La ex esposa del presidente Hugo Chávez, Nancy Iriarte Díaz, no fue quien escribió una polémica carta de despedida que ataca directamente al mandatario venezolano enfermo de cáncer.
Culture, Humour, the Brave, the Foolhardy and the Damned
Culture, Humour, the Brave, the Foolhardy and the Damned
Curated by Investors Europe Stock Brokers
it is the first case anywhere in the world in which an appeals court has been asked to extend human rights to animals.
Petrobras has set a new Brazilian record for exploratory drilling by reaching a water depth of nearly 3,000 meters, the state-controlled oil giant said. The 3-BRSA-1296-SES well was drilled to a water depth of 2,988 meters - eight meters more than the 3-SES-184 well Petrobras drilled in February in that same basin - and a total depth of 6,060 meters.'
'Only six wells in the world exceed the depth of 3-BRSA-1296-SES, three of which were drilled by India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in that South Asian nation and three by U.S. energy companies Murphy Oil and Chevron Corp. in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Petrobras said..´'
The president of Argentina's Jewish organization AMIA, president Leonardo Jmelnitzky urged for prosecutor Alberto Nisman´s suspicious death inquiry to continue, and pointed out that the institution is waiting for the confirmation of the unconstitutional nature of Iran´s Memorandum.
After ten years of investigation which strongly pointed to Iran as the brains behind and Hezbollah the executor, Nisman last January filed charges against President Cristina Fernandez (wife of former president Nestor Kirchner), foreign minister Hector Timerman and several top officials from the Argentine administration.
Meeting with the mega-rich comedian turned champagne revolutionary is just the latest in a series of silly stunts from a party whose hypocrisy defies belief
'Well, his friend suggests, how about cutting back on some of the less essential members of his domestic staff? Does he really need a hairdresser on call 24/7, for instance? Or a permanent chauffeur? And what about his travel arrangements? Is using a commercial airliner out of the question, instead of always travelling by private jet?
“Nah,” says Brand. “Don’t be daft.”
The weird thing is, he'd be right. It would be a daft suggestion. Russell Brand’s transformation from a cynical, sexually-voracious movie star into an earnest, working class revolutionary is now complete. The disconnect – the yawning chasm – between Brand’s decadent, extravagant lifestyle and the left-wing values he professes to believe in hasn’t caused so much as a hiccup.'
Outside of individual's holding oil stocks, damage to the economy from the fall in oil has been pretty minimal so far. Indeed, the price cut in home heating oil and gasoline has probably outweighed the damage from lower oil prices… so far. Unfortunately, this situation may not last.
Analysts are starting to look beyond the boost to the economy from low oil prices and see the damage that is being done by worker layoffs, slowing business, and falling home prices in oil producing states. Indeed, one recent estimate suggested that up to four jobs could ultimately disappear for every one job lost in the oil sector.
There is little doubt that as oil prices fall, some people working in that sector will lose their jobs. What is less clear is the impact those job losses will have on other sectors of the economy. Since one person's spending is another person's income, as people lose their jobs in the oil patch, that should mean less spending at the local grocery store, restaurants, etc. Now of course, this fall in spending is partially offset by a rise in incomes from the fall of gas prices. But that gas price benefit is spread out all across the country, whereas the damage from the fall in oil prices is localized to certain areas with a lot of oil. Overall then, it's not clear how large the damage will be from oil's price collapse. But we do have a model to look to in this case: Australia.
Australia went through a mining boom over the last fifteen years that created a large new upper middle class. People working in Australian mines worked hard, but earned excellent wages and spent that money liberally. Stories of blue collar people with high school educations earning $200,000 a year and spending that money like water were common. The same thing has started to happen here in the US. Vice President Joe Biden recently extolled the virtues of new middle class jobs that could be created in the energy industry, especially around updating the country's infrastructure. Over time, if a lot of these types of jobs are created it can have a dramatic effect on an area, as Australia demonstrates.
Now though, that cycle is working in reverse. As oil prices have fallen, so too have the profits for oil companies and all the other companies in the oil supply chain. The process has been so fast that the economic damage probably has not been felt yet – almost like being injured and not realizing it due to adrenaline. Here again, Australia provides an economic model, and it looks like the damage in oil producing states could end up being widespread and long-lasting.
