, “I think that it can’t be a blank check,” he said Sunday on “60 Minutes.”

Maybe, some of this money should have been spent in developing… or investing… or research? Maybe? The same companies that tried to lock up the production and research of Hydrogen fueled cars, by stating that people would be unsafe… that in effect they would be driving hydrogen bombs. Long story short.. the ruling went against them after many years stating that… in order to have a Hydrogen bomb you need uranium… of which a Hydrogen cars don’t have.

In any even, these companies should spend less money and time on stopping new technology and research and more time figuring out a way to secure a future. A lot of problems could be solved from these companies if less time was spent tying up other companies and events and focus on a good business model… one that focuses less others and more on the industry itself.

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Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FUELS, GASOLINE, HYDROGEN - FUEL CELLS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, NUCLEAR ENERGY, PETROL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, USA | Leave a Comment »

EXXON PLACES ITS BETS ON FOSSIL FUELS DESPITE UNCERTAIN TIMES – In terms of GDP, Exxon would rank between Austria and Greece as the 26th largest economy in the world. Since 2004, the company has made profits of US$180 billion

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 18, 2008

Sunday, Nov 16, 2008, Page 12

by Jad Mouawad

NY Times News Service, New York

Six years of relentlessly rising prices have showered the oil industry with record profits even as EXXON JIMAwhipsawing energy costs have left many Americans alternately furious and baffled.

Now that the roller coaster ride appears to be screeching to a halt, one corporate giant remains confident it can weather the slowdown and uncertainty better than its rivals.

“It’s not that we like lower prices, but our competitive advantage is more obvious to people in a low-price environment,” said Rex Tillerson, the chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest, mightiest oil company. “But in a high-price environment, our competitive advantage has been quite evident as well.”

However undaunted Exxon feels, it’s still facing more complicated scenarios than mere price shifts. It’s straining to adjust to a host of potentially seismic issues that raise pointed questions about its long-ExxonMobil’s liquefied natural gas plant RasGas, in Qatar, is pictured in this undated photo. PHOTO - NY TIMES NEWS SERVICEterm strategy. Oil reserves are harder to find, resource-rich governments have become more assertive, and global warming concerns have spurred forceful calls to action on environmental matters.

Moreover, with the election of Barack Obama, a new chapter is about to open for the country’s energy policy. Obama says he wants to move away from oil dependence, and his policies are likely to emphasize conservation, alternative energy sources and new limits on the emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.

FUTURE

The question for Exxon, which Obama repeatedly singled out as an exemplar of corporate greed during the presidential campaign, is whether the model that has served the company so well for so long will keep it competitive — or whether it will still be producing hydrocarbons long after the world has moved THE EXXON-VALDEZ OIL SPILL away from dirty fuels.

Last year, Exxon, which is based in Irving, Texas, celebrated its 125th anniversary, marking a straight line that connects it to John Rockefeller’s original Standard Oil Trust before the government broke up the enterprise. While other oil companies try to paint themselves greener, Exxon’s executives believe their venerable model has been battle-tested. The company’s mantra is unwavering: brutal honesty about the need for oil and gas to power economies for decades to come.

“Over the years, there have been many predictions that our industry was in its twilight years, only to be proven wrong,” says Tillerson. “As Mark Twain said, the news of our demise has been greatly exaggerated.”

From a purely financial standpoint, there’s no doubt that Exxon’s business strategy has paid off. Despite the broader economic turmoil, Exxon is worth about US$375 billion — more than General Electric, Bank of America and Google combined — making it the world’s largest corporation. EXXON CHART - COMPANY PROFIT GLOBAL WARMING

Its balance sheet is pristine and its credit rating is better than that of most governments. If Exxon’s revenue were stacked against the world’s GDPs, it would rank between Austria and Greece as the 26th-largest economy. As oil prices peaked this summer, the company once again set a record as the most profitable American corporation, earning US$14.8 billion in the third quarter. Since 2004 alone, the company has rung up profits of about US$180 billion.

Throughout its various incarnations — the Standard Oil Trust, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Exxon Corp and now Exxon Mobil — the company has been an ambiguous fascination for many Americans. It is an enduring icon, as lasting as Coca-Cola or General Electric, but also a perennial corporate villain, one that reminds the country of its dependence on hydrocarbons.

Rivals acknowledge its expertise around an oil field, even as they bristle at what they call arrogance. Exxon’s own executives brag that their company outperforms its peers by sticking to their playbook.

