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Is the Syrian Mess Solvable?

Date: 11 December 2015

Business is business, so why not buy oil from ISIS. The Russians claim the Turks are doing it, and in all likelihood, even Assad is buying it. No one can fight a war without oil, according to Robert Bensh, partner and managing director of Pelicourt LLC oil and gas company. However, while the politically unhinged are coming out the woodwork, the more important aspects of this story remain elusive to the public.

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ISIS Oilfield Attacks May Be Inevitable

Date: 4 December 2015

There has been some revealing new information coming out recently regarding the strategy against ISIS. One aspect many find troubling is the apparent failure of U.S. and coalition forces to sufficiently target and destroy oil infrastructure located in ISIS territory, which accounts for a significant portion of the terror group's annual income.

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The Doom and Gloominess Orbiting the Energy Sector

Date: 1 December 2015

As the terrorist attack in Paris sparks worldwide fear of similar reprisals and a bloody shootout and hostage situation in a five-star Mali hotel exacerbates those concerns, global energy security reels under the pressure of unfathomable geopolitics.

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Trouble in Texas

Date: 27 November 2015

Crude oil just capped off a third straight week of declines, as WTI nears the $40 per barrel threshold. Goldman Sachs is once again raising the possibility of oil dipping into the $20s per barrel.  That spells more pain for the energy sector. Many companies have already slashed spending and culled their payrolls, but the total number of job losses continues to climb.

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Can Saudi Arabia Outlast Russia in the Oil Game?

Date: 18 November 2015

Russia's central bank recently warned about the growing financial risks to the Russian economy from Saudi Arabia encroaching upon its traditional export market for crude oil. Russia sends 70 percent of its oil to Europe, but Saudi Arabia has been making inroads in the European market amid the oil price downturn.

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The Oil and Gas Industry is Taking a Political Beating

Date: 10 November 2015

Oil and gas companies have had a tough time over the past year trying to weather the storm of falling oil prices. However, the political and financial winds are moving in the wrong direction for the industry, raising more "above ground" problems at a time that they can ill-afford it.

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Large-scale Oil Projects become Victims of their Own Excesses

Date: 6 November 2015

One casualty of the oil price downturn could be the megaproject.

For years, as conventional oil reserves depleted and became increasingly hard to find, oil companies ventured into far-flung locales to find new sources of production. Extracting oil from these frontier areas required advanced technology and a lot more capital: Ultra deepwater, Arctic offshore, heavy oil sands, and increasingly, the Lower Tertiary.

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A Potentially Hyper-cool Way to Travel

Date: 4 November 2015

For the first time in close to a century, mankind may be about to give serious attention to a technology that has the potential to be a true game-changer in transportation. 

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The Reno 411 on Lithium

Date: 29 October 2015

Nevada is booming as new lithium companies rush in to stake out targets and massive business development gets underway, from Tesla to Amazon and Apple. As the state's southwest corner fills up with new lithium players, Tesla gears up for its battery gigafactory and the world's largest data center sets up shop, Nevada is poised for one of the greatest economic revival stories of the century.

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Low Oil Prices and OPEC, Not So Happy Together

Date: 28 October 2015

We are a little more than a month away from OPEC's next meeting in Vienna on December 4, 2015.  OPEC altered the course of the oil markets last year when it decided to cast aside its traditional role of maintaining balance through production cuts. Instead, it pursued a strategy of fighting for market share, contributing to an immediate rout in oil prices. WTI and Brent then went on to dive below $50 in the weeks following OPEC's decision.

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Are You Giga-Ready for a Lithium Revolution?

Date: 8 October 2015

While other commodities are floundering or completely collapsing in this market, lithium—the critical mineral in the emerging battery gigafactory war—is poised to explode, and going forward Nevada is emerging as the front line in this pending American lithium boom.

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Oil Price Volatility as the New Normal?

Date: 19 September 2015

On September 10 the EIA reported a production decline in the Lower 48—essentially shale production—of 208,000 BOPD. That is a staggeringly enormous number, approximately 10 percent of the estimated global over-supply. Additionally, it was a week-over-week number, which makes it all the more impressive. Yet it received little attention through the week. Rather, Goldman Sachs was grabbing all the headlines with its $20 call on oil.

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Oil Market Fundamentals Will Need Some Magic

Date: 17 September 2015

The party is over for tight oil.  Despite brash statements by U.S. producers and misleading analysis by Raymond James, low oil prices are killing tight oil companies.  Reports this week from IEA and EIA paint a bleak picture for oil prices as the world production surplus continues.

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Oil Takes the Path of Least Resistance

Date: 8 September 2015

As traders, investors and pundits, we all like to think that what we do is akin to a science. We believe that by working harder and being smarter we can give ourselves an edge, that enough research will reveal to us the next move, either a long-term trend or an intraday blip on a chart, and that we can profit from that knowledge.

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Do Oil Sands Have to be Dirty?

Date: 2 September 2015

After decades of exhaustive attempts to overcome the dirty reputation of oil sands, we finally have an environmentally-friendly and low cost method to tap into these vast resources in the state of Utah—good news both for Mother Nature and all oil and gas investors.

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Are the Saudis Killing OPEC?

Date: 1 September 2015

"If you are the world's leading energy economy, you produce energy, that's what you do." 
"A government can stay irrational longer than it can stay solvent." 
"Even in the short term, you're dead, if you commit suicide." 
The first quote modifies a GEICO commercial describing a free-range chicken (If you're a free range chicken, you roam free, that's what you do), the second, the famous John Maynard Keynes quote about markets (The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent), the third, another famous Keynes quote (In the long run, we're all dead).

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A Potentially New OPEC(ing) Order at the Next Meeting

Date: 25 August 2015

OPEC next gathers December 4 in Vienna, just over a year since Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi announced at the previous OPEC winter meeting the Saudi decision to let the oil market determine oil prices rather than to continue Saudi Arabia's role of guarantor of $100+/bbl oil.

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A Far From Certain Outcome

Date: 20 August 2015

Recently, I wrote on these pages that a remarkable turnaround was taking place in the President's fortunes. It's an impressive display of rising from the depths of falling popularity last fall, and it is starting to be felt in many areas, with major impacts on the future of energy.

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