If the average oil producing metro area has 3% of workers employed in the energy sector and a third of these folks lose their jobs, then that implies an extra 1% of unemployment. That is not bad, but if that 1% of workers are supporting an additional 4% of workers (using the 1:4 rule analysts found), then that would mean a total of 5% in additional unemployment. This could easily lead to 10% unemployment up from a normal 5% rate. That level of unemployment would have a severe long-term effect on house prices, sales tax receipts, economic growth in the area, etc. This is exactly what Australia is experiencing right now. So while the short-term impacts of oil's decline have not been too bad, it certainly looks like there is more pain to come.
Unfortunately, as helpful as the energy sector was in buoying the county during the Recession of 2008, the energy sector may now hold down the economic expansion just as the economy is starting to pick up steam.
By Michael McDonald of Oilprice.com
Believe it or not, anti-corruption reform is happening in Mexico. This is highly significant. As FCPAméricas noted in the past, for years the country has been criticized by the OECD Working Group for not moving fast enough to implement legal changes necessary to satisfy its commitments under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.
A close ally of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and currently part of her government's coalition said “too much stealing” by Lula da Silva's ruling Workers Party (PT) is responsible for the country's political crisis and public opinion disenchantment with politics.
'The former trainer's most troubling allegation, however, is that some female dolphins prevented their new babies from breathing — by stopping them from coming to the surface. The trainer, who isn't a scientist, said he and his colleagues deduced the mothers did this because they didn't want their babies to "live in captivity."'
The former director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Spaniard Rodrigo Rato, has been detained by police in Madrid. Rato, who has also been Economy Minister during Spanish President José María Aznar’s administration, is accused of money laundering and fraud.
Rato is also one of several former managers under investigation for fraud as courts separately decide whether Bankia's 2011 stock market flotation was flawed. He denies wrongdoing.
If you thought Coke Zero's drinkable billboard was impressive, Carlsberg would like to serve you some outdoor advertising with a bit more kick.
The Danish brewer, with help from ad agency Fold7 and design company Mission Media, unveiled a beer-dispensing billboard at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane in London. The billboard was emblazoned with the headline, "Probably the best poster in the world." The brand was on hand to monitor the drinkers, making sure no one was under 18....
Argentina's cabinet chief Anibal Fernandez said on Tuesday he was convinced that Maximo Kirchner, the son of president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, would run for an elected post representing the province of Buenos Aires in the coming general elections of next October.
PARIS (Reuters) - Le parquet national financier a ouvert le 4 mars dernier une enquête préliminaire sur d'éventuelles irrégularités financières dans le partenariat public-privé constitué pour construire le stade de Nice, a-t-on appris mercredi de source judiciaire, confirmant une information de Mediapart.L'enquête, qui fait suite à un signalement de la Chambre régionale des comptes de Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, a été confiée à l'Office central de lutte contre la corruption et les infractions financières et fiscales, a-t-on précisé
Vladimir Poutine va-t-il se venger des pays qui ont pris des sanctions économiques contre la Russie en ne payant pas les dettes ? C'est une idée qui est passée par la tête du parti communiste russe qui et surtout du député Viatcheslav Tetekine. Il a déposé un projet de loi donnant au président russe le pouvoir de rompre les accords internationaux pour se venger des sanctions.
Vladimir Poutine contre l'Occident
Face à la pression de l'occident et notamment de l'alliance Union Européenne et Etats-Unis après la crise ukrainienne, Vladimir Poutine cherche par tous les moyens à se venger. Et il avait déjà commencé lors des premières sanctions économiques contre le pays en annonçant prendre lui-même des sanctions (sauf sur le fromage et le vin).
Hillary Clinton has promised to be a champion for regular US citizens as she kicked off a long-awaited second run for the White House as the commanding Democratic front runner. Clinton, who lost a bruising Democratic nominating battle to Barack Obama in 2008, was expected to travel soon to Iowa, the state that holds the kickoff nominating contest in early 2016.
The Vatican has declined to comment on reports that it has not accepted a new French ambassador because he is gay.
The French government proposed the senior diplomat Laurent Stefanini for the post in January.
It normally takes about a month for an appointment to be approved, but three months on the Vatican has kept a diplomatic silence.
Media reports in France say the French government is refusing to back down over the appointment.
In 2007, France proposed an openly gay diplomat to be its ambassador at the Vatican but was forced to choose another after months of silence.
The French Catholic newspaper La Croix reports that the Vatican has indicated the posting is unacceptable.