“Exxon is a very professional company,” says Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive of a leading EXXON - GAS STATIONcompetitor, Royal Dutch Shell.

Others say they respect the company’s clarity of vision.

“People know the rules when they work with Exxon,” said a top oil executive who asked not to be identified in order not to jeopardize his company’s relationship with Exxon. “Exxon can pick its battles. It’s a pretty good strategy to have if people know that you will fight to the bitter end.”

Examples of such grit abound. After a dispute with the Venezuelan government, during which Exxon persuaded a British court to briefly freeze US$12 billion in government assets to fight what it considered an expropriation, the country’s oil minister accused the company of “legal terrorism.”

Whatever its critics might say about the company’s hard-headedness, it has paid off in Exxon’s bottom EXXON - REFINERYline. Last year, Exxon’s profit per barrel was US$17, exceeding BP’s US$12 a barrel, Shell’s US$14 and Chevron’s US$16, said Neil McMahon, a Bernstein Research analyst.

No one is apologetic at Exxon about what it takes to get those results, especially Tillerson.

“The business model is based on a disciplined and rigorous approach to dealing with scientific data and facts,” he says. “What we do is largely invisible to the public. They see the nozzle at the pump, and that’s about it. They don’t see the enormous level of risk that is managed very well to get that gallon of gas.”

Exxon has battled powerful forces in recent years, locking horns with governments and multinational rivals from Africa to Central Asia, from Eastern Europe to South America. But last spring, the challenge struck closer to home — at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Dallas.

CHALLENGES

As oil prices zoomed above US$100 a barrel, a group of investors tried to force Exxon to lay out a new strategy for developing alternative fuels and addressing global warming. While the challenge was not COLLECTING PROFITS WITH A VACUUN CLEANERunprecedented — raucous shareholder meetings have been a staple for years — the dissent was led by a symbolic, if slightly quixotic, constituency: descendants of Rockefeller, who founded Standard Oil in 1882.

“Exxon Mobil needs to reconnect with the forward-looking and entrepreneurial vision of my great-grandfather,” said Neva Rockefeller Goodwin, a Tufts University economist, speaking for the family. The company, she added at the time, was focused “on a narrow path that ignores the rapidly shifting energy landscape around the world.”

Exxon’s top managers easily brushed off the Rockefeller revolt, as they have so many obstacles over the years. Even so, Exxon and the other oil giants are facing a stark new landscape.

High prices have meant stratospheric profits, of course, but they have also led to more restrictions on access to oil fields around the world, making it harder for companies to increase their production and replace reserves.

“The largest oil companies are under tremendous pressure,” said Fadel Gheit, a veteran oil analyst at Oppenheimer & Co, who worked for Mobil Corp before moving to Wall Street.

In the 1960s, the so-called Seven Sisters oil companies, including Exxon and Mobil, controlled most of ACCORDING TO THE GREENPEACE, 'EXXON IS A FOSSIL'the world’s oil reserves. Today, state-owned companies, like Saudi Aramco, hold the vast majority of these reserves, while other resource holders like Russia and Venezuela have become increasingly assertive about limiting access to their reserves.

“The problem is very real,” said Henry Lee, a lecturer in energy policy at Harvard University. “The oil majors are looking at a very different world than 20 years ago. That has big implications for the future of these companies. They all know it and they are all trying to figure out where they are going to be in 10 and 20 years.”

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Posted in COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, FUELS, GASOLINE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, PETROL, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, USA | 2 Comments »

OPEC REDUX: RESPONDING TO THE RUSSIAN-IRANIAN GAS CARTEL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

Published: November 14, 2008

Ariel Cohen (Middle East Times) by Ariel Cohen (Middle East Times) (*)

MOSCOW – Steadily and stealthily, a natural gas cartel has emerged over the last seven years. On Ariel Cohen, the usually obnoxious 'scarecrow' with a PhD ...Oct. 21 in Tehran, the Gas Exporting Countries’ Forum (GECF) agreed to form a troika which will direct the future cartel. Russia, Iran, and Qatar announced they will form a yet-unnamed group “to coordinate gas policy.” The troika will meet to coordinate and control close to two-thirds of the world’s gas reserves and a quarter of its gas production.

Russia prefers to coordinate energy policies with Tehran, recognizing that together they control roughly 20 percent of the world’s oil reserves and about half of global gas reserves, offering tremendous geo-economic power.

