I have to take some disagreement with the general views in this piece.
So I’ll take some issue with it.
OPEC Messes With Texas
by Kristin Tate 28 Nov 2014 | Brietbart
It’s official: OPED has declared war on Texas gas and oil. During a meeting in Vienna yesterday, OPEC countries kept crude oil output targets unchanged. The policy is likely to cause trouble for U.S. oil production, much of which is conducted in Texas.
As to not lose market share to the American fracking boom, Saudi Arabia has inundated the U.S. with cheap oil. The intention is to push U.S. producers out of the market space.
Crude oil is currently selling for around $70 per barrel. At this rate, much U.S. drilling could become unprofitable. Leonid Fedun, oil tycoon and vice president of OAO Lukoil, said that some U.S.-based producers are at risk of becoming “victims of their own success,” according to Bloomberg News.
Fedun reportedly said, “In 2016, when OPEC completes this objective of cleaning up the American marginal market, the oil price will start growing again. The shale boom is on a par with the dot-com boom. The strong players will remain, the weak ones will vanish….The major strike is against the American market.”
Fracking helped transform Texas into an energy powerhouse. The process — which involves blasting water, sand, and other chemicals deep into the ground the bring up oil and gas — has allowed for cost-efficient oil extraction. Earlier this year, the Lone Star State was projected to produce 3.4 million barrels of oil by the end of 2014. If this threshold is met, Texas alone would likely outproduce every OPEC nation except for Saudi Arabia, the world’s cheapest oil producer.
To combat the competition posed by U.S. fracking, Saudi Arabia has flooded the market with cheap oil. So far they have been successful, wiping out “hundreds of billions of dollars in equity value from the market capitalization of U.S.-traded securities,” according to the Dallas Morning News. […\]
Well, I don’t buy all that. As if lower prices hurt us not help us. The eye always has to be on the longer term. Not to be beholden to OPEC’s and Saudis’ agenda would be a good thing. We’ve been strictly reactionary too long.
Also break that down, the other people hurt by collapsing prices — which were over inflated to begin with — are Iran and Russia. Should we accommodate their wishes for higher prices? The market will drive costs down, with the right policy adjustments.
The expense of building our infrastructure was a big part of getting started. Now that is well under way. The cost curve in most things inevitably bends downward. But meanwhile, price reduction does break the bubble of conventional wisdom on oil — over the last six or so years. So those players are not happy.
I think it is a positive that OPEC has not cut production. Saudis know those high prices were helping Iran. I would hate to fall in line with the agenda of Russia and Iran.
If it is a “war”, let’s examine the other side’s motives for a minute. A war means that they, predominately socialist economies, are inflicting lower prices on us as a weapon. Do you remember price wars? Who benefits by those? So now we are worried about the lower prices of oil, because the prices of heating fuel oils are still high. Have you checked, too, the difference in prices between regular and upper grades of gas? I’ve seen 60 an 70 cents per/gal differences.High test is only where regular was months back. Since when are lowering prices a problem?
I’ve read elsewhere that at 65$ per/barrel fracking etc is still profitable. And Iran needs about 117 per/barrel to fund themselves.(part of which is their terrorism outreach) And the profit margin still appears to be there in the refined products.(crack spread ) Maybe its me, but I’d think our government poses a bigger threat to the industry(bottom line) than Saudis flooding us with cheap oil.
But the way it hurts those mostly socialistic economies is worse, in effect, than what we see here. The article mentions the mitigating factor, Texas is invested in much more than oil. Even in the Midwest there is a lot more to the economic story than oil prices. Contrast that with Mid East countries. They depend on oil revenue for everything. It pays their bills.
So who is hurting whom? Are we to believe they are intentionally hurting their own economies to spite themselves, just to make it harder on Texas, and the US, to carry out our policies? If they are, that is a competition(challenge) worth engaging in. We need to win in the end by not being hostage to their demands and desires. In the above thinking, I guess we owe a big thanks to Saudis and OPEC for propping up oil prices to help Texas, and develop our resources. In effect, that would mean we are cutting our throats by developing these resources. Thus, they want OPEC cuts and higher prices?
Note: “A crack spread measures the difference between the purchase price of crude oil and the selling price of finished products, such as gasoline and distillate fuel, that a refinery produces from the crude oil. Crack spreads are an indicator of the short-term profit margin of oil refineries because they compare the cost of the crude oil inputs to the wholesale, or spot, prices of the outputs (although they do not include other variable costs or any fixed costs). The 3:2:1 crack spread approximates the product yield at a typical U.S. refinery: for every three barrels of crude oil the refinery processes, it makes two barrels of gasoline and one barrel of distillate fuel.” – eia.gov
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