Au cours d’une vie, chaque être humain produit environ 38.000 litres d’urine, soit l’équivalent d’un gros camion-citerne.
Ce fluide qui jouit d’une très mauvaise réputation possède pourtant de multiples vertus pour votre jardin ! En effet, notre urine possède les trois plus importants nutriments dont une plante a besoin : l’azote (N), le phosphore (P), et le potassium (K).
L’utilisation de l’urine comme engrais permet d’économiser de l’argent, des combustibles fossiles (largement utilisés dans la production d’engrais chimiques) et de l’eau (pas besoin de tirer la chasse d’eau) !
The upstream oil and gas industry is not a black hole. There's no mystery wrapped in an enigma here.
There are a lot of meetings with engineers, chemists and geologists. There's a constantly evolving learning curve. And then there's all the regulations and compliance. But all-in-all it's pretty straight forward, that is, until the media gets a hold of it. That's when it becomes complicated. It's as though we are getting reports from the mysteries of the deep ocean or life in the great galaxies beyond. There is so much hyperbole and unsupported guesswork that investors don't have a chance. So, in a small effort to set the record straight, let's see if we can't dispel some of the misinformation.
Misperception #1: Goldman Sachs knows what is going on. This is incorrect. Goldman Sachs should not be quoted extensively. They are notoriously wrong when forecasting tops and bottoms. What they are good at is jumping on the band wagon and stoking fires. Their forecasting always seems to be done through a rear view mirror and their calls for peaks and troughs are always overdone. Back in July 2014 when WTI was peaking, they were calling for more, even as the dollar was showing signs of strength (and we know what happened there) and as oil inventories were beginning to wash up over our ankles. And then when we are forming a bottom in January and retesting it in March, they were calling for a deeper bottom. And then there was 2008. Remember the calls for $150 and $200 oil from Goldman and Morgan Stanley? That was right before we went to $40 and then some. (To be fair, Ed Morse from Citi called the top but he overshot the bottom. We're not going into the 20s).
Misperception #2: The "non-productive rigs" are the first to go. This statement is a little baffling because all drilling rigs are productive, some are just more efficient. H&P's Flex 4 and Flex 5 rigs are state of the art. But these rigs are stacking up just as fast as the less efficient rigs that require more man hours but are not as expensive to contract. Have a drive past H&P's Odessa yard. It's stocked full of these Flex 4s. Rigs are enormous which makes them costly to move around. You're not going to bring in a dozen or so tractor trailers and a few cranes for a rig move back to Texas or Oklahoma, and hire the same sized fleet to bring in the newest generation rig. The closer truth is that the ones that are running in particular areas—that have not been let go—will continue running in those areas. And what the oil companies are going to do is put pricing pressure on their driller for not having supplied the cat's ass in the first place.
Misperception #3: Supply keeps coming on because of innovations in fracking. Yes, fracking has gotten much better in shale formations but the real advances are already baked in. What has been occurring over the last 24 months or so is that more sand is being run per stage and stage intervals are more densely packed. Other than some new chemistry and a few software updates, that is the bulk of it. There really is no smoking gun between well completions in July 2014 when oil was at $100 and now--9 months later--when oil has been cut in half.
Misperception #4: Fracking has not gotten exponentially more efficient resulting in outsized cost reductions. Yes and no, but more "no" than "yes." The 600 lb gorilla in the room is competition. Fracking has gotten competitive, damned competitive. Five years ago fleet sizes were smaller and there were nowhere near as many players. But then came the boom and service companies did what they do best. They overbuilt. They were also cheered on by cheap and plentiful money because everyone, especially bankers and private equity, wanted in on this one. To get an idea of just how competitive the shale landscape has become, a stage in a 2012 Marcellus well fetched almost twice the same stage today. There have been multiple improvements in both design and implementation, but the heavy lifting on cheaper frack pricing has been competition.