The United States should create an international coalition of energy consumers to oppose energy cartels. The U.S. Congress should also allow energy exploration in the Arctic, the Rocky Mountains, and along the continental shelves and expand cooperative gas ties with Canada.

Russia’s Global Gas Strategy

In the tight global energy market, Russia clearly appreciates the bargaining power that its energy resources provide, as it attempts to control energy exports from the New Independent States, such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Russia also has strengthened its ties to Iran, Venezuela, Libya, and other energy exporters. Recently, Moscow also launched a “charm offensive” on OPEC.

Russia is playing a sophisticated game to maximize its advantage as the leading gas producer with the largest reserves on the planet as well as the second largest oil exporter.

Russia’s approach was gradualist. Moscow had never openly shown enthusiasm about a gas cartel but waited for an opportunity to launch one. Yet, the cartel reportedly was a brainchild of the Russian prime minister and former president, Vladimir Putin.

Russia’s approach was also stealthy. Instead of announcing the cartel prematurely and spooking consumer countries, it quietly put the component parts into place. Until the Tehran declaration, Russia was able to appear reasonable.

At the Doha meeting in April, members of the GECF agreed to discuss dividing the consumer markets between them, particularly in Europe. Russia and Algeria are already major players there, and Iran may join them in the next decade. This will clearly challenge the European Union’s energy liberalization and gas deregulation policy, which took effect on July 1.

Geopolitical Clout

The troika and GECF members are planning to “reach strategic understandings” on export volumes, schedules of deliveries, and the construction of new pipelines. They plan to explore and develop gas fields and coordinate startups and production schedules. Despite protestations to the contrary, the GECF has all the trappings of a nascent cartel, and the troika includes its founding members. These founders will expand cooperation beyond their relationship through the GECF and drag other gas producers with them.

The new group will provide its three leaders with greater geopolitical advantage. If this new cartel expands, Russia and Iran will gain clout over Eurasian gas suppliers, such as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

Major gas producers such as Iran, Russia, Qatar, Turkmenistan, Brunei, and Venezuela have one feature in common: a democracy deficit. All three members of the new cartel share this dubious quality. Just like OPEC, the gas cartel will be a force that can be used to challenge and possibly weaken market–based democracies through energy prices and wealth transfer. Such a cartel may cut deals with undemocratic large-scale consumers, such as China, while forcing the West to pay full price.

Coordinated Global Action Needed

The U.S. George W. Bush administration barely reacted to the Tehran and Doha meetings. Officials express concern, but only in private. The European Commission merely stated that it opposed price-fixing cartels in principle.

As the case of OPEC demonstrates, closing markets to competition, promoting national oil companies, and limiting production results in limited supply and higher oil prices. Gas will not be different.

What the U.S. Can Do

The United States should open its vast natural gas resources onshore and offshore to further exploration and production and encourage its neighbors in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean to do the same.

The next administration should work with the European Union, Japan, China, India, and other countries to prevent the cartelization of the gas sector. This can be accomplished through cooperation with the International Energy Agency, which China and India should be invited to join, and by applying anti-trust legislation worldwide against state-owned companies that are actively involved in cartel-like behavior in energy markets.

Finally, the United States should work closely with those within GECF who oppose Russian-Iranian domination, including Azerbaijan, Canada, the Netherlands, and Norway. The National Security Council and the National Economic Council should take the lead in developing this policy. Unless buyer solidarity is translated into action, energy consumers and economic growth will suffer worldwide.

(*) – Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., is senior research fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Security in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation.

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Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, LYBIA, NATURAL GAS, OPEC, PETROL, QATAR, RUSSIA, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, VENEZUELA | Leave a Comment »

MELROSE TOUTS ACTIVE DRILLING PROGRAM IN EGYPT, BULGARIA & US

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Melrose Resources plc

MELROSE RESOURCES

Melrose Resources has issued its Interim Management Statement to cover the period July 1, 2008 to September 30, 2008 (“the Third Quarter”) and up to date. This information is provisional and unaudited and may be subject to further review.

Exploration

In October Melrose announced the success of the Kavarna No.1 exploration well, which was drilled approximately 7 km to the east of the Melrose-operated Galata gas field, offshore Bulgaria. The well

was drilled to total depth of 2,899 feet and encountered the top of the Paleocene reservoir target at a depth of 2,628 feet. The mud log obtained while drilling established that the reservoir formation was well developed and gas-bearing and the initial reserves estimate for the discovery is 24 Bcf.