Misperception #5: The Baker Hughes rig count has become irrelevant. Incorrect. The Baker Hughes rig count is always relevant. Remember, this was the weekly number that allowed us to hold a bottom at $43 in March. But because supply didn't immediately go lockstep with the falling count, analysts lost patience. They are now theorizing that rigs are so "productive" that the count no longer carries the weight that it once did. That's a tough position to take. We were at 1,600 rigs drilling for oil in October and we're now at 800. There is some truth that E&Ps are now favoring sweet spots but that won't make up for the 50% collapse in the count. Shale extraction resembles an industrial process more than it does wildcatting. There aren't many dry holes with shale. Microseismic advances have put an end to that as have data rooms stuffed full of old well logs that chart the potential of shales. Thus, most shale wells drilled today have a much better chance of being economic than step out and exploratory wells of the past. There is no legitimate model for 800 rigs growing US production past 8.9 mm BOPD in the Lower 48. And because its shale, and because shale is "tight", drilling must continue at a breakneck pace to grow production. Analysts looking for a more ‘spot on' number should start following the activity of fuel distributors who run nonstop between depots and frack jobs. Watch their sales for a more immediate indication of future production.
Misperception #6: We are running out of storage space for crude. We're not. We're going to be OK. Volumes have increased, especially at the oft mentioned Cushing, but Cushing accounts for only about 10% of US storage. Other storage areas are up but nowhere near as much. The reason is that physical traders like to park their inventory close to market and Cushing gives them that proximity. Also, Cushing is not a dead end. There are large pipelines that connect it to the Gulf Coast where storage is more plentiful and not nearly as full. Additionally, large inventory draws will be coming shortly with the advent of warmer weather.
Misperception #7: Shale wells have a productive life of only a few years. The truth on this one is slowly being sorted out and commentators are finally getting it right. Shale lacks permeability. Which means it's very "tight". It requires a frack job to free up the oil and gas trapped in its pore space. Fracking creates and sustains permeability and permeability is the pathway to the wellbore. Like any tight formation, oil and gas production is front loaded, meaning that most production will come right after stimulation. This results in excellent up front results but production tails off quickly, maybe even falling as much as 75% in year one and settling into something less for the next 10 or 20 years. This is called the tail and the tail is profitable, but only if the flush pays for most of the well.
Misperception #8: You can turn shale on and off. That's wrong. Shale takes time like any other industrial activity. Slowing down its progress is a bit like stopping a supertanker. You can do it, but you need a lot of room. Most drillers require contracts and breaking them can be painful. Sand can pile up at rail sidings and result in demurrages. Layoffs can take time. Regulatory penalties may force an operator into activity whether he wants activity or not. All this takes time to work out. And then there's always the stronger balance sheets that will drill regardless of price or that will drill and create a "fracklog" which is a newly minted MBA speak for a backlog of wells to frack. There is no switch you can flip.
Misperception #9: Oil is inversely related to the dollar. It is. This was a head fake. It's not a misperception. Match the DXY to Brent and WTI over the last 12 months. It's a perfect divergence. You want to bet on oil, then bet on the Euro.
Misperception #10: OPEC is done. Maybe, but the Gulf Cooperation Council is not. Collectively, the 4 GCC members pump more than half of all OPEC production. They also have very low lifting costs and enormous cash reserves. Additionally, they have stamina and are going to maintain OPECs position of no cuts. There's a long history of Russia or Venezuela filling reduced quotas. This time around the GCC is not going to let that happen. If Russia concedes there may be a cut in June. But it is looking unlikely even if they do. Look for Saudi Arabia to pick up market share.
Misperception #11: American shale producers are the new swing producers. No, their banks are.
Misperception #12: A deal with Iran will lower prices. Sort of. It will take Iran a year or two to add anything meaningful to our 93 MMBOPD global market but the fear of a nuclear Iran will create enough tension to offset the supply addition. Worries over a nuclear Iran, whether real or perceived, will create enough fear in the markets to more than counter balance the additional million barrels a day of supply that may come on.
In short, oil prices will increase as weekly EIA production numbers begin posting declines as we saw last week. Demand will increase. Inventories will start getting eaten into by midyear. Europe will contribute as will Asia and the Middle East. A shrinking Chinese market is still growing at 7% a year, and that market is much bigger now than when it was posting 10% yearly growth five years ago. Rich Kinder was right in calling the bottom in the low 40s and John Hofmeiser (former President of Shell Oil) and T. Boone Pickens are probably pretty close to being right with their call of $80 as the top in the next year or so. A solid $65 to $70 by year end is the more reasonable number and is just enough to hold off development of some offshore projects, oil sands work and a good amount of the non-core shale plays. A stronger dollar will also do its work here as will a Saudi Arabia hell bent on market share. There will be less and less for shorts to hold onto and very few will want to be stuck on the same side of the trade as the big investment banks.
By Dan Doyle for Oilprice.com
Misperception #11: American shale producers are the new swing producers. No, their banks are.