The new discovery is located between the Galata field and the Kaliakra discovery which was announced earlier this year and which is estimated to contain reserves of up to 47 Bcf. Three future prospects exist on the same geologic trend and are candidates for drilling in 2009 and 2010.

Prior to completing the well, a strong gas influx occurred in the Kavarna No.1 well and for safety reasons it was necessary to plug the well which will now be redrilled. Subsequently an appraisal well will be drilled on the Kaliakra discovery to test for the significant reserves upside in the structure. First production is expected from the two discoveries in the second half of 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Development

Melrose is continuing with its active development program in Egypt. The West Dikirnis Phase II development project is progressing well with all initial design work complete and all major procurement contracts placed. The project is on schedule for the delivery of first LPG and gas reinjection in mid 2009. Also in Egypt, production was re-instigated from the Qantara field in October and the development projects at East Abu Khadra, North East Abu Zahra, South Zarqa and Damas are ongoing with planned first production on dates between December 2008 and September 2009.

In the USA, Melrose has continued with the development project on its fields in the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico. A total of 42 new wells have been drilled to date and injection of water as part of the secondary recovery project in the Jalmat field has commenced.

In Bulgaria, the project to convert the Galata gas field to a gas storage facility is moving forward and discussions are continuing with the Bulgarian authorities to define commercial terms. First injection in the facility is expected in mid 2009.

Production and Product Prices

Melrose’s net entitlement production in the Third Quarter totalled 6.0 Bcf of gas and 357 Mbbls of oil and condensate, representing an increase of 6% compared with the same period in 2007. Average daily net entitlement production in the quarter was 14.8 Mboepd (88.9 MMcfepd). On a working interest basis average daily production in the quarter was 34.6 Mboepd.

Financial Position

Total capital expenditure in the Third Quarter amounted to $55.4 million, of which $41.7 million was spent on development and $13.7 million on exploration activities. In the period January 1, 2008 to September 30,2008 capital expenditure amounted to $147.4 million, of which $94.4 million was spent on development and $53.0 million on exploration activities.

Melrose remains in a well funded and sound financial position and there have been no major changes in its balance sheet since the publication of the 2008 Interim Results. Group net debt at 30 September was $407.0 million. Increased bank facilities were put in place in June 2008 with the IFC and a syndicate of eight commercial banks. The senior facility has a facility amount of $440 million and the subordinated facility has a facility amount of $70 million. Both facilities remain fixed until 2012 and then amortize with final repayment due in December 2014. Availability under the borrowing base calculation for the senior facility currently exceeds the facility size and Melrose would be in a position to consider increasing the size of the senior facility in the future if required.

The existing loan facilities, coupled with good levels of cash generation from the business, will ensure that the Company is able to finance its planned investment programme going forward. The fall in the oil price has resulted in a decrease in revenue in the Third Quarter compared with the second quarter of the year. Melrose benefits from a number of advantages in the current lower oil price environment. Firstly, approximately 74% of Melrose’s net production in the Third Quarter was gas which was sold at fixed contracted prices. Secondly, under the terms of Melrose’s production sharing concessions in Egypt Melrose has a higher entitlement to production at lower oil prices. Thirdly, and most importantly, Melrose is the operator of its major properties. This gives Melrose the ability to determine the amount and timing of its capital expenditures in the light of available resources.

During the Third Quarter, the Company announced a maiden interim dividend to shareholders of 1.2 pence per share which was paid on October 17, 2008.

Outlook

In Bulgaria, pending receipt of the final approval from the Bulgarian authorities for the conversion of the Galata gas field as a gas storage facility, the Company has reduced the Galata production rate to around 11 MMcfpd and expects to cease production from the field at the end of this year to ensure sufficient gas is left in the reservoir to implement the project.

Because of this and some minor operational delays in Egypt, the Company previously announced last month that it believes it is prudent to reduce its 2008 net entitlement production guidance from 19.2 Mboepd to 18.3 Mboepd. The revised 2008 production guidance equates to 36.3 Mboepd on a working interest basis.

The result of the exploration programme in Bulgaria and reserve additions in the USA put Melrose on track for a strong performance in reserves replacement in 2008. The development projects which comprise the majority of Melrose’s capital expenditures are on schedule which is positive for production expectations in 2009 and beyond.

In the coming few months Melrose has an active drilling program. In Egypt the North Dikirnis No.1 exploration well is currently drilling and an exploration well at East Dikirnis (also known as North Tariff) is planned before year-end. In Bulgaria the re-drill of the Kavarna No.1 will be followed by an appraisal well on the Kaliakra structure. In East Texas, the Nunan No.1 well, which has multiple pay targets, is expected to spud later this month and will be followed by the Ramsey No.1 well which is twinning a well drilled by the previous operator and which discovered the target formation.

Commenting on this report, David Thomas, Chief Executive, said, “Melrose continues to make good progress in all three of our principal areas of operation. In the current environment we are seeing the benefit of our solid production base and of the established development upside in our properties. Drilling success has again demonstrated our ability to add value for the Company through exploration and with our current resources and asset portfolio we are well positioned to provide value growth for our shareholders.”

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PUBLISHED BY ‘RIGZONE’

Posted in ALGERIA, BULGARIA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EGYPT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FRANCE, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PETROL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

MELROSE TOUTS ACTIVE DRILLING PROGRAM IN EGYPT, BULGARIA & US

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Melrose Resources plc

MELROSE RESOURCES

Melrose Resources has issued its Interim Management Statement to cover the period July 1, 2008 to September 30, 2008 (“the Third Quarter”) and up to date. This information is provisional and unaudited and may be subject to further review.

Exploration

In October Melrose announced the success of the Kavarna No.1 exploration well, which was drilled approximately 7 km to the east of the Melrose-operated Galata gas field, offshore Bulgaria. The well

was drilled to total depth of 2,899 feet and encountered the top of the Paleocene reservoir target at a depth of 2,628 feet. The mud log obtained while drilling established that the reservoir formation was well developed and gas-bearing and the initial reserves estimate for the discovery is 24 Bcf.

The new discovery is located between the Galata field and the Kaliakra discovery which was announced earlier this year and which is estimated to contain reserves of up to 47 Bcf. Three future prospects exist on the same geologic trend and are candidates for drilling in 2009 and 2010.

Prior to completing the well, a strong gas influx occurred in the Kavarna No.1 well and for safety reasons it was necessary to plug the well which will now be redrilled. Subsequently an appraisal well will be drilled on the Kaliakra discovery to test for the significant reserves upside in the structure. First production is expected from the two discoveries in the second half of 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Development

Melrose is continuing with its active development program in Egypt. The West Dikirnis Phase II development project is progressing well with all initial design work complete and all major procurement contracts placed. The project is on schedule for the delivery of first LPG and gas reinjection in mid 2009. Also in Egypt, production was re-instigated from the Qantara field in October and the development projects at East Abu Khadra, North East Abu Zahra, South Zarqa and Damas are ongoing with planned first production on dates between December 2008 and September 2009.

In the USA, Melrose has continued with the development project on its fields in the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico. A total of 42 new wells have been drilled to date and injection of water as part of the secondary recovery project in the Jalmat field has commenced.

In Bulgaria, the project to convert the Galata gas field to a gas storage facility is moving forward and discussions are continuing with the Bulgarian authorities to define commercial terms. First injection in the facility is expected in mid 2009.

Production and Product Prices

Melrose’s net entitlement production in the Third Quarter totalled 6.0 Bcf of gas and 357 Mbbls of oil and condensate, representing an increase of 6% compared with the same period in 2007. Average daily net entitlement production in the quarter was 14.8 Mboepd (88.9 MMcfepd). On a working interest basis average daily production in the quarter was 34.6 Mboepd.

Financial Position

Total capital expenditure in the Third Quarter amounted to $55.4 million, of which $41.7 million was spent on development and $13.7 million on exploration activities. In the period January 1, 2008 to September 30,2008 capital expenditure amounted to $147.4 million, of which $94.4 million was spent on development and $53.0 million on exploration activities.

Melrose remains in a well funded and sound financial position and there have been no major changes in its balance sheet since the publication of the 2008 Interim Results. Group net debt at 30 September was $407.0 million. Increased bank facilities were put in place in June 2008 with the IFC and a syndicate of eight commercial banks. The senior facility has a facility amount of $440 million and the subordinated facility has a facility amount of $70 million. Both facilities remain fixed until 2012 and then amortize with final repayment due in December 2014. Availability under the borrowing base calculation for the senior facility currently exceeds the facility size and Melrose would be in a position to consider increasing the size of the senior facility in the future if required.

The existing loan facilities, coupled with good levels of cash generation from the business, will ensure that the Company is able to finance its planned investment programme going forward. The fall in the oil price has resulted in a decrease in revenue in the Third Quarter compared with the second quarter of the year. Melrose benefits from a number of advantages in the current lower oil price environment. Firstly, approximately 74% of Melrose’s net production in the Third Quarter was gas which was sold at fixed contracted prices. Secondly, under the terms of Melrose’s production sharing concessions in Egypt Melrose has a higher entitlement to production at lower oil prices. Thirdly, and most importantly, Melrose is the operator of its major properties. This gives Melrose the ability to determine the amount and timing of its capital expenditures in the light of available resources.

During the Third Quarter, the Company announced a maiden interim dividend to shareholders of 1.2 pence per share which was paid on October 17, 2008.

Outlook

In Bulgaria, pending receipt of the final approval from the Bulgarian authorities for the conversion of the Galata gas field as a gas storage facility, the Company has reduced the Galata production rate to around 11 MMcfpd and expects to cease production from the field at the end of this year to ensure sufficient gas is left in the reservoir to implement the project.

Because of this and some minor operational delays in Egypt, the Company previously announced last month that it believes it is prudent to reduce its 2008 net entitlement production guidance from 19.2 Mboepd to 18.3 Mboepd. The revised 2008 production guidance equates to 36.3 Mboepd on a working interest basis.

The result of the exploration programme in Bulgaria and reserve additions in the USA put Melrose on track for a strong performance in reserves replacement in 2008. The development projects which comprise the majority of Melrose’s capital expenditures are on schedule which is positive for production expectations in 2009 and beyond.

In the coming few months Melrose has an active drilling program. In Egypt the North Dikirnis No.1 exploration well is currently drilling and an exploration well at East Dikirnis (also known as North Tariff) is planned before year-end. In Bulgaria the re-drill of the Kavarna No.1 will be followed by an appraisal well on the Kaliakra structure. In East Texas, the Nunan No.1 well, which has multiple pay targets, is expected to spud later this month and will be followed by the Ramsey No.1 well which is twinning a well drilled by the previous operator and which discovered the target formation.

Commenting on this report, David Thomas, Chief Executive, said, “Melrose continues to make good progress in all three of our principal areas of operation. In the current environment we are seeing the benefit of our solid production base and of the established development upside in our properties. Drilling success has again demonstrated our ability to add value for the Company through exploration and with our current resources and asset portfolio we are well positioned to provide value growth for our shareholders.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘RIGZONE’

Posted in ALGERIA, BULGARIA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EGYPT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FRANCE, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PETROL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

OIL PRICES WIDENED U.S. TRADE DEFICIT – When it comes to everything from oil to olives, the U.S. buys more from other countries than it sells to them.

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

Originally published Friday, November 14, 2008 at 12:00 AM

by Ellen Simon

The Associated Press

That’s why we have a trade deficit — the gap between the dollar value of U.S. exports to other OLIVE OIL ... LOTS OF IT ...countries and the value of everything imported to the U.S.

The U.S. has had a trade deficit for most of the last 30 years, as the country started buying more goods manufactured abroad. (There was a brief surplus in 1992.)

The sharp rise in oil prices since 2004 widened the deficit, since that meant we were sending more dollars overseas for each barrel of oil. The related decline in the dollar for much of that stretch exacerbated the deficit further by making imports more expensive for Americans — and U.S. exports cheaper for the rest of the world.

The recent decline in oil prices will help ease the trade deficit, but won’t erase it. As of Thursday, the trade deficit in September was $56.5 billion, down from $59.1 billion in August.

Here are some questions and answers about the trade deficit.

Q. What counts as trade?

A. Some of what’s traded is obvious: stuff. Barrels of oil from Saudi Arabia and containers of coal from West Virginia. Jet engines, TVs, steel beams, toy trains, DVDs, lumber, diamonds, canoes and pens. Tomatoes from Mexico and chocolate from Belgium. Tracksuits from China and cashmere scarves from Scotland. Nuclear-fuel materials.

Also included are royalties and licensing fees. These increased by $900 million between July and August, coinciding with the Beijing Olympics.

Some of the less obvious components are the cost of freight and port services and travel and passenger fares. If you fly to Spain on Iberian Airlines, you’re part of the trade deficit.

Q. With which countries does the U.S. have the largest deficit?

A. The U.S. bought $27.8 billion more goods from China in September than it sold, $13.4 billion more from nations in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, $8.3 billion more from the European Union and $7.8 billion more from Canada.

The U.S. also has trade deficits ranging from more than $5 billion to $700 million with the following countries, listed in order starting with the largest deficit: Japan, Mexico, Venezuela, Nigeria, Taiwan and South Korea.

Q. Are there any countries the U.S. doesn’t have a trade deficit with?

A. Yes, but those surpluses are nothing to brag about. In August, the U.S. had a $1.7 billion trade surplus with Hong Kong, $900 million with Singapore, $800 million with Australia and $200 million with Egypt.

Q. What’s caused our trade deficit?

A. There’s political debate about what’s behind the trade deficit, but there are factors everyone agrees on. Most notably: The price of oil, which quadrupled between 2002 and 2006, accounted for half the deterioration in the trade deficit during that period, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Beyond this, opinions are split. A report in 2000 from a congressional committee on trade deficits issued two statements — one Republican, the other Democratic — on what caused the deficit. Greatly simplified, Republicans said the deficit increased as U.S. wealth increased and Americans bought more, while Democrats blamed a low U.S. savings rate and a decline in manufacturing.

Q. Why does the trade deficit matter?

A. You can think of the trade deficit as a measure of how well U.S. companies are doing relative to their overseas rivals — especially rivals that sell a lot of goods to Americans. A big trade gap might mean, for example, that Japanese and European automakers are selling lots of cars in the U.S. — while American car companies are doing little business in foreign markets.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE SEATTLE TIMES’ (USA)

Posted in COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FUELS, INDUSTRIES, PETROL, TRADE DEFICIT - USA, USA, VEGETABLE OILS | Leave a Comment »

SHARP DIP IN INFLATION MAKES ROOM FOR RATE CUTS (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

14 Nov 2008, 0000 hrs IST, REUTERS

NEW DELHI: Inflation dropped sharply to its lowest in nearly six months in early November as prices of metals and fuels fell, and analysts said the unexpectedly low figure gave the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) room to cut rates.

The substantial easing in inflation comes at a time when Indian policy makers are struggling to protect growth and shield the economy from the impact of the global economic slowdown.

India’s wholesale price index, the most widely watched inflation measure, rose 8.98 per cent in the 12 months to Nov. 1, well below forecasts for a rise of 10.37 per cent, data showed on Thursday.

It was the lowest reading since May 24, when the rate was 8.90 per cent and well below early August’s peak of 12.91 per cent.

Analysts said a decline in global commodity prices, robust domestic agricultural output and a fall in demand in a slowing economy helped bring the rate to single-digits well ahead of earlier expectations.

“Taking comfort from the decline in inflation and responding to the worsening demand outlook, we expect the Reserve Bank of India to cut the reverse repo rate by 100 basis points and the repo rate by 150 points by March 2009,” said A. Prasanna, an economist at ICICI Securities.

He said inflation was likely to ease to 4.5 per cent by March 2009. The repo is the central bank’s main lending rate while the reverse repo is the rate at which it absorbs excess cash from the banking system.

Strong evidence that India’s $1 trillion economy, Asia’s third largest, is slowing has emerged in recent weeks. Factory output has been sharply lower, manufacturers have trimmed output and put expansion plans on hold. Government excise receipts — factory gate taxes — contracted in October.

Economists and policy makers expect growth to slow to 7 per cent in the current fiscal year to March, from the close to 9 per cent seen in the previous three years.

SLEW OF MEASURES

Despite rebounding in September to a just respectable 4.8 per cent, analysts have warned annual growth in industrial output, a key indicator, was set for a severe slowdown after the credit crisis paralysed India’s money markets in October.

That pushed up firms’ interest costs as they battled tough business conditions and shrinking export markets.

Authorities have taken a slew of measures in recent weeks including cutting the repo by 150 basis points to 7.5 per cent and lowering banks’ reserve requirements to improve liquidity and boost growth.

India’s financial markets, which have borne the brunt of the financial crisis in recent months, were closed on Thursday for a national holiday.

The receding threat of inflation will cheer India’s Congress Party-led ruling coalition as it gears up for a string of state elections in coming weeks and federal polls by early 2009.

Suresh Tendulkar, a top economic adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, told Reuters the latest inflation data provided room for the RBI to act on rates.

“My hunch is the Reserve Bank of India will wait for one or two weeks and then take a call,” he said.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FUELS, INDIA, INFLATION, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »