Yemeni Rebels Warn Iran Plans Another Strike Soon

The information has been passed along to the Saudis and the U.S., according to people briefed on the warnings

Houthi rebels said late Friday night that they were halting drone and missile attacks against Saudi Arabia. Leaders of the group have warned that Iran is preparing a follow-up strike to this month’s attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. Photo: Hani Mohammed/Associated Press

BEIRUT—Houthi militants in Yemen have warned foreign diplomats that Iran is preparing a follow-up strike to the missile and drone attack that crippled Saudi Arabia’s oil industry a week ago, people familiar with the matter said. Leaders of the group said they were raising the alarm about the possible new attack after they were pressed by Iran to play a role in it, these people said. It couldn’t be determined how serious the threat was and Houthi claims have long been met with skepticism by Western officials. But Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have both received the information, according to people briefed on the warnings. Saudi Arabia has beefed up its security in response, according to people familiar with the moves. Saudi Arabian officials are concerned about an another attack on the oil industry or a strike on civilian airports, including the one in Riyadh, the capital. Mohammed Abdul Salam, the Houthi spokesman, denied Saturday that the group had delivered any warning to foreign diplomats about potential Iranian attacks. A spokesman for Iran’s U.N. mission in New York didn’t respond Saturday to requests for comment. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have accused the Houthi forces of falsely claiming to have carried out the Saudi attack to cover up the role Tehran allegedly played in orchestrating the sophisticated airstrike, an accusation that Iran and the Houthis have denied. There are disagreements within the Houthi movement over how closely to align with Tehran, and the U.S., U.N. and Saudi Arabia have all sought to empower those Houthi leaders seeking to distance themselves from Iran, the people familiar with the matter said. Some Houthi leaders see Iran as their only hope of winning the fight with Saudi Arabia. Others view the move to deepen ties with Tehran as a mistake. If the warnings prove to be true, they could signal a break between Iran and at least some factions of the Yemeni rebels The Houthis seized the Yemeni capital San’a in 2014 and now hold a large chunk of the country’s north along the Saudi border, fighting a civil war with Iranian backing against the Saudi-led coalition. The conflict has left nearly 100,000 dead, with airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rocket attacks both claiming civilian lives. In recent days, the people familiar with the matter said, Iran let Houthi fighters know that they wanted their support in carrying out more attacks across the region. The Houthis responded unexpectedly, by offering a unilateral cease-fire on Friday to Saudi Arabia. The cease-fire offer raised hopes among Gulf leaders, American officials, and Western diplomats that it could drive a wedge between Tehran and its Yemeni allies. Mohammed al-Bukhiaiti, a member of the Houthi political council, urged Saudi Arabia to join them in the cease-fire. “Yemen has nothing more to lose,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “Yemen and Saudi Arabia have common interests and that is why we hope Saudi leadership will respond to this initiative.” Iran has dismissed the U.S. and Saudi accusations that it is behind the strike as propaganda meant to isolate Tehran as the Trump administration sanction’s the country’s economy. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have yet to provide conclusive evidence of any Iranian role. European leaders have said they haven’t seen any clear links showing that Iran launched the attack. The U.S. and Saudi are scrutinizing pieces of the drones and missiles recovered from the attack and reviewing satellite information as they try to pinpoint who launched the airstrikes. U.S. officials suspect that Iranian forces used a base in southwestern Iran to launch volleys of low-flying cruise missiles and advanced drones to attack Saudi Arabia. On Saturday, Adel al Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs, called the attacks “a criminal act conducted with Iranian weapons and so we hold Iran responsible for the attack that not only targeted the kingdom, but targeted the world as a whole.”

Saudi Aramco hires UBS, Deutsche as bookrunners for its IPO: sources

LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi state oil company Aramco has hired UBS Group (UBSG.S) and Deutsche (DBKGn.DE) as bookrunners for its initial public offering, two sources familiar with the matter said, in a sign that the deal is moving ahead despite a recent attack on Saudi oil facilities. Aramco finalised nine banks for top roles as global coordinators in recent weeks, Reuters has reported. More banks are expected to be named in junior roles, the sources said. Aramco has also added Barclays Plc (BARC.L) and BNP Paribas SA (BNPP.PA) as bookrunners, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Doubts had emerged about the timeline of the potentially $20 billion domestic leg of the IPO among investors after last Saturday’s attacks on two sites that usually process and clean up about 5.7 million barrels per day. Aramco has that by the end of September it will resume full crude output at Abqaiq and Khurais, the two oil facilities damaged by attacks last weekend that U.S. officials have blamed on Iran. Aramco’s planned meeting with analysts, ahead of the expected IPO in late November, is also scheduled for early next week, two other sources said. Aramco was not immediately available to comment. Deutsche Bank declined to comment and UBS did not respond to a Reuters request for comment over the weekend. Aramco’s Riyadh listing is the first step toward an eventual sale of up to 5%, sources have told Reuters, with another 1% expected to be sold domestically next year, followed by an international listing. Initial hopes for a blockbuster international listing were dashed when the share sale was halted last year amid a debate over an overseas venue and valuation. Aramco had said the delay was due to its deal to acquire a 70% stake in petrochemicals maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp (2010.SE) .Although Crown Prince Mohammed put a $2 trillion valuation on the company in early 2016, bankers and company insiders say Aramco’s value is closer to $1.5 trillion.

Trump Repeatedly Pressed Ukraine President to Investigate Biden’s Son

Interactions under focus amid whistleblower complaint on U.S. president’s dealings with a world leader
President Trump at the White House on Friday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Image

President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden ’s son, according to people familiar with the matter, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani on a probe that could hamper Mr. Trump’s potential 2020 opponent. “He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” if his lawyer’s assertions that Mr. Biden acted improperly as vice president were true, one of the people said. Mr. Giuliani has suggested Mr. Biden’s pressure on Ukraine to fight corruption had to do with an investigation of a gas company for which his son was a director. A Ukrainian official this year said he had no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden or his son Hunter Biden. Mr. Trump in the call didn’t mention a provision of U.S. aid to Ukraine, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on any investigation. The interactions between the president, Mr. Giuliani and Ukraine have come under scrutiny in recent days in the wake of a whistleblower complaint that a person familiar with the matter said involves the president’s communications with a foreign leader. The complaint, which the Washington Post reported centers on Ukraine, has prompted a new standoff between Congress and the executive branch.

Continue reading “Trump Repeatedly Pressed Ukraine President to Investigate Biden’s Son”

U.S. to deploy military forces to Saudi Arabia, UAE after drone attacks on oil sites

“The president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces which will be defensive in nature,” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Friday.

Image: Mark Esper
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the troop deployment to Saudia Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is happening as Iran has engaged in a “significant escalation of violence” in the region.Saul Loeb / AFP – Getty Images file

Costly Saudi defenses prove no match for drones, cruise missiles

Smoke is seen following a fire at Aramco facility in the eastern city of Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) – Billions of dollars spent by Saudi Arabia on cutting edge Western military hardware mainly designed to deter high altitude attacks has proved no match for low-cost drones and cruise missiles used in a strike that crippled its giant oil industry. Saturday’s assault on Saudi oil facilities that halved production has exposed how ill-prepared the Gulf state is to defend itself despite repeated attacks on vital assets during its four-and-a-half year foray into the war in neighboring Yemen. Saudi Arabia and the United States have said they believe Iran, the kingdom’s arch-enemy, was probably behind the strike. On Tuesday, a U.S. official said Washington believed the attack originated in southwestern Iran. Three U.S. officials said it involved both cruise missiles and drones. Iran maintains the largest ballistic and cruise missile capabilities in the Middle East that could overwhelm virtually any Saudi missile defense system, according to think-tank CSIS, given the geographic proximity of Tehran and its regional proxy forces. But even more limited strikes have proved too much for Saudi Arabia, including recent ones by Houthis who claimed successful attacks on a civilian airport, oil pumping stations and the Shaybah oilfield. “We are open. Any real facility has no real coverage,” a Saudi security source said. The Sept. 14 assault on two plants belonging to state oil giant Saudi Aramco was the worst on regional oil facilities since Saddam Hussein torched Kuwait’s oil wells during the 1990-91 Gulf crisis. The company said on Tuesday that production would be back to normal quicker than initially feared, but the attack nonetheless shocked oil markets. Riyadh said preliminary results indicated the weapons used were Iranian but the launch location was still undetermined. Authorities initially specified drones, but three U.S. officials said the use of cruise missiles and drones indicated a higher degree of complexity and sophistication than initially thought. “The attack is like Sept. 11th for Saudi Arabia, it is a game changer,” said a Saudi security analyst who declined to be named. “Where are the air defense systems and the U.S. weaponry for which we spent billions of dollars to protect the kingdom and its oil facilities? If they did this with such precision, they can also hit the desalination plants and more targets.” The main Saudi air defense system, positioned mainly to defend major cities and installations, has long been the U.S.-made long-range Patriot system. It has successfully intercepted high-altitude ballistic missiles fired by the Houthis at Saudi cities, including the capital Riyadh, since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen against the group in March 2015.

But since drones and cruise missiles fly more slowly and at lower altitudes, they are difficult for Patriots to detect with adequate time to intercept.

“Drones are a huge challenge for Saudi Arabia because they often fly under the radar and given long borders with Yemen and Iraq, the kingdom is very vulnerable,” said a senior Gulf official.  Saturday’s strikes on Abqaiq and Khurais that damaged the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility and knocked out 5.7 million barrels per day of production. A Gulf source familiar with Aramco operations said the security system in place at Abqaiq is imperfect against drones. Authorities are investigating whether radar picked up the drones which struck in pre-dawn darkness, the source added. An executive at a Western defense firm dealing with Saudi Arabia said that as of a year ago there were Patriots protecting Abqaiq. Asked why Saudi defenses did not intercept Saturday’s attack, coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki told reporters: “More than 230 ballistic missiles were intercepted by coalition forces…we have the operational capacity to counter all the threats and protect the national security of Saudi Arabia.”

BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT!

The government media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It is unclear if U.S.-built short-range Avengers and medium-range I-Hawks and Swiss short-range Orelikons which the kingdom owns are currently operational The Saudi security source and two industry sources said Riyadh has been aware of the drone threat for several years and has been in discussions with consultants and vendors for possible solutions but has not installed anything new. The security source said authorities moved a Patriot battery to the Shaybah oilfield after it was hit last month. There are Patriots at Aramco’s Ras Tanura refinery. “Most conventional air defense radar is designed for high- altitude threats like missiles,” said Dave DesRoches at the National Defense University in Washington.

“Cruise missiles and drones operate close to the earth, so they aren’t seen because of the earth’s curvature. Drones are too small and don’t have heat signature for most radar.”

Intercepting drones possibly worth several hundred dollars with Patriots is also extremely expensive, with each missile costing around $3 million. Jorg Lamprecht, CEO and co-founder of U.S. airspace security firm Dedrone, said there are more effective ways of dealing with drones, especially in swarms. A combination of radio frequency detectors and radar detect them, high-powered cameras verify payloads and technologies like jamming demobilize them, he said. But the latest technology presents its own challenges: frequency jamming could disrupt industrial activities and have negative health effects on people. Armed drones are becoming more readily available, so the threat to vital infrastructure is rising disproportionately, according to U.S. intelligence consultancy Soufan Group. Saudi policymakers have long dreaded a strike against a desalination plant in Jubail which serves central and eastern Saudi Arabia. A successful attack would deprive millions of people of water and could take a long time to repair, the Saudi source said. “It’s a very target-rich environment,” said an industry source with knowledge of Saudi Arabia. “They’ve kicked them right where it hurts and there’s plenty more of them around.”

Vanguard Bets on Robo-Only Adviser Money manager is aiming to capture young

So how well  has the  Wealthfront Robo Bow job worked so far. Why its losoing money!  its TOTAL 5 year return is 5.99% BUT BUT when you do the calculation its 1.19% per year… We have taken money from these assholes over and over again in our S&P500 trades……..

Here is a performance chart they hope the world never sees… Please millennial assholes send them your money…. So we can take it!

Indexing giant Vanguard Group plans to launch a robo-advisory service that cuts out human financial advisers completely.

Nick Note: Further PROOF their is a GOD who loves us. They came up with something dumber then algo trading… Now we get to Fuck their ha ha ha Robo Advisers… YEA BABBY! this is a further sgn of their desperation since everthing they touch turns toshit and loses money!!!

Vanguard is pilot-testing the new platform, in a sign of how the world’s second-largest money manager is aiming to capture younger, tech-savvy investors. NN no its a sign of how desperate they are to figure ut how to make money for teir clients

Vanguard’s robo-advisory push would increase the competition with companies including Charles Schwab Corp. and Betterment LLC for the money and data of this younger demographic. The automatic service would target fees of 0.15%, or $15 for every $10,000 invested, a price that undercuts many rivals. The total cost is expected to be about $20 on every $10,000 for individual investors once investment fees on the Vanguard funds the service will use are factored in. Vanguard will have to contend with those earlier entrants into the fully automated robo-advisory market. The firm has also had to invest in improving its technology infrastructure after dealing with several website glitches in recent years. The service, Vanguard Digital Advisor, will be offered to individual investors and members of workplace 401(k) plans when it goes live. The platform, which is only open to users by invitation for now, was disclosed in a regulatory filing this week. It is unclear when Vanguard will start to market the service more broadly. Within the 401(k) market, Vanguard’s new service would be part of a trend toward offering more personalized portfolios ( NN get this a automated Robo Blow me service is more personalized according to these clueless assholes) at a low cost with the aid of technology. The firm is considering ways to allow users to set more customized financial goals beyond how much they plan to save for retirement. Vanguard became a roughly $5.7 trillion household name on the back of index funds that track markets and don’t charge high fees. The Malvern, Pa., firm’s lower costs ignited a price war that is roiling the money-management world. It is now seeking new ways to press further into the business of advice-giving and become a bigger force in all aspects of the financial lives of individuals. The firm’s new digital service works like this: Users will feed the system with personal data and financial goals such as how much they hope to amass by retirement, according to the filing. Algorithms will then construct a portfolio with risk and return characteristics that it devises as the best fit for the person. Investors will pay for Vanguard funds used to build their portfolios as well as the service. The account minimum is $3,000 for individual investors. Over time, Vanguard is hoping to add new functions to the new platform including tools that could help users plan for college, save for a home or set aside emergency funds, according to the regulatory filing. Vanguard already has an offering that pairs computer algorithm-driven advice with help from about 750 of its own advisers who give telephone and online assistance. That service, Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, charges not more than 0.3% for advice, on top of product fees, and has an account minimum of $50,000. (NN notice how they don’t mention how much money this bullshit is making) This hybrid algo-driven and personal-advice offering has ballooned into a roughly $140 billion advisory behemoth since launching in 2015, in large part thanks to its efforts to target existing Vanguard clients. The offering has dwarfed robo-advisory pioneers such as Wealthfront and Betterment LLC, which each manage about $20 billion. As of June 30, Charles Schwab’s two online offerings managed $41 billion. Vanguard’s push into the business of digitized advice-giving is being watched closely by wealth managers.

Saudis reveal extent of damage to Kuharis oilfield following attack

Abqaiq crude processing facility
Abqaiq crude processing facility

ABQAIQ, SAUDI ARABIA (Bloomberg) – Saudi Aramco revealed the significant damage caused by aerial strikes on its Khurais oil field and Abqaiq crude-processing plant last weekend, and insisted that the sites will be back to pre-attack output levels by the end of the month. Aramco took reporters for a first look inside the facilities, where equipment was scorched and ruptured by the assault on Saturday. In one area lay a pile of debris – a mess of oil melted to asphalt, twisted and charred metal grates, and pieces of fire hose – that stank of tar. While officials promised the plants would be repaired quickly, they also said they were still in the process of evaluating whether some equipment could be fixed or would have to be completely replaced. The Khurais field and processing plant resumed 30% of production within 24 hours of the strike and will produce 1.2 million barrels a day by the end of September, Fahad Al Abdulkareem, general manager for Aramco’s southern area oil operations, said at a briefing on Friday. Workers are there 24 hours a day to speed the repairs, but the site showed significant damage. The Khurais field has a maximum output capacity of 1.45 MMbpd and processes all of its oil on site, according to Al Abdulkareem. The assault affected four of its crude-stabilization units — 90-meter (300-foot) towers that reduce pressure and remove gas from the crude. One of the columns shown to reporters was a charred wreck, and at least one other was even more badly damaged, he said. Aramco also showed reporters pipes that had been pierced by fragments from the missiles, causing them to spew oil, feeding the fires. Workers were busy replacing segments of piping and insulation at the facilities, and conducting tests on the damaged crude-stabilization columns. The world’s biggest crude exporter has vowed a swift restoration of output at Khurais and Abqaiq after the attack by drones and missiles disabled 5% of global supply. There’s concern in the market about how long it will take the kingdom to fully restore lost production as it depletes inventories to meet supply commitments and operates without its usual buffer of spare capacity. Saudi and U.S. officials have said that the drones and missiles used in the attack were made by Iran, though Tehran has denied involvement. The incident has ratcheted up instability in the world’s most important oil-producing region, where tensions were already high following several attacks on Saudi oil tankers and pipelines in recent months. The tour of the Abqaiq plant, which processes crude oil from fields including Ghawar, the kingdom’s largest, also showed extensive damage. The smell of natural gas and other hydrocarbons hung over some areas of the facility. Huge sheets of twisted metal that had been struck by missiles lay next to damaged tanks. The facility was struck 18 times, with five hits on crude-stabilization towers and 11 on spheroids, which separate natural gas from oil, said Khaled Al Buraik, Aramco’s vice president for southern-area oil production. At least three of the towers showed heavy damage, including large holes surrounded by scorching. Some of them may need to be replaced, he said. Large holes were visible on the tops of rounded tanks called “spheroids,” which had been surrounded with scaffolding as lines of workers went up and down, evaluating whether they could be fixed, or would have to be replaced. Abqaiq’s throughput before the attack was about 4.9 MMbpd, and on Tuesday Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said it was processing about 2 MMbpd. It should return to pre-attack levels by the end of September, he said. Aramco has ramped up output at its offshore fields — making more of its heavier crude grades available to customers — and is also tapping oil in storage to meet export commitments. A return to the company’s full 12 MMbpd capacity is unlikely before the end of November, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the energy minister, said Tuesday.

“Rogue Oil” Trader Causes $320 Million Loss in OIL at Mitsubishi Corp. Unit

(Bloomberg) — Mitsubishi Corp. said a rogue oil trader at its Singapore unit lost $320 million in unauthorized transactions disguised as legitimate hedges for customers. The employee, a Chinese national working at Petro-Diamond Singapore Pte, has been fired and reported to police, Mitsubishi said in a statement, declining to name him. The trader, hired in November 2018 to handle oil business with China, “repeatedly” engaged in the unauthorized deals since January, disguising them to “look like hedge transactions,” the parent company said. A person familiar with the matter identified the trader as Wang Xingchen, also known as Jack Wang. Calls to Wang’s mobile phone wouldn’t connect, while a person who answered the phone at Petro-Diamond’s Singapore office said he has left the company. No other current contact details were available. A loss of $320 million would be less than one-tenth of Mitsubishi’s projected profit for the year. In August, the giant trading house, the biggest of Japan’s so-called sogo shosha, forecast full year net income of 600 billion yen ($5.6 billion). In the latest scandal to befall the industry, Mitsubishi said the employee manipulated data in Petro-Diamond’s risk management system so that the transactions appeared to be associated with actual trades with customers.“Large losses from derivatives trading” were incurred since July as the price of oil dropped, and the unit began an investigation into the transactions in the middle of August when the employee was absent from work, Mitsubishi said.  Petro-Diamond quickly closed the derivatives positions once it realized they could result in losses for the company and also determined that they weren’t associated with any transactions with customers. Mitsubishi said investigations confirmed that its unit had “sufficient internal controls in place.” The trader was fired Sept. 18 and reported to police the next day. The Singapore Police Force confirmed that a report has been lodged, while declining to give any other information. Nick Bit: Oh shit NOT Mr Rogue again…… hesssss  back. Hell whats a little one third of a trillion dollars LOSS  among friends…. I keep telling you we Take money from  the biggest ASSHOLE AND IDIOT  banks in the world. AND THEY DON’T LIKE IT MERRY CHRISTMAS HO HO HO HO

Fed Pumps $75 Billion Into Financial System Again

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York once again stepped into the money market to supply additional liquidity on Thursday morning.

10th October 1966: An underground gold vault in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. (Photo by Harry Benson/Express/Getty Images)
Harry Benson/Express/Getty Images

The N.Y. Fed injected $75 billion into the market for overnight repurchase agreements, known as repos. The Fed had intervened in the market on Tuesday and Wednesday after interest rates spiked higher at the start of the week. The repo market is at the center of the U.S. financial system but it is little understood even by most people working in finance. Big Wall Street banks borrow cash to finance their securities portfolios by selling securities and promising to buy them back the following day. The cash comes from investors with lots of dollars looking to make a little extra interest, such as money-market funds and government-sponsored housing agencies such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan bank. Typically, the interest rate on repos falls within the Fed’s target range for the fed funds rate, the rate banks pay to borrow reserves from each other. Here’s how it works. Traders at the big Wall Street firms put in bids to borrow cash overnight and cash investors accept bids, typically striking deals by 10 a.m. The bids are promises to pay an interest rate and a pledge to post securities as collateral. After the market closes at the end of the day, the securities get allocated to the cash investors. The following day, at 8:30 in the morning, the repos get unwound. The cash investors get their cash back and the Wall Street banks get their securities back. Then it starts all over again. Why do the big Wall Street banks fund themselves this way? It’s really just a more intense version of the basic model of banking: borrow short-term, lend long-term, and make your profit on the difference between the rates. In this case, however, the big banks are borrowing the cash overnight and using it to buy longer-term bonds paying higher rates of interest. If collateralizing a loan with securities that were purchased with the loan sounds strange just remember that this is not really that much different than how a car loan or a mortgage is collateralized.

The Fed’s Secured Funding Overnight Rate

Usually, the repo process is nearly seamless. Most of the previous day’s trades just get rolled over into the next day’s repos, with a slight tinkering of the rates and slight shifts in the collateral.  But this week has been unusual. At the start of the week, the repo rate unexpectedly jumped higher, indicating that there was a shortage of dollars compared with demand. On Tuesday, the Fed stepped into the market by supplying $53 billion of cash in exchange for securities. On Wednesday, the Fed supplied $75 billion of cash–and said it had bids for an additional $5 billion of repos. On Thursday, the Fed supplied $75 billion again and said this time the facility was oversubscribed by nearly $9 billion

IEA: Member countries hold 15 days’ worth of global oil demand in emergency reserves

PARIS – The International Energy Agency, founded in 1974 to help non-OPEC member countries coordinate a collective response to major supply disruptions, issued a statement today on the crude supply disruption situation in Saudi Arabia.  “Recent events are a reminder that oil security cannot be taken for granted, even at times when markets are well supplied, and that energy security remains an indispensable pillar of the global economy,” said Dr. Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director. “This is why the IEA remains vigilant about the risk of disruptions to global oil supplies, whether they are caused by extreme weather events such as hurricanes, major technical outages, or geopolitical crises, and stands ready to act when needed.”

The IEA statement reads, in part:

“The International Energy Agency remains in regular contact with authorities in Saudi Arabia and other major producing and consuming countries, as well as industry, following Saturday’s attacks. We welcome the statement made by Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman on bringing Saudi Arabia’s suspended production back online.”“For now, markets remain well supplied with ample stocks available. IEA member countries hold about 1.55 Bbbl of emergency stocks in government-controlled agencies, which amount to 15 days of total world oil demand. These can be drawn upon in an emergency collective action and would be more than enough to offset any significant disruption in supplies for an extended period of time.” “In addition, IEA member countries also hold 2.9 Bbbl of industry stocks as of the end of July, a two-year high that can cover more than a month of world oil demand. These stocks include about 650 MMbbl of obligated emergency stocks, which can be made immediately available to the market when governments lower their holding requirements.” “Taken together, these emergency reserves can bring ample additional supply to the global market if needed.” International Energy Agency member countries include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.  IEA association countries include: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Singapore, South Africa, and Thailand.

Trump sees many options short of war with Iran after attacks on Saudis

listen to this asshole and you will end up with nothing. trump has no options. he has squandered away the us lead. best thin he can do is learn Farsi and go to Iran and apologize

LOS ANGELES/JEDDAH (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday there were many options short of war with Iran after U.S. ally Saudi Arabia displayed remnants of drones and missiles it said were used in a crippling attack on its oil sites that was “unquestionably sponsored” by Tehran. “There are many options. There’s the ultimate option and there are options that are a lot less than that. And we’ll see,” Trump told reporters in Los Angeles. “I’m saying the ultimate option meaning go in — war.” The president struck a cautious note as his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during a visit to Saudi Arabia, described the attacks as “an act of war” on the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter. Trump said on Twitter that he had ordered the U.S. Treasury to “substantially increase sanctions” on Iran, which denies carrying out the attacks, and told reporters the unspecified, punitive economic measures would be unveiled within 48 hours. Trump’s tweet followed repeated U.S. assertions that the Islamic Republic was behind Saturday’s attacks and came hours after Saudi Arabia said the strike was a “test of global will”.Saudi ambassador to Germany says all options on the table against Iran – radio France: ‘not very credible’ that Yemenis attacked Saudi oil plants Iran again denied involvement in the Sept. 14 raids, which hit the world’s biggest crude oil processing facility and initially knocked out half of Saudi output. Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading oil exporter. Responsibility was claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group, which on Wednesday gave more details of the raid, saying it was launched from three sites in Yemen. In a remark that may further strain a tense political atmosphere in the Gulf, the Houthis said they had listed dozens of sites in the United Arab Emirates, Riyadh’s top Arab ally, as possible targets for attacks. To bolster its assertion that Iran was responsible, Saudi Arabia showed drone and missile debris it said amounted to undeniable evidence of Iranian aggression.

A total of 25 drones and missiles were used in the attacks sponsored by Iran but not launched from Yemen, Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki told a news conference.”The attack was launched from the north and unquestionably sponsored by Iran,” he said, adding Iranian Delta Wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) were used in addition to cruise missiles.

An investigation into the origin of the attacks was still under way and the result will be announced later, he said.

The attack exposed gaps in Saudi air defences despite billions spent on Western military hardware.

Proof of Iranian responsibility, and evidence that the attack was launched from Iranian territory, could pressure Riyadh and Washington into a response. Both nations, however, were stressing the need for caution. Trump has previously said he does not want war and is coordinating with Gulf and European states. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, said the strike was a “real test of the global will” to confront subversion of the international order. Saudi defence ministry spokesman Colonel Turki Al-Malik displays remains of the missiles which Saudi government says were used to attack an Aramco oil facility, during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 18, 2019. Prince Khalid bin Bander, told the BBC the attack was “almost certainly” Iranian-backed: “We’re trying not to react too quickly because the last thing we need is more conflict in the region.” The Islamic Republic dismissed the allegations.“They want to impose maximum … pressure on Iran through slander,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said. “We don’t want conflict in the region … Who started the conflict?” he added, blaming Washington and its Gulf allies for the war in Yemen. Yemen’s Houthi movement, battling a Western-backed, Saudi-led coalition for more than four years, said it used drones to assault state oil company Aramco’s sites. U.S. officials, however, have said the attack was not launched by the Houthis. The raid exposed the vulnerability of Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure and threw down a gauntlet to the United States, which wants to curb Iranian influence in the region. “The attack is like Sept. 11th for Saudi Arabia. It is a game changer,” said one Saudi security analyst. Visiting Jeddah, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the attacks would be a major focus of next week’s annual U.N. General Assembly meeting and suggested Saudi Arabia could make its case there. “It was an act of war against them directly, and I’m confident they will do that,” he told reporters before meeting the Saudi crown prince, later tweeting that the United States supports Saudi Arabia’s right to defend itself. The two men “agreed that the Iranian regime must be held accountable for its continued aggressive, reckless, and threatening behaviour,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement after their talks. U.N. officials monitoring sanctions on Iran and Yemen were also heading to Saudi Arabia to investigate. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a major confrontation in the Gulf would have “devastating consequences” for the region and globally. A U.S. official told Reuters on Tuesday the strikes originated in southwestern Iran. Three officials said they involved cruise missiles and drones, indicating more complexity and sophistication than initially thought. Saudi Arabia’s finance minister told Reuters the attack had no impact on revenues and Aramco was continuing to supply markets without interruption. U.S. efforts to bring about a U.N. Security Council response looked unlikely to succeed as Russia and China have veto powers and were expected to shield Iran. Nick Bit: I have been at this a long time and i got to tell you the first thing is you got to get your dick out of the way. I hate Iran I hate EVERYTHING they stand for, I hate what they do. I am shocked the world has let them get this far. But i am for more scared of stupid. As in Donald sell out Trump, he is a traitor! I want to be crystal clear here, i have warned about Iron Dumb Dumb, the HA HA HA Patriot (we salute you) missile system… Thad for TAD as in a tad bit SHORT!! and the sling shot  as in the David sling . I have told all all that would listen to me including high placed corporate types and military.They refused to understand that ALL these systems had the same fatal flaws…. I have been literally laughed out of the room. Well guess what they are not Laughton anymore..I will explain in great detail in todays Super Premium live TV stream

EIA Weekly Petroleum Report

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 1.1 million barrels from the previous week. At 417.1 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 2% below the five year average for this time of year.  U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 16.7 million barrels per day during , 2019, which was 788,000 barrels per day less than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 91.2% of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production decreased last week, averaging 9.5 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 5.1 million barrels per day. U.S. crude oil imports averaged 7.1 million barrels per day last week, up by 326,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the past four weeks, crude oil imports averaged about 6.7 million barrels per day, 13.7% less than the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 501,000 barrels per day, and distillate fuel imports averaged 142,000 barrels per day. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 0.8 million barrels last week and are about 4% above the five year average for this time of year. Finished gasoline inventories decreased while blending components inventories increased
last week. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 0.4 million barrels last week and are about 6% below the five year average for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased by 2.9 million barrels last week and are about 16% above the five year average for this time of year. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased last week by 0.9
million barrels last week. Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 21.4 million barrels per day, virtually unchanged from the same period last
year. Over the past four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged 9.5 million barrels per day, down by 1.8% from the same period last year. Distillate fuel product supplied averaged 4.0 million barrels per
day over the past four weeks, down by 2.0% from the same period last year. Jet fuel product supplied was down 1.4% compared with the same four-week period last year. The West Texas Intermediate crude oil price was $54.76 per barrel on September 13, 2019, $1.69 below last week’s price and $14.22 less than a year ago. The spot price for conventional gasoline in the New York Harbor was $1.686 per gallon, $0.025 less than last week’s price and $0.348 lower than a year ago. The spot price for ultra-low sulfur diesel
fuel in the New York Harbor was $1.893 per gallon, unchanged from last week’s price but $0.317 under a year ago. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.552 per gallon on September 16, 2019, $0.002 more than last week’s price but $0.289 under a year ago. The national average retail diesel fuel price was $2.987 per gallon, $0.016 above last week’s price but $0.281 under a year ago.

Bearish API Crude Inventory Data

Cushing

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has estimated a surprise crude oil inventory build of 592,000 barrels for the week ending September 12, compared to analyst expectations of a 2.889-million barrel draw. Last week saw a large draw in crude oil inventories of 7.227 million barrels, according to API data. The EIA estimated that week that there was a slightly smaller inventory draw instead, of 6.9 million barrels.

After today’s inventory move, the net draw for the year is 25.31 million barrels for the 38-week reporting period so far, using API data.

Oil prices were trading down sharply on Tuesday prior to the data release, after anonymous Reuters sources gave a more optimistic timeline for Saudi Arabia’s oil production to return to normal within weeks, rather than within months. Oil prices had risen by 20% on Monday after oil giant Saudi Aramco suffered widespread oil production outages in the wake of an airstrike that targeted critical oil infrastructure. The API this week reported a build of 1.599 million barrels of gasoline for week ending September 12. Analysts predicted a draw in gasoline inventories of 1.033 barrels for the week. Distillate inventories rose by 1.998 million barrels for the week, while inventories at Cushing fell by 846,000 barrels. US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending September 6 stayed at 12.4 million bpd mark, down just 100,000 bpd from its all-time high.

Trump orders ‘substantial’ sanctions on Iran after Saudi attack

The president has instructed the treasury to ramp up financial pressure

United States President Donald Trump has ordered the Treasury to increase financial pressure on Iran with “substantial” sanctions, he tweeted on Wednesday just days after the administration blamed Tehran for an attack on Saudi Aramco oil processing facilities. On September 14, the world’s largest oil processing facility in the kingdom’s eastern region was hit in an attack that took out nearly half of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil processing capacity. The US has blamed Iran and warned of severe repercussions. “I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!” Mr Trump tweeted.

The kingdom has been working to restore production as fast as possible and on Tuesday evening Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that the country’s oil output would be “back to normal” by the end of the month. The US president and vice president have both said the country is “locked and loaded” and ready to respond. However, Mr Trump has said that he is waiting for Saudi Arabia to advise. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is headed to Saudi Arabia and the UAE to discuss the regional situation and the next steps. The development comes just days after the Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen said that the attack did not come from the Houthi rebels despite their claim of responsibility. While the coalition said that Iranian weapons appeared to have been used, it did not directly attribute blame for the attack on Tehra

How were low-tech drones able to pierce Saudi Arabian security?

 Defence system called into question despite country spending $65bn on arms last year including US radar and Patriot missiles

  • Abqaiq refinery and Khurais oil field were blown up in suspected drone attack, crippling Saudi Arabia’s oil exports and cutting off 5 per cent of global supply
  • Experts question how low-tech drones were able to pierce Saudi’s air security
  • Country bought $65bn of arms last year, including US radar and Patriot missiles
  • Vladimir Putin said Saudi should have bought his S-400 air defences instead

Drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields show the kingdom is vulnerable to assaults using low-cost technology despite being the world’s largest importer of arms, experts say.  Saudi Arabia spent an estimated $65 billion on military hardware last year alone, most of which was imported from the United States, including the latest radars, F-15 fighter jets, and Patriot missile defence systems. But on Saturday an attack using what appears to have been explosive-laden drones managed to pierce that defensive shield and knock out half of the kingdom’s oil output, or 5 per cent of global supply. The failure of Saudi Arabia and its American-made weapons to protect against such an attack even drew a mocking response from Vladimir Putin, who suggested the country should have bought Russian defence systems instead. Saudi Arabia’s largest oil refinery Abqiaq (pictured) and one of its oil fields were badly damaged in a suspect drone attack on Saturday The relatively low-tech attack managed to pierce the Arab kingdom’s air defences despite the country spending $65billion on arms last year alone (pictured, the refinery burns) Experts say attack shows how high-tech defence systems – including US-made radar systems and Patriot missiles – can be vulnerable to low-tech attacks Officially the attack has been claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels operating out of Yemen, who have been using drones to attack Saudi oil infrastructure for months. But Saudi Arabia and the US are convinced the attack came from the north – either directly from Iran or from Iranian-backed militias operating in Iraq. As evidence they point to – among other things – the Houthi’s lack of technology as evidence the attack could not have come from them. But some experts believe it is precisely because the attack is low technology that it succeeded in passing underneath Saudi’s defences.

Outlined in red are the damaged sections of the Abqaiq oil refinery which is thought to have been hit by drones - though US officials believe cruise missiles could also have been used

Outlined in red are the damaged sections of the Abqaiq oil refinery which is thought to have been hit by drones – though US officials believe cruise missiles could also have been used

Pictured outlined in white are the damaged sections of the facility, before they were struck

Pictured outlined in white are the damaged sections of the facility, before they were struck

Outlined in red is the damaged section of the Khurais oil field after it was struck

Outlined in red is the damaged section of the Khurais oil field after it was struck

Pictured outlined in white is the same section of the Khurais oil field, before it was struck

Pictured outlined in white is the same section of the Khurais oil field, before it was struck Footage distributed by the Huthis showed models of at least 15 unmanned drones and various sizes of missiles of different ranges. The newest of these weapons were long-range cruise missiles, dubbed ‘Al-Quds’, and explosives-laden ‘Sammad 3’ drones that can hit targets as far as 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) away, according to the Huthis. A spokesman for the Saudi coalition fighting in Yemen, Turki al-Maliki, told reporters Monday that ‘all indications are that weapons used in both attacks (at the weekend) came from Iran.’ Experts say the threat from drones will continue, changing how countries defend themselves and how insurgencies invest in weapons. ‘The problem is that there is not one system that enables you to handle every case, and the threat from drones is constantly evolving,’ a French military engineer told AFP recently.

Saudi oil attacks: Why does the US hide oil underground?

In the wake of the attacks on key Saudi Arabian oil infrastructure, American officials have been talking about drawing on a huge emergency stash of oil kept in the United States. As oil prices spiked, President Donald Trump tweeted they could use the oil “to keep the markets well-supplied”. The oil he was referring to amounts to more than 640 million barrels which are stored in salt caverns beneath the states of Texas and Louisiana. The idea of holding these “strategic reserves” dates back to the 1970s. All members of the International Energy Agency have to hold the equivalent of 90 days’ worth of petroleum imports, but the US stockpile is the largest emergency store in the world. US politicians first came up with the idea of an oil stockpile in the early 1970s, after an oil embargo by Middle East nations caused prices to skyrocket around the world. Members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries – including Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – refused to export oil to the US because it supported Israel in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War The US Congress passed the Energy Policy and Conservation Act in 1975. It established the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the event of another major supply problem.At present, there are four sites where oil is stored: near Freeport and Winnie in Texas, and outside Lake Charles and Baton Rouge in Louisiana.

Each site  has several man-made salt caverns up to a kilometre (3,300ft) underground where the oil is stored. This is far cheaper than keeping it in tanks above ground, and safer – the chemical composition of the salt and the geological pressure prevents any oil from leaking out. The largest site at Bryan Mound near Freeport has a storage capacity equivalent to 254 million barrels of oil. The reserve’s website says that on 13 September there were 644.8 million barrels of oil held in these caves. According to the US Energy Information Administration, Americans used 20.5 million barrels of petroleum a day on average in 2018 – meaning there’s enough oil to keep the country going for about 31 days. Under the 1975 law signed by Gerald Ford, the president can only authorise the release of oil reserves if there is a “severe energy supply interruption”. Physical constraints mean only a small amount of oil can be moved from the caves each day, meaning even if there is presidential authority to release oil it would take nearly two weeks to hit the markets. Moreover, the oil is all unrefined. It would need to be processed into fuel before it would be useful for cars, ships and airplanes. US energy secretary Rick Perry told broadcaster CNBC on Monday it was “a little premature” to talk about breaking into the reserve yet in the wake of the attacks in Saudi Arabia. It was last used in 2011, when disruption caused by the Arab Spring uprisings prompted IEA member states to release a combined total of 60 million barrels of oil to reduce disruption to energy supplies. However, the US has sold off large numbers of barrels on a few occasions. President George H W Bush authorised its use during the Gulf War in 1991, while his son George W Bush allowed the sale of 11 million barrels in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. But the usefulness of keeping such a huge reserve at a time when US energy production is booming has been questioned. Some in Washington have even recommended getting rid of it completely. A report by the Government Accountability Office suggested just that in 2014, saying it could lower prices at the pump for US consumers. In 2017 the Trump administration mooted selling off half the stockpile to help tackle the federal deficit. Under President Bill Clinton, 28 million barrels were sold off in 1997 as part of a move to reduce the deficit. Nick Note: closer to the Strategic shit pile. keeping oil underground is a bad idea. to keep them in a salt cave is a worse idea. And letting oil companies sell you the shittest grade sour crude imaginable is the worse idea of all… but the headline sounds good.  Remember the Nuke  Air aide shelters full of undrinkable water in rusty barrels,  rotten rations, junk equipment rat infested blankets and broken down cots… I know i raided them for the giger counters as a kid…..The Strategic oil reserve is an even bigger fiasco.

Who Can Boost Crude Supply to Offset Attack on Saudi Arabia?

Who Can Boost Crude Supply to Offset Attack on Saudi Arabia?

(Bloomberg) — Here is a list of countries that could boost crude production to offset losses from Saudi Arabia in the event that the disruption to supplies from the attacks on its Abqaiq and Khurais processing facilities lasts longer than initially expected. It’s not a long list and much may not be accessible. The attacks cut Saudi production by 5.7 million barrels a day and officials at state oil company Saudi Aramco have become less optimistic on the pace of output recovery. The maximum spare capacity that could be brought into production in the coming weeks is estimated at about 3.9 million barrels a day. That figure should be treated as a exercise in optimism, though. It includes restarting production from the Neutral Zone shared by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as well as tapping Saudi Arabia’s own spare capacity, much of which may also have to be processed at the Abqaiq or Khurais facilities and therefore be unusable.

Saudi Arabia

August production: 9.83 million barrels a day

Production capacity: 11.5 million barrels a day

Usable spare capacity: up to 1.67 million barrels a day

On paper, Saudi Arabia has about 1.7 million barrels a day of spare production capacity, but the precise location of that reserve is unclear. If it is in the giant Ghawar, Shaybah or Khurais fields, it’s unlikely to be of any use, as crude from those fields is processed at Abqaiq.

There is some spare capacity at offshore fields, such as Manifa and Safaniyah. Offshore crude is not processed at Abqaiq, so these fields could be pressed into service.

United Arab Emirates

August production: 3.07 million barrels a day

Production capacity: 3.4 million barrels a day

Usable spare capacity: 200,000 to 330,000 barrels a day

U.A.E. output peaked at 3.27 million barrels a day in November 2018 and levels beyond that have not been tested on an on-going basis. This suggests the country could boost output by somewhere between 200,000 and 330,000 barrels a day.

Kuwait

August production: 2.68 million barrels a day

Production capacity: 3.15 million barrels a day

Usable spare capacity: 470,000 barrels a day

Kuwait’s reported crude production capacity is 3.15 million barrels a day, excluding its share of the Neutral Zone that it shares with Saudi Arabia, but it has not produced more than 3 million since the 1970s. Current production of 2.68 million barrels a day suggests it could increase output by at most 470,000 barrels.

Neutral Zone

August production: Zero

Production capacity: 500,000 barrels a day

Usable spare capacity: 500,000 barrels a day

Shared by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the Khafji and Wafra fields in the Neutral Zone have been shut since 2015 as a result of a dispute between the two countries. They have the capacity to pump as much as 500,0000 barrels a day of heavy oil. Khafji is a northern extension of Saudi Arabia’s Safaniyah field.

Restarting production in the Neutral Zone cannot be done overnight, though. Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman said in Dubai last week that issues on the Neutral Zone are mostly technical and that he expects to have a “clear picture” on them within the next couple of months.

Russia

August production: 11.29 million barrels a day

Production capacity: 11.45 million barrels a day

Usable spare capacity: 160,000 barrels a day

Russia has been cutting oil production as part of the OPEC+ deal. Output reached a peak of 11.45 million barrels a day in December, before the latest cuts came into effect in January. The country’s oil companies can certainly restore output to that level and may be able to go beyond it. Winter often sees an increase in Russian oil production, as increased domestic natural gas use results in a boost to flows of condensate, a light form of crude pumped from gas fields, although this is not a good substitute for most Saudi export grades.

Kazakhstan

August production: 1.85 million barrels a day

Production capacity: 2 million barrels a day

Usable spare capacity: 150,000 barrels a day

Although Kazakhstan is a member of the OPEC+ group, its only supply reduction this year has been the result of planned maintenance at its largest oil fields. August oil production was restricted by maintenance at the country’s largest field, Tengiz, where works were completed in early September. Planned maintenance is now underway at the Karachaganak field until mid-October, which has taken output back down to the average August level. Kazakhstan will not be able to boost crude production until that work is completed.

Aramco optimism fading for rapid output recovery

LONDON (Bloomberg) –Saudi Aramco officials are growing less optimistic that there will be a rapid recovery in oil production after the attack on the giant Abqaiq processing plant, a person with knowledge of the matter said. All eyes are on how fast the kingdom can recover from the weekend’s devastating strike, which knocked out roughly 5% of global supply and triggered a record surge in oil prices. Initially, it was said that significant volumes of crude could being to flow again within days, but it may now take longer than previously thought to resume operations at the plant, the person said, asking not be named before an official announcement. The company is scheduled to provide an update later today. The loss of Abqaiq, which handles 5.7 MMbbl oil a day, or about half of Saudi production, is the single worst sudden disruption to the oil market. Saudi Aramco is firing up idle offshore oil fields — part of their cushion of spare capacity — to replace some of the lost production, the person said. Aramco customers are being supplied using stockpiles, though some buyers are being asked to accept different grades of crude oil. In an extraordinary start to trading on Monday, London’s Brent futures leaped almost $12 in the seconds after the open, the most in dollar terms since their launch in 1988. Prices have since pulled back about half of that initial gain of almost 20%, trading at $66.66/bbl as of 12:48 p.m. in London, but are still heading for the biggest advance in more than three years. In addition to the immediate loss of supply, the attack raised the specter of U.S. retaliation against Iran, which it blamed for the strike. While Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the strike, which they said was carried out by a swarm of 10 drones, several administration officials Sunday said they had substantial evidence Iran was directly responsible. President Donald Trump tweeted the U.S. is “locked and loaded depending on verification” that Iran was the real source. Responsible for almost a 10th of global crude output, Saudi Arabia has been under siege this year — targeted by air, sea and land — as tensions with Iran flare. The Houthi rebels said on Monday that oil installations in the kingdom will remain among their targets. The Iranian-backed rebel group, cited by the Houthi’s television station, said its weapons can reach anywhere in the country.

“No matter whether it takes Saudi Arabia five days or a lot longer to get oil back into production, there is but one rational takeaway from this weekend’s drone attacks on the Kingdom’s infrastructure — that infrastructure is highly vulnerable to attack, and the market has been persistently mispricing oil,” Citigroup Inc.’s Ed Morse wrote in a research note.

Trump authorized the release of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, while the International Energy Agency, which helps coordinate industrialized countries’ emergency fuel stockpiles, said it was monitoring the situation. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is in regular contact with the Saudi authorities, who have risen to the challenge by keeping oil flowing, the group’s Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said in a Bloomberg TV interview. It’s premature to talk about reversing the oil-production cuts implemented by OPEC and its allies, he said.

Even if OPEC+ did decide to roll back their cuts, they would only be able to add about 900,000 bpd to the market, just a fraction of the Saudi losses, according to Bloomberg calculations based on IEA data.

Nick Note: their is NO SPARE capacity. Do not let them shit you AGAIN. The US strategic oil Reserve is a sick joke. They cannot even pump the shit out because of the crumbling infrastructure. The oil is such a low grade degraded product that US refineries cannot use it. I repeat their is NO as in none global surplus oil. Let me ask you a simple question. WHY if the US is self sufficient on oil are they talking about a release from the Strategic Reserve in the fist lace. Fracked oil s not even crude oil its a distillate. You have to mix it with crude to even refine it…… Bottom line $100 oil here we come. And once we get $100 it will zoome from their.

 

 

 

Oil prices surge nearly 20% after attack on Saudi facilities

SINGAPORE/LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices surged nearly 20% at one point on Monday, with Brent crude posting its biggest intraday gain since the Gulf War in 1991, after an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities at the weekend halved the kingdom’s production. Prices came off their peaks after U.S. President Donald Trump authorized the use of his country’s emergency stockpile to ensure stable supply. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark, rose as much as 19.5% to $71.95 per barrel, the biggest intraday jump since Jan. 14, 1991. By 0940 GMT, the contract was at $65.77, up $5.55 or 8.4%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures climbed as much as 15.5% to $63.34, the biggest intraday percentage gain since June 22, 1998. The contract was later at $59.54, up $4.69 or 7.88%. Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest oil exporter and the attack on state-owned producer Saudi Aramco’s crude-processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais has cut output by 5.7 million barrels per day. The company has not given a timeline for the resumption of full output. Two sources briefed on Aramco’s operations said a full return to normal production volumes “may take months”. “To take out over 5% of global supply in a single strike – a volume exceeding cumulative non-OPEC supply growth over 2014-2018 – is highly worrying,” UBS analysts said in a note. “The departure of U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton last week was interpreted by many as a reduction in political risk – this event may be significant magnitudes more consequential.” Trump said he had approved the release of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve if needed in a quantity to be determined. Trump also said the United States was “locked and loaded” for a potential response to the attack. Major importers of Saudi crude, such as India, China and Indonesia, will be the most vulnerable to the supply disruption. Saudi oil exports will continue as normal this week as the kingdom taps into stocks from its large storage facilities, an industry source briefed on the developments told Reuters. South Korea said it would consider releasing oil from its strategic reserves if circumstances worsened in the wake of Saturday’s attacks. The attack on plants in the heartland of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, including the world’s biggest petroleum-processing facility at Abqaiq, came from the direction of Iran, and cruise missiles may have been used, a U.S. official said. “Growing fears of a supply squeeze and heightened geopolitical tensions in the Middle East will add a risk premium for oil prices,” said Benjamin Lu, analyst at Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures. Saudi Arabia is set to become a significant buyer of refined products after the attacks, consultancy Energy Aspects said. Saudi Aramco is likely to buy significant quantities of gasoline, diesel and possibly fuel oil while cutting liquefied petroleum gas exports. U.S. gasoline futures rose as much as 12.9%, while U.S. heating oil futures gained 10.8%. China’s Shanghai crude futures rose to their trading limit, gaining 8% at the open. Nick Note: You can wipe your ass with the crap in the Strategic stockpile. The world needs Sweet oil… most global refiners can’t process sour crude…. Amazing what they forget t tell you… LIZARD LIZARD!

Trump: US ‘locked and loaded depending on verification’ of attack on Saudi oil field

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump on Sunday evening tweeted that the US has “reason to believe that we know” who is responsible for an attack on a Saudi Arabian oil field and the country is “locked and loaded depending on verification” following the crippling strike. “Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!” Trump said. Trump’s tweet, which appeared to raise the specter of a US military response, served to ratchet up tensions in a region already on edge after Saturday’s audacious attack on the Saudi oil field. Trump used similar language in June when he announced he had called off an attack on Iran just as the US was “cocked & loaded” to strike because he decided it would cause too many deaths for a proportionate response to Tehran’s downing of a US drone. On Saturday, coordinated strikes on key Saudi Arabian oil facilities — among the world’s largest energy production centers — disrupted 5% of the daily global oil supply. Yemen’s Houthi rebels took responsibility for the attacks, but they are often backed by Iran.

Oil prices surge and Trump says he has ordered use of emergency supplies
Oil prices surge and Trump says he has ordered use of emergency supplie
Though Trump did not name Iran in his tweet, the attack has caused another spike in tensions between the US and Tehran. Prior to Saturday there were signs the US appeared open to new negotiations and even a potential meeting later this month between Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. A day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the attack on Saudi oil facilities and argued there is “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen,” a senior administration official briefed CNN on information to back up Pompeo’s claims. Pompeo did not provide evidence, but the official pointed to satellite imagery provided to CNN showing the oil facilities were struck from the northwest, suggesting an attack from Iraq or Iran, among other information.
On Saturday, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, rejected the accusation that Iran was behind the attack. “Such blind accusations and inappropriate comments in a diplomatic context are incomprehensible and meaningless,” he said, adding, “even hostility needs a certain degree of credibility and reasonable frameworks, US officials have also violated these basic principles.”
Iran’s foreign minister took to Twitter to issue a similar denial.
“Having failed at “max pressure”, @SecPompeo’s turning to “max deceit,” Javad Zarif wrote. “US & its clients are stuck in Yemen because of illusion that weapon superiority will lead to military victory. Blaming Iran won’t end disaster. Accepting our April ’15 proposal to end war & begin talks may.”
Trump tweeted later Sunday that it is “incorrect” to say he is “willing to meet with Iran, ‘No Condition,'” a contradiction of his own administration. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that the President, “has said he would sit down with Rouhani with no conditions.” The official pointed to the angle at which Saudi oil facilities were attacked, the numbers of points of impact and other information to argue that it is unlikely the attacks were carried out by Yemen. Instead, the official suggested the attack most likely originated in Iran or Iraq.
“It is very difficult to see how these things could have come from anywhere but Iran or Iraq,” the senior administration official said
The official said 19 Saudi targets were struck in Saturday’s attack and argued that such an attack could not be carried out with 10 drones, which the Houthis claimed to have used. “You can’t hit 19 targets with 10 drones like that,” the official said.
The official, drawing on commercial satellite imagery shared with CNN, also noted that “all the points of impact on Saudi facilities were on the northwest side of them, which is somewhat difficult to do from Yemen.” The official could not say whether it’s possible drones from Yemen could have angled around to attack northwest facilities.
Saudi attack likely originated in Iran or Iraq, senior administration official says
Military experts examine commercial satellite images
Three CNN military experts have examined the private satellite photos. Ret. Col. Cedric Leighton, who is an intelligence expert with a focus in imagery, said the images do help support the Trump administration’s claim that the drones likely came from Iraq or Iran, but cautioned that they’re not definitive.

“This is the handiwork of a sophisticated (most likely State) actor. The precise nature of the intelligence used to conduct targeting, the mission planning that went into this to avoid radar detection, as well as the selection of the targets shows a robust capability that would most likely be the work of a government or government-sponsored group,” Leighton told CNN Sunday. “The drones most likely originated in either Southern Iraq or Iran,” he said.
Attack on Saudi oil field a game-changer in Gulf confrontation
Attack on Saudi oil field a game-changer in Gulf confrontation
Ret. Gen. Mark Hertling said the images “really don’t show anything, other than pretty good accuracy on the strike of the oil tanks. Ret. Adm. John Kirby echoed this point, stating “there is nothing I see in these pictures which confirms a launch from any particular location.” “I’m struck by the precision of the strikes. Almost pin-prick,” Kirby said. “Certainly possible with (unmanned aerial vehicles). But again, that doesn’t really confirm anything.”  Rouhani did not specifically reference the attack on the Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities in an address on Iran’s Press TV Sunday but did accuse Americans of running a “war operation” by “supporting the UAE and Saudi Arabia, transferring weapons, and providing intelligence.”

“What is happening in this region today has created concern among majority of world countries,” he said.
Earlier Sunday White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway said Trump has “many options on the table” when it comes to responding to the strike on Saudi Arabia’s oil production this weekend.
“The President will always consider his options,” Conway said on “Fox News Sunday” when asked if Trump would still sit down with Rouhani under current circumstances. “We’ve never committed to that meeting at the United Nations General Assembly. The President’s just said he’s looking at it.”

Iran says it’s ready for war with US after Saudi oil attack accusations

Tehran says US bases and aircraft carriers stationed up to 1,200 miles around Iran are within range of its missiles.

Drone attacks targeted a major Saudi Aramco processing facility and oilfield in the kingdom's east
Drone attack: Saudi oil plant ablaze

Iran has dismissed US accusations it was behind drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil plants, and warned it is ready for a “full-fledged” war. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Washington had adopted a “maximum pressure” strategy against Iran, but because of “its failure [the US] is leaning toward maximum lies”. His remarks came as a senior commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said America’s military bases and aircraft carriers, which are stationed up to 1,243 miles around Iran, were within range of Iranian missiles.

Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory
Image: Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have said they carried out the drone attacks on Saudi oil plants

Amirali Hajizadeh was also quoted by the Tasnim news agency as saying that Iran has always been ready for a “full-fledged” war, without mentioning Saturday’s explosions in Saudi Arabia. Saturday’s drone attacks which Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claim they carried out – have halted around half of Saudi oil supplies after hitting the kingdom’s biggest processing facility and a major oil field. They set off huge fires, leading to a suspension of production operations at the Abqaiq facility and the Khurais field, about 200 miles northeast of the Saudi capital Riyadh. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has spoken to US secretary of state Mike Pompeo about the incident, called it an “egregious attack on the security of Saudi Arabia”. He wrote on Twitter: “This was a reckless attempt to damage regional security and disrupt global oil supplies. The UK condemns such behaviour unreservedly.” President Donald Trump called Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman following the attack, expressing US support for the kingdom’s security and stability. The crown prince assured Mr Trump that Saudi Arabia is “willing and able to confront and deal with this terrorist aggression”.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pictured while meeting with the Tunisian President during his arrival at the presidential palace in Carthage on the eastern outskirts of the capital Tunis on November 27, 2018. (Photo by FETHI BELAID / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images)
Image: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says he is ‘willing and able to confront and deal with this terrorist aggression’

Mr Pompeo described the attacks as “unprecedented” and pointed the finger at Tehran. He wrote on Twitter: “Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while [Iran’s president and foreign minister] Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. “Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.” In response, Iran’s foreign minister said blaming Tehran for Houthi rebel attacks would not end the Yemen conflict. Javad Zarif tweeted that having failed at “max pressure” Mr Pompeo was turning to “max deceit”.

 

“US & its clients are stuck in Yemen because of illusion that weapon superiority will lead to military victory,” he said. “Blaming Iran won’t end disaster. Accepting our April ’15 proposal to end war & begin talks may.” While markets remain closed Sunday, the attack could shock world energy prices.

Drone attack on oil production

Saudi Arabia says 5.7 million barrels a day of oil production were lost, and the supply of ethane and natural gas was also cut by around half, according to preliminary estimates. Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil giant, told one Indian refinery there will be no immediate impact on oil supplies as it will deliver crude from other sources, said a source with the refinery. White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said the US energy department was prepared to tap into the strategic petroleum reserve if needed to stabilise the global energy supply. The Saudi minister said the attacks were aimed not only at Saudi Arabia, but also at the world’s oil supply and its security.

Iran-backed militants admit drone swarm strike on world’s largest oil processing plant

Abqaiq facility, located 37 miles southwest of Aramco's Dhahran headquarters, is home to the company's largest oil processing plant, according to its website (pictured: Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq)
STILL SMOKING!! Abqaiq facility, located 37 miles southwest of Aramco’s Dhahran headquarters, is home to the company’s largest oil processing plant, according to its website (pictured: Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq)
  • Drone attacks sparked fires at Aramco oil facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia
  • Attacks took place at 4:00am at world’s largest oil processing plant Abqaiq
  • The Saudi interior ministry said the fires have now been brought under control 
  • Iran-backed Houthis claimed responsibility for attacks in Buqyaq and Khurais 
  • Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Ira

Ten drones launched by Iran-backed militants sparked a huge fire at the world’s largest oil processing facility and a major oilfield in Saudi Arabia in the early hours of this morning. The fires at Abqaiq in Buqayq, which contains the world’s largest oil processing plant, and Khurais, which contains the country’s second largest oilfield, have now been brought under control since the drone attacks at 4.00am local time.   Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Iran.  A military spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, considered an Iranian proxy force in the region, has claimed responsibility for today’s attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, two major facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia run by state-owned oil giant Aramco.  Yahia Sarie announced that the Houthi’s were taking responsibility for the attacks on Saturday in a televised address carried by the Houthi’s Al-Masirah satellite news channel. He said the Houthis sent 10 drones to attack an oil processing facility in Buqyaq and the Khurais oil field, warning that attacks by the rebels against the kingdom would only get worse if the war in Yemen continues. Sarie said: ‘The only option for the Saudi government is to stop attacking us.’   Iran denies supplying the Houthis with weapons, although the U.N., the West and Gulf Arab nations say Tehran does. Drone models nearly identical to those used by Iran have been used in the conflict in Yemen.   The attacks highlight how the increasingly advanced weaponry of the Iran-linked Huthi rebels – from ballistic missiles to unmanned drones – poses a serious threat to oil installations in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter. The Abqaiq facility, which processes sour crude oil into sweet crude, then later transports onto transshipment points on the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, has been targeted in the past by militantsSaudi Arabia’s oil production and exports have been disrupted, three sources familiar with the matter have said. One of the sources said the attacks have impacted 5 million barrels per day of oil production – almost half the kingdom’s current output. The source did not elaborate.

Saudi Aramco operates the world’s largest oil processing facility and crude oil stabilisation plant in the world at Abqaiq, in eastern Saudi Arabia. The plant has a crude oil processing capacity of more than 7 million barrels per day. Authorities have not reported on casualties. A witness nearby said at least 15 ambulances were seen in the area and there was a heavy security presence around Abqaiq.  The attack will likely heighten tensions further across the wider Persian Gulf amid a confrontation between the U.S. and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.    Saudi Aramco describes its Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq as ‘the largest crude oil stabilisation plant in the world.’

Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, two major Aramco facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia (pictured: Abqaiq)
See the charred remains… Tell me do you really believe no one was injured.. OR they will have this plant up and running i matter of days…… STOP letting them make a LIZARD asshole out of you!

The rebels have flown drones into the radar arrays of Saudi Arabia’s Patriot missile batteries, according to Conflict Armament Research, disabling them and allowing the Houthis to fire ballistic missiles into the kingdom unchallenged.  U.N. investigators said the Houthis’ new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 930 miles. That puts the far reaches of both Saudi Arabia and the UAE in range.  The incident represents the latest assault on the state-owned energy giant as it prepares for a much-anticipated stock listing. The interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency: ‘At 4.00am the industrial security teams of Aramco started dealing with fires at two of its facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais as a result of… drones. ‘The two fires have been controlled.’ The statement added that an investigation had been launched after the attack in the kingdom’s Eastern Province. The latest attacks come as Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, accelerates preparations for a much-anticipated initial public offering of Aramco. The mammoth IPO forms the cornerstone of a reform programme envisaged by the kingdom’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a son of King Salman, to wean the Saudi economy off its reliance on oil. Aramco is ready for a two-stage stock market debut including an international listing ‘very soon’, its CEO Amin Nasser told reporters on Tuesday.

Factbox: Inside Saudi Aramco’s oil operations

A day LATER still smoking….. DAH!

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s oil production and exports have been disrupted by drone attacks on two major oil facilities run by state-owned company Aramco, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility. Two sources close to the matter said 5 million barrels per day of crude production had been impacted — close to half of the kingdom’s output or 5% of global oil supply. The pre-dawn drone attack by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group set off several fires, although the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, later said these were brought under control. State television said exports were continuing, however Aramco has yet to comment since the assault. The authorities have not said whether oil production or exports were affected. Here are key facts about the historically secretive oil company, including details released this year of its finances and operations.

Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, had in 2017 liquids reserves of 260.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, which are larger than the combined reserves of Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), Chevron Corp (CVX.N), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L), BP Plc (BP.L) and Total SA (TOTF.PA), and which have an estimated reserve life of 54 years.

The company produced 10.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude last year, touting the lowest cost in the world to produce crude, at $2.8 a barrel, according company documents. It also produced 1.1 million barrels of natural gas liquids and 8.9 billion standard cubic feet per day of natural gas. Almost three-quarters of Aramco’s crude exports, about 5.2 million bpd, were delivered to customers in Asia last year, where it believes demand will grow faster than elsewhere in the world. Its Asian buyers include China, India, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Its crude deliveries to North America reached more than 1 million bpd last year; to Europe, 864,000 bpd. The company produces, refines and exports oil from Saudi Arabia, but has refining operations across the globe. Aramco’s U.S. oil refining subsidiary Motiva Enterprises [MOTIV.UL] owns the 607,000 barrel-per-day Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, the largest in the United States and in 2017 announced plans for $18 billion in investments in its operations in the Americas over five years. Aramco is also expanding its oil refining and downstream capacity in the region, particularly in rapidly growing countries such as China and India. Aramco in 2018 had a net refining capacity of 3.1 million barrels per day. With 76,000 employees in 2018, Aramco has energy industry operations, research facilities and offices scattered across the globe, in Asia, Europe and the Americas. It has country offices in Beijing, New Delhi, Singapore, New York, London, Houston and elsewhere. Nick Bit: Like i have been telling you this is the biggest wealthiest entities the most profitable company in WORLD HISTORY. AND AND AND their is  no replacement for the oil they provide the world. DO NOT BUY INTO THE GREAT USA OIL FRACKING MYTH. US oil production is peeking as we speak. A S can’t use ad exports at a LOSS! Fracked well do not even pay for themselves… they are living on stupid ass pension funds loans that WILL NEVER BE PAID BACK. And another myth Global oil demand is NOT NOT NOT declining. US China trade war is off because YOUR art of the deal bullshitter like ALL bullshitters cannot put a trade deal together. He is WAY WAY out of his league. Laundering money through a small sleazy  real estate company constantly going broke does NOT NOT come close to qualifying one for the white house. Watch,,, this will end VERY VERY badly!!! AND AND as we have been warning you the Middle East is at war. AND AND AND AND AND the worlds MAIN oil supplier cannot defend itself against their blood enemy Iran. And up to and until the world NUKES the shit out of IRAN world oil supplies are in constant and grave danger of disruption AND AND AND contrary to the blue sky they want to blow up your ass the US is NOT NOT NOT energy self sufficient. You are going to learn a bitter lesson.. When they talk shit and you believe the lies… When the shit hits the fan ALL THE BULLSHIT you want to believe and they spoon feed you blows up in your face. I got my LPG GAS, DIESEL, GASOLINE AND SOLAR READY TO GO…. Enough for 2 years… AND YOU?  I know you can rely on the HA HA HA HA FEMA and First Responders… Ask the people in New Orleans and Florida and Texas and Puerto Rico how that SHIT worked out…… Enjoy the fantasy while it lasts.

Saudi Oil Attack: This Is the Big One

The technological sophistication and audacity of Saturday’s attack will linger over the energy market

Smoke billowed from an Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province, where drone attacks sparked fires Saturday. Photo: -/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Saturday’s attack on a critical Saudi oil facility will almost certainly rock the world energy market in the short term, but it also carries disturbing long-term implications. Ever since the dual 1970s oil crises, energy security officials have fretted about a deliberate strike on one of the critical choke points of energy production and transport. Sea lanes such as the Strait of Hormuz usually feature in such speculation. The facility in question at Abqaiq is perhaps more critical and vulnerable. The Wall Street Journal reported that five million barrels a day of output, or some 5% of world supply, would be taken offline as a result. To illustrate the importance of Abqaiq in the oil market’s consciousness, an unsuccessful terrorist attack in 2006 using explosive-laden vehicles sent oil prices more than $2.00 a barrel higher. Saudi Arabia is known to spend billions of dollars annually protecting ports, pipelines and processing facilities, and it is the only major oil producer to maintain some spare output. Yet the nature of the attack, which used drones launched by Iranian-supported Houthi fighters from neighboring Yemen, shows that protecting such facilities may be far more difficult today. There are countries that even today see their output ebb and flow as a result of militant activity, most notably Nigeria and Libya. Others, such as Venezuela, are in chronic decline due to political turmoil. Such news affects the oil price at the margin but is hardly shocking. Deliberate attacks by actual military forces have been far rarer, with the exception of the 1980s “Tanker War” involving Iraq, Iran and the vessels of other regional producers such as Kuwait. When Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait in 1990, removing its production from the market and putting Saudi Arabia’s massive crude output under threat, prices more than doubled over two months. Yet Saturday’s attack could be more significant than that. Technology from drones to cyberattacks are available to groups like the Houthis, possibly with support from Saudi Arabia’s regional rival Iran. That major energy producer, facing sanctions but still shipping some oil, has both a political and financial incentive to weaken Saudi Arabia. The fact that the actions ostensibly were taken by a nonstate actor, though, limits the response that the U.S. or Saudi Arabia can take. Attempting to further punish Iran is a double-edged sword, given that pinching its main source of revenue, also oil, would further inflame prices. While the outage may not last long given redundancies in Saudi oil infrastructure, the attack may build in a premium to oil prices that has long been absent due to complacency. Indeed, traders may now need to factor in new risks that threaten to take not hundreds of thousands but millions of barrels off the market at a time. U.S. shale production may have upended the world energy market with nimble output, but the market’s reaction time is several months, not days or weeks, and nowhere near enough to replace several million barrels. After the smoke clears and markets calm down, the technological sophistication and audacity of Saturday’s attack will linger over the energy market.

Saudi Arabia Shuts Down About Half Its Oil Output After Drone Strikes

Saudi Arabia’s oil production was cut by half after a swarm of explosive drones struck at the heart of the kingdom’s oil industry and set the world’s biggest crude-processing plant ablaze.
Saudi Aramco Abqaiq facility
Saudi Aramco Abqaiq facility

Saudi Aramco has had to cut production by as much as 5 MMbpd after the attack on the Abqaiq plant, according to a person familiar with the matter. Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, who have launched several drone attacks on Saudi targets, claimed responsibility. The biggest attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure since Iraq’s Saddam Hussein fired scud missiles into the kingdom during the first Gulf war, the drone strike highlights the vulnerability of the network of fields, pipeline and ports that supply 10 percent of the world’s crude oil. A prolonged outage at Abqaiq, where crude from several of the country’s largest oil fields is processed before being shipped to export terminals, would jolt global energy markets. “Abqaiq is the heart of the system and they just had a heart attack,” said Roger Diwan, a veteran OPEC watcher at consultant IHS Markit. “We just don’t know the severity.” Facilities at Abqaiq and the nearby Khurais oil field were attacked at 4 a.m. local time, state-run Saudi Press Agency reported, citing an unidentified interior ministry spokesman. It didn’t give further details and no further updates have been released. Aramco believes it will be able to restart production fairly quickly, the person said, asking not to be named before an official announcement. Senior Aramco executives are holding an emergency meeting to assess the situation, another person said.“For the oil market if not global economy, Abqaiq is the single most valuable piece of real estate in planet earth,” Bob McNally, head of Rapid Energy Group in Washington. Aramco, which pumped about 9.8 MMbpd in August, will be able to keep customers supplied for several weeks by drawing on a global storage network. The Saudis hold millions of barrels in tanks in the kingdom itself, plus in three strategic locations around the world: Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Okinawa in Japan, and Sidi Kerir on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. A satellite picture from a NASA near real-time imaging system published early on Saturday showed a huge smoke plume extending more than 50 miles over Abqaiq. Four additional plumes to the south-west appear close to the Ghawar oilfield, the world’s largest. While that fields wasn’t attacked, its crude is sent to Abqaiq and the smoke could indicate flaring. When a facility stops suddenly, excess oil and natural gas is safely burned in large flaring stacks.​ The attacks were carried out with 10 drones and came after intelligence cooperation from people inside Saudi Arabia, rebel-run Saba news agency reported, citing Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree. “Our upcoming operations will expand and would be more painful as long as the Saudi regime continues its aggression and blockade” on Yemen, he said. Saudi Arabia’s oil fields and pipeline have been the target of attacks over the past year, often using drones mostly claimed by Yemeni rebels. Tensions in the Persian Gulf — pitting Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, against regional foe and energy giant Iran — have highlighted the risk to global oil supply. Today’s attack is the largest and most sophisticated yet. The Houthi forces have used small and medium-sized unmanned aerial vehicles in various roles, according to a United Nations report. Some are loaded with munitions for use as “kamikaze drones” with a range of up to 1,500 kilometers. Yemen’s Houthi rebels have been battling a Saudi-led coalition since 2015, when mainly Gulf forces intervened to restore the rule of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and his government after the Houthis captured the capital, Sana’a. The conflict has killed thousands of people and caused one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. The attacks come as Aramco, officially known as Saudi Arabian Oil Co., is speeding up preparations for an initial public offering. The energy giant have selected banks for the share sale and may list as soon as November, people familiar with the matter have said. Khurais is the location of Saudi Arabia’s second-biggest oil field, with a production capacity of 1.45 MMbpd. Abqaiq contains an oil-processing center, which handles about two-thirds of the country’s production. Abqaiq is home to the world’s largest oil processing facility and crude oil stabilization plant, and it has a crude oil processing capacity of more than 7 million barrels a day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Drone attacks cause fires at 2 major Saudi Aramco oil facility, oilfield

Drones attacked the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oilfield operated by Saudi Aramco early Saturday, the kingdom’s Interior Ministry said, sparking a huge fire at a processor crucial to global energy supplies.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels  claimed responsibility for the attacks in Buqyaq and the Khurais oil field. They  launched 2 drone assaults deep inside of the kingdom. It wasn’t clear if there were any injuries in the attacks, nor what effect it would have on oil production in the kingdom. The attack also likely will heighten tensions further across the wider Persian Gulf amid a confrontation between the U.S. and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers. Online videos apparently shot in Buqyaq included the sound of gunfire in the background. Smoke rose over the skyline and glowing flames could be seen a distance away at the Abqaiq oil processing facility. The fires began after the sites were “targeted by drones,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. It said an investigation into the attack was underway. Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil giant, did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press. The kingdom hopes soon to offer a sliver of the company in an initial public offering. Saudi Aramco describes its Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq as “the largest crude oil stabilization plant in the world.” The facility processes sour crude oil into sweet crude, then later transports onto transshipment points on the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Estimates suggest it can process up to 7 million barrels of crude oil a day. The plant has been targeted in the past by militants. Al-Qaida-claimed suicide bombers tried but failed to attack the oil complex in February 2006. The Khurais oil field is believed to produce over 1 million barrels of crude oil a day. It has estimated reserves of over 20 billion barrels of oil, according to Aramco. There was no immediate impact on global oil prices as markets were closed for the weekend across the world. Benchmark Brent crude had been trading at just above $60 a barrel. Buqyaq is some 330 kilometers (205 miles) northeast of the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

 Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the very successful attack which they said was carried out by 10 drones they launched.

A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the rebels since March 2015. The Iranian-backed Houthis hold Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and other territory in the Arab world’s poorest country. The war has become the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The violence has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine and killed more than 90,000 people since 2015, according to the U.S.-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, or ACLED, which tracks the conflict. Since the start of the Saudi-led war, Houthi rebels have been using drones in combat. The first appeared to be off-the-shelf, hobby-kit-style drones. Later, versions nearly identical to Iranian models turned up. Iran denies supplying the Houthis with weapons, although the U.N., the West and Gulf Arab nations say Tehran does.

The rebels have flown drones into the radar arrays of Saudi Arabia’s Patriot missile batteries, according to Conflict Armament Research, disabling them and allowing the Houthis to fire ballistic missiles into the kingdom unchallenged.

The Houthis launched drone attacks targeting Saudi Arabia’s crucial East-West Pipeline in May as tensions heightened between Iran and the U.S. In August, Houthi drones struck Saudi Arabia’s Shaybah oil field, which produces some 1 million barrels of crude oil a day near its border with the United Arab Emirates. U.N. investigators said the Houthis’ new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles). That puts the far reaches of both Saudi Arabia and the UAE in range.The Houthi’s Al-Masirah satellite news channel did not immediately acknowledge the attack Saturday, though it said the spokesman of the Houthi’s armed forces would soon give a speech on “a major operation,” without elaborating. Nick Bit: i am sorry CNN breaking HA HA HA HA news forgets to tell you about the war in the middle east… its on and $250 a barrel oil here we come. You just need to be smart enough to overcome your Lizard brain and WAIT however long it takes to become a freeging oil multi millionaire if i am right.

Ready to Deal: Donald Trump Postpones China Tariffs for 15 Days

President Donald Trump said he would delay proposed tariffs on China in October, as a positive gesture to Vice Premier Liu He.
US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 22, 2019. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
 

“At the request of the Vice Premier of China, Liu He, and due to the fact that the People’s Republic of China will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary on October 1st, we have agreed, as a gesture of good will, to move the increased Tariffs on 250 Billion Dollars worth of goods (25% to 30%), from October 1st to October 15th,” he wrote on Twitter. Trump’s brief reprieve from economic pressure on China demonstrated his willingness to continue talks. Prior to Trump’s announcement, China also issued tariff exemptions on 12 products. Trump indicated Thursday that China was preparing to purchase American agricultural products again. “It is expected that China will be buying large amounts of our agricultural products!” he wrote. Trump’s comment was likely in response to China’s Ministry of Commerce saying that Chinese companies were asking prices of products like soybeans and pork. Trade talks with Chinese officials are expected to continue in October.The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that China wanted to separate trade talks from other national security issues, in the hopes of moving forward. Nick Bit: Chicken soup anyone!!!!

Crude futures range bound amid Iran sanction talks, IEA report; Brent at $60.31/b

London — Crude oil futures remained rangebound Friday in mid-morning European trade, as the market digests the possibility of sanction relief on Iran and the International Energy Agency’s bearish supply and demand report, implying a supply glut in early 2020. At 12:21 BST (1121 GMT), ICE Brent November crude futures edged down 7 cents/b from Thursday’s settle to $60.31/b, while the NYMEX October light sweet crude futures contract was down 8 cents/b to $55.01/b. “There are a lot of moving segments and big statements in the last week which have impacted the market,” Bjarne Schieldrop, chief analyst of commodities at SEB bank, said Friday morning. The “truly bearish factor” would be the easing of sanctions on Iran, if this were to happen, bringing yet more oil to the market at a time of lower revised demand from OPEC+, Schieldrop said. US President Donald Trump has said he might be willing to meet with meet his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, though Rouhani insists any meeting would require the lifting of US sanctions as a precondition. Iran has asked French President Emmanuel Macron to convince Washington to issue new waivers, or arrange a credit line backed by Iran’s oil sale revenues. Iran’s oil tankers are now holding almost 50 million barrels of oil at sea, the highest level since early January 2016, just before then US President Barack Obama’s administration and its Western allies agreed a nuclear pact with Iran and lifted key oil sanctions. A relaxing of sanctions would mean a prompt unloading of these floating barrels at a time when the market could face a substantial oil glut amid slowing oil demand growth. “Overall the market is in two phases, at present it is very tight but then we are super bearish for 2020 in surplus supply,” Schieldrop said, highlighting the International Energy Agency report published Thursday. The IEA lowered its estimate of the call on OPEC’s crude oil in the first half of 2020 to 28.3 million b/d and said market management would remain “daunting” despite a demand spike in the second half of 2019. Besides this, the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meeting in Abu Dhabi on Thursday was slightly disappointing for investors, opting as it did not to deepen OPEC’s oil output cuts or consider any changes to the production cut agreement. Elsewhere, eyes will be fixed upon the upcoming US Federal Reserve board’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting next week, with expectations of further rate cuts running high. However, with the olive branches extended between US and China, as well as positive news on US CPI and headline inflation, the pressure is on the Fed to meet interest rate cut expectations.

Weakening Shale Productivity “VERY Bullish” For Oil Prices

oil storage

After years of improvements in drilling techniques and impressive “efficiency gains,” there is now evidence that the U.S. shale industry is reaching the end of the road on well productivity. A report earlier this month from Raymond James & Associates finds that the U.S. shale industry may struggling to achieve further productivity gains.

If these improvements begin to fizzle out, it could result in “an inflection point in future global oil supply/demand balances,” the investment bank said.

Well productivity is “tracking WAY below our model,” analysts Marshall Adkins and John Freeman wrote in the report. They note that U.S. oil production is up less than 100,000 bpd over the first seven months of 2019, compared to the 600,000-bpd increase over the same period in 2018. The analysts note that over the past eight years, Raymond James has been one of the most aggressive forecasters for U.S. shale growth, and even then, actual output tended to exceed their forecasts. But this year U.S. shale growth is significantly below their prediction.    The reason is that productivity improvements have suddenly come to an end. Since 2010, initial production rates for the first 30 days of production (IP-30) improved by 30 percent annually on average, according to Raymond James. That was largely the result of the “bigger hammer” approach, the bank said. In other words, drillers threw more of everything at the problem – more money, longer laterals, more sand, and more frac stages. Earlier this decade, IP-30 rates were growing by roughly 40 percent per year. But that slowed to 11 percent in 2017 and 15 percent last year. However, in the first seven months of 2019, IP-30 rates are up only 2 percent, compared to the 10 percent prediction from Raymond James. Part of the reason is that there is simply a limit to “more, longer and bigger,” the analysts said. “We believe that this represents clear evidence that U.S. well productivity gains are beginning to reach maximum limits and may even roll over in the coming years as the industry struggles to offset well interference issues and rock quality deterioration.” Even 2018 figures may have been a “one-off” increase as the oil majors – Chevron and ExxonMobil – escalated activity. But perhaps the first 30 days is too short of a timeframe to analyze well productivity. So, the investment bank looked at 90 days of production (IP-90). On that metric, the industry is faring even worse, showing an outright decline of 2 percent in the first half of the year compared to the first six months of 2018. “Recent Permian IP-90 well productivity trends are especially dire,” the analysts wrote. “While U.S. IP-90s declined 2%, Permian IP-90s declined 10% relative to 2018.” Because the Permian is the largest source of shale production and the most important source of growth, whatever happens there will determinate the trajectory for U.S. production figures on the whole. Raymond James said that a slight uptick in productivity on an IP-30 basis but a decline on an IP-90 basis suggests that well interference is taking a toll. In other words, shale well performance is suffering as time goes on because wells have been spaced too close together. “Put another way, the average decline curve is becoming steeper than we thought because the wells are starting to cannibalize each other,” the analysts wrote. Problems with “parent-child” well interference have become more of a concern over the past year or so, which refers to the first well drilled within a given block (the parent well), and subsequent wells drilled (the child wells). As Raymond James notes, not only do they cannibalize each other, but the longer the parent is online, the more the block sees a drop in pressure. But here’s the thing – a lot of companies have drilled parent wells on various tracts, incentivized to do so because their leases can expire if they don’t demonstrate activity. They held off on the child wells, focusing on drilling parents. Then, at a later point, they go back and drill child wells to squeeze more oil from their acreage. The problem is that so much of the output growth over the last few years came from parent wells. Going forward, the growth will need to increasingly come from the less productive child wells. But as Raymond James notes, the longer they wait, the less productive the child wells become, because the area loses more and more pressure over time. In specific terms, the average child well is 30 percent less productive than the parent. But a child well drilled six months after the parent may only see a 10 percent degradation in productivity, while a two-year delay might result in more substantial 40 percent reduction in productivity.  On the other hand, the “cube development” approach, which entails intense development all at the same time, also has problems. Cube development consists of multiple wells, often rising to more than a dozen, are drilled pretty much simultaneously to avoid well interference and pressure decline. Also, in theory, costs are lower because it takes less time, while shared infrastructure reduces costs as well. But well interference still occurs, and a growing number of companies have reported disappointing results, suggesting that there are limits to density. In a high-profile admission just a few weeks ago, Concho Resources said its 23-well “Dominator” project proved disappointing. The company said it would space out its projects more. Raymond James says there is some middle ground on well-density that companies still need to figure out, but because the industry has boasted about ever-increasing well-density, the pullback is translating into stagnating productivity.

Ultimately, the investment bank says that because of weaker-than-expected productivity, U.S. oil production may only grow by around 350,000 bpd in 2020, versus the market consensus of around 1.5 million barrels per day. In a scenario in which productivity actually falls to zero, production would remain flat for the next few years.

Because “the single most important driver of the oil market over the next decade will be trends in U.S. well productivities,” Raymond James analysts wrote, this is “VERY bullish for oil prices next year.” “Given that the oil market seems to be pricing in virtually unlimited U.S. oil supply growth at $50/bbl over the next five years, the implications…are very, very important to upside oil price surprises over the coming years.” Nick Note: if you want to let them make a asshole Lizard out of you that is your business. You can afford to give up millions of dollars because they made your stupid. I am telling you for a fct these Fracked well are losing 90% of their production in the first 12 months. Do you really you think they are telling their bankers and investors this shit. One of our members who is the guy sitting in the seat monitoring production at great risk gives me the numbers. Including the number on some of the the biggest most productive wells in the world. BOTTOM LINE US OIL PRODUCTION IS PEEKING AND HAS BEGUN AN ASTONISHING DECLINE.  SO IF YOU WANT THEM TO MAKE A ASSHOLE OUT OF YOU LISTEN TO THEIR BULLSHIT. THEY ARE all AS IN all going broke……. Oil will be $100 a barrel!

Israel accused of planting mysterious spy devices near the White House

The likely Israeli spying efforts were uncovered during the Trump presidency, several former top U.S. officials said.
Illustration of spying devices in D.C.

The U.S. government concluded within the last two years that Israel was most likely behind the placement of cell-phone surveillance devices that were found near the White House and other sensitive locations around Washington, D.C., according to three former senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter. But unlike most other occasions when flagrant incidents of foreign spying have been discovered on American soil, the Trump administration did not rebuke the Israeli government, and there were no consequences for Israel’s behavior, one of the former officials said. The miniature surveillance devices, colloquially known as “StingRays,” mimic regular cell towers to fool cell phones into giving them their locations and identity information. Formally called international mobile subscriber identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use. The devices were likely intended to spy on President Donald Trump, one of the former officials said, as well as his top aides and closest associates — though it’s not clear whether the Israeli efforts were successful.

President Trump is reputed to be lax in observing White House security protocols. POLITICO reported in May 2018 that the president often used an insufficiently secured cell phone to communicate with friends and confidants. Nick Note: Not lax he is just a plain old simple FUCKUP!

The New York Times subsequently reported in October 2018 that “Chinese spies are often listening” to Trump’s cell-phone calls, prompting the president to slam the story as “so incorrect I do not have time here to correct it.” (A former official said Trump has had his cell phone hardened against intrusion.) By then, as part of tests by the federal government, officials at the Department of Homeland Security had already discovered evidence of the surveillance devices around the nation’s capital, but weren’t able to attribute the devices to specific entities. The officials shared their findings with relevant federal agencies, according to a letter a top DHS official, Christopher Krebs, wrote in May 2018 to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Based on a detailed forensic analysis, the FBI and other agencies working on the case felt confident that Israeli agents had placed the devices, according to the former officials, several of whom served in top intelligence and national security posts. That analysis, one of the former officials said, is typically led by the FBI’s counterintelligence division and involves examining the devices so that they “tell you a little about their history, where the parts and pieces come from, how old are they, who had access to them, and that will help get you to what the origins are.” For these types of investigations, the bureau often leans on the National Security Agency and sometimes the Central Intelligence Agency (DHS and the Secret Service played a supporting role in this specific investigation). “It was pretty clear that the Israelis were responsible,” said a former senior intelligence official. An Israeli Embassy spokesperson, Elad Strohmayer, denied that Israel placed the devices and said: “These allegations are absolute nonsense. Israel doesn’t conduct espionage operations in the United States, period.” A senior Trump administration official said the administration doesn’t “comment on matters related to security or intelligence.” The FBI declined to comment, while DHS and the Secret Service didn’t respond to requests for comment. But former officials with deep experience dealing with intelligence matters scoff at the Israeli claim — a pro forma denial Israeli officials are also known to make in private to skeptical U.S. counterparts. One former senior intelligence official noted that after the FBI and other agencies concluded that the Israelis were most likely responsible for the devices, the Trump administration took no action to punish or even privately scold the Israeli government. “The reaction … was very different than it would have been in the last administration,” this person said. “With the current administration, there are a different set of calculations in regard to addressing this.” The former senior intelligence official criticized how the administration handled the matter, remarking on the striking difference from past administrations, which likely would have at a very minimum issued a démarche, or formal diplomatic reprimand, to the foreign government condemning its actions. “I’m not aware of any accountability at all,” said the former official. Beyond trying to intercept the private conversations of top officials — prized information for any intelligence service — foreign countries often will try to surveil their close associates as well. With the president, the former senior Trump administration official noted, that could include trying to listen in on the devices of the people he regularly communicates with, such as Steve Wynn, Sean Hannity and Rudy Giuliani. “The people in that circle are heavily targeted,” said the former Trump official. Another circle of surveillance targets includes people who regularly talk to Trump’s friends and informal advisers. Information obtained from any of these people “would be so valuable in a town that is like three degrees of separation like Kevin Bacon,” the former official added. That’s true even for a close U.S. ally like Israel, which often seeks an edge in its diplomatic maneuvering with the United States. “The Israelis are pretty aggressive” in their intelligence gathering operations, said a former senior intelligence official. “They’re all about protecting the security of the Israeli state and they do whatever they feel they have to to achieve that objective.”So even though Trump has formed a warm relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and made numerous policy moves favorable to the Israeli government — such as moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, ripping up the Iran nuclear deal and heavily targeting Iran with sanctions — Israel became a prime suspect in planting the devices. As for Israel’s recent surveillance of the White House, one of the former senior U.S. intelligence officials acknowledged it raised security concerns but joked, “On the other hand, guess what we do in Tel Aviv?”

Mnuchin Says U.S. Still Pursuing ‘Maximum Pressure’ Against Iran

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin
Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin / Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is still pursuing its campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday, even after President Donald Trump parted ways with his hard-line national security adviser John Bolton. Mnuchin, in an interview with CNBC, also said that there is no current plan for Trump to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month, although he reiterated that Trump is open to meeting with Rouhani with no preconditions. Trump’s remaining national security team is “executing on a maximum pressure strategy against Iran,” Mnuchin said. “There’s no question it’s working,” added Mnuchin, whose department plays a key role in carrying out U.S. policy toward Iran through the imposition of economic sanctions. Observers had been looking for any signals from Washington on possible changes in policy toward Iran after Bolton left his post abruptly on Tuesday. Amid numerous policy disagreements, Trump said he fired Bolton, while Bolton said he resigned. Iran, which had singled out Bolton for criticism for his hawkish views, has denounced as “economic terrorism” the increasingly strict U.S. sanctions imposed after Trump last year pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers including the United States.

Trump said the agreement, which put limits on Iran’s nuclear activities in return for lifting of sanctions, left open a path for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and did not address Iran’s missile program and its regional behavior.

Iran has denied seeking nuclear weapons and has said it hopes to save the nuclear deal but cannot do so indefinitely if it gets none of its economic benefits. Iran has responded to U.S. sanctions with steps to reduce its compliance with the accord, and has said it could eventually leave the pact unless other parties shield the Iranian economy from penalties. The United States has said it does not seek to topple Iran’s government, but rather to change its behavior. Sanctions against Iran have been effective and could help pressure Iran and its leaders to negotiate with Trump, Mnuchin added. “We have cut off their money, and that’s the reason why, if they do come back to the negotiation table, they’re coming back,” Mnuchin said, adding that the U.S. strategy toward Iran is similar to the one the Republican president is taking toward trade talks with China. “If the president can get the right deal that he’s talked about, we’ll negotiate with Iran. If not, we’ll continue the maximum pressure campaign,” Mnuchin added. Iran said on Wednesday that the United States should distance itself from “warmongers” after Bolton’s departure, and Tehran stood by its demand that sanctions be lifted before any talks. Bolton, a leading foreign policy hawk and Trump’s third national security adviser, was a chief architect of Trump’s strident stance against Iran and instigated the maximum pressure campaign aimed at bringing Tehran to the table to negotiate a new deal on curtailing its nuclear program. Trump has reimposed sanctions that had been lifted under the 2015 accord and has introduced other measures including threats of sanctions against any country importing oil from Iran, which has led to a sharp drop in Iranian oil exports. Nick Bit: their seems to be some crazy idea that Iran will give up its nuke and rocket development programs. And that Trump will lift sanctions. And to add to the prevalent view that Israel and the Saudis will buy into the bullshit spin….. NOT! Remember worse deal ever. Politically Trump needs concessions he will not get… And if he lifts sanction and does a Obama style WORSE DEAL EVER he will get crucified in the polls.. Sanctions stay and lost of bullshit coming. But enjoy the dog and pony show!

House to vote on barring Arctic drilling to squeeze GOP in 2020

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) – The House is poised to vote Thursday to again bar oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as Democrats seek to put Republicans on the record on tough environmental issues for the 2020 election. The legislation by California Democratic Representative Jared Huffman would repeal a law passed by Republicans in 2017 that ended a 40-year-old ban on drilling in the protected wilderness area and instead mandated lease sales in a coastal portion of the 19-million-acre refuge. “The Trump administration is now recklessly rushing to ruin the Arctic refuge with oil rigs,” Huffman told reporters. “Overwhelmingly, Americans don’t want this to happen.” The bill, which is expected to pass in the Democratic-controlled House, caps off a week of anti-drilling legislation. The House voted Wednesday to limit drilling in U.S. coastal waters, including an effort to permanently ban rigs near Florida. The measures have virtually zero chance of passing the Republican-controlled Senate, but the Democratic challenge to President Donald Trump’s pro-drilling agenda arises as voters say climate and other environmental issues are of increasing importance to them. House Republicans have countered by offering an energy bill of their own they said would create jobs and lessen dependence on foreign adversaries, while warning Democratic restrictions would lead to increased energy costs. The Republican measure would give coastal states a 50% share of oil and gas revenue from the Gulf of Mexico and allow states to take over permitting functions. “America is rich with energy resources, and developing them will create jobs, strengthen our economy, and protect our national security,” said Representative Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican. Nick Bit: Its the death of a thousand cuts. US oil production is peeking. The global trade war is off. Banks are going insane stimulating.. GLOBAL DEMAND FOR OIL WILL BE INCREASING.. OH i almost forgot the frackig boom is OVER here comes the BUST!

Saudi, Russia call for better compliance with oil cuts

Nigeria have been producing above their quota. Nigeria, for instance, produced 1.84 million bpd in August versus its target of 1.65 million, while Iraq has been pumping 4.80 million instead of 4.65 million. Despite this slight over production OPEC cut oil output 31% more then agreed to and global inventories are plunging

ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia and Russia called on Thursday for members of OPEC and its allies to better comply with oil production cuts, effectively signalling they want over-producing countries such as Nigeria and Iraq to curb output to help boost oil prices. The calls from Saudi and Russian energy ministers came after Iraqi oil minister Thamer Ghadhban said on Wednesday OPEC and its allies could discuss deeper cuts amid slowing economic growth due to a U.S.-China trade dispute. Ghadhban became the first minister to speak about deeper cuts since OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, agreed to reduce production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), or 1.2 percent of global supply, in December last year. Two OPEC delegates said deeper cuts could indeed be discussed on Thursday, when some OPEC+ ministers meet for a market monitoring committee in Abu Dhabi ahead of the formal OPEC+ meeting in December. But Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who took over as Saudi energy minister from Khalid al-Falih on Sunday, and Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday some producers needed first to comply better with cuts. “Every country counts regardless of its size … Every country should live up to its commitment” said Prince Abdulaziz. Novak said “the key goal” of the current deal was “to maintain full conformity with the agreement”. Oil prices tumbled more than 2% on Wednesday after a report that U.S. President Donald Trump was considering easing sanctions on Iran, which could boost global crude supply at a time of lingering worries about energy demand. Iraq has been raising its production and exports steeply in recent years, while Iran’s exports have fallen 10-fold over the past year because of U.S. sanctions. OPEC has been over-complying with cuts on average as Iran’s and Venezuela’s exports collapsed due to sanctions, but some countries such as Iraq and Nigeria have been producing above their quota. Nigeria, for instance, produced 1.84 million bpd in August versus its target of 1.65 million, while Iraq has been pumping 4.80 million instead of 4.65 million. OPEC, Russia and other non-members agreed in December to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd from Jan. 1 this year. OPEC’s share of the cut, which now runs to March 2020, is 800,000 bpd, delivered by 11 members and exempting Iran, Libya and Venezuela.

Breaking Point: How Trump and Bolton Finally Hit Their Limit

U.S. weighs Iran strategy without nuclear deal… Following the U.S. exit from the Iran nuclear deal, tensions between the two countries have escalated. New reporting sheds light on how Israel has pushed for action against Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton walks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in June. Netanyahu met with Bolton, and his Russian counterpart, regarding subjects like Iran and the troops it has in Syria, which Israel borders.
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton walks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in June. Netanyahu met with Bolton, and his Russian counterpart, regarding subjects like Iran and the troops it has in Syria, which Israel borders. Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME

As President Donald Trump prepared in recent weeks to meet in person with Taliban negotiators at Camp David and with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York later this month, National Security Advisor John Bolton grew increasingly frustrated. And on Monday, during a conversation between Bolton and the President, the two men reached their limit with one another. In his 520 days as Trump’s third National Security Advisor, Bolton, a life-long hawk, had tried to steer the President toward a hard-line foreign policy. As Trump embraced the idea of meeting with two of America’s most ardent adversaries, Bolton objected increasingly vocally, according to several administration sources familiar with their discussions. Then on Monday, Trump and Bolton spoke to try to clear the air. Bolton brought up the fact that he was left out of a meeting on the Afghanistan negotiations, a U.S. official who was briefed on the conversation tells TIME. As the discussion progressed, it began to spiral outward into Bolton’s broader questions about Trump’s willingness to meet with Iran’s president. “It was supposed to be a very, very limited,” discussion, the U.S. official says, “About how Bolton had been left out of a meeting on Afghanistan and it became a ‘Why are you meeting with Rouhani?’” conversation instead. The two men offer different accounts of how things went from there. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that he had asked for Bolton’s resignation on Monday evening, and had received it Tuesday morning. “I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” Trump wrote. Bolton later tweeted that it was he who had offered to resign Monday evening, and that Trump had accepted Tuesday morning. Either way, Bolton’s departure represents a turning point for the Trump presidency. A blunt, famously effective bureaucratic knife fighter, Bolton had sometimes succeeded in steering Trump towards a tougher line in some parts of the world, including against Iran. Since joining the White House in April 2018, Bolton did away with much of the National Security Council deliberation processes and, in a break with his camera-shy predecessors, stepped into an outsized public role. He used his Twitter account to issue dire warnings in order to keep the America’s adversaries off-balance. In several instances, Bolton threatened Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro with imprisonment or worse unless he abandoned power. He issued formal written statements on military posture, most notably on May 5 when he announced the movement of U.S. forces the Middle East “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime.”

Bolton, a former Fox News analyst, also found ways to insert himself into the 24/7 Washington news cycle. He rattled North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June 2018 by suggesting his regime should follow the “Libya model” of nuclear disarmament. It was an unsubtle reference from Bolton, who has long opposed diplomacy with Pyongyang, knowing that Kim wasn’t eager to follow the path of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who abandoned a nuclear program only to be toppled from power by Western military forces and executed nearly eight years later. Now, with foreign-policy challenges simmering from the Middle East to the Korean peninsula to South America, the President’s national-security operation has lost one of its most powerful players. “John got caught in the middle of the President’s bipolar foreign policy instincts,” says a senior U.S. official familiar with the relationship between the two men. On one hand, Bolton’s willingness to consider using military power to solve problems like Iran and North Korea appealed to Trump’s desire to be seen as a tough guy, the official says. “But Trump’s deal-making instincts have won out,” the official continued, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss internal administration deliberations. From the start, the two were never well-suited on a personal level, says a U.S. intelligence official who attended meetings that included both men. Bolton had taken over from the stiff, process-oriented General H. R. McMaster, who had in turn taken the reins from Trump’s ill-fated first NSC chief, Michael Flynn. Bolton was less inclined than either to be deferential. “Bolton was an ideologue who sought to advance a world view,” says David Rothkopf, author of Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power. “Whereas Trump is a Trumpist—all about himself all the time, and very impulsive. It was a marriage that was doomed before the vows were spoken.” The fact that the two men never clicked personally made Bolton’s influence during his time as National Security Advisor all the more remarkable. Bolton was most powerful when he was working issues that Trump wasn’t invested in or paying much attention to. Bolton, along with the allies he placed throughout the State Department and national-security establishment, was able to run U.S. policy on Venezuela, bringing U.S. sanctions and international pressure to bear against Maduro. But over time, Trump grew to trust Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over Bolton. “The breach between Bolton and Pompeo kept growing, and Pompeo and his team took advantage of that, promoting the reports that Bolton’s star was falling,” the senior U.S. official said. “Bolton thought Pompeo’s top priority was not getting crosswise with the President because that might hurt his political ambitions.” Pompeo allies were relieved to see Bolton go. Bolton had been “undermining the president constantly,” on both his outreach to North Korea and to the Taliban, a senior administration official in Pompeo’s camp says. Seeing an opportunity to sideline his opponent, Pompeo increasingly cut him out of the details of ongoing Afghan negotiations. At the same time, Pompeo worked to coordinated interagency cooperation with the newly-confirmed Defense Secretary Mark Esper, a long-time Pompeo ally, and CIA chief Gina Haspel, Pompeo’s former deputy, the official added. By the end, Bolton had reached his limit. “Bolton was screaming about the Taliban meeting,” says a national-security expert with close ties to White House officials. Bolton thought a meeting on U.S. soil would legitimize the Taliban and considered it tone deaf to schedule the summit so close to the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The meeting was Trump’s idea, and he bristled that Bolton objected to it internally, this expert and other officials say. Trump had already tired of Bolton’s hard-line ideas on Iran and Bolton’s internal revulsion to Trump’s stated willingness to meet with Rouhani, the expert says. While the Taliban Camp David meeting collapsed, Trump remains open to meeting Rouhani in New York later this month, and preliminary planning is already underway in case such a meeting comes through, according to a U.S. official familiar with the discussions. Ultimately, Trump began to feel that Bolton was too far out of step with his instinct to meet with Iranian leaders, the official said. Internally, Bolton was ready to acquiesce to the meeting, but insisted that sanctions should continue to ramp up. As recently as Sept. 4, Bolton tweeted about new actions to block Iran’s oil shipments that generate cash for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran’s support for armed proxy groups in the Middle East, according to a U.S. official familiar with the discussions. Trump critics see the development as another sign of disorder in the President’s foreign-policy operation. “Protecting our country is about more than egos and who will deliver splashy summits,” says Brett Bruen, a former NSC official for President Barack Obama. “We desperately lack stability and strategy in our national security. This is dangerous and destabilizing for the United States and our allies, as our adversaries are able to exploit the constant trouble, turbulence, and transitions of this administration. “While I may not agree with John on much, he attempted to apply a discipline and consistency to Trump’s erratic foreign policy moves,” Bruen says. “It is likely we will see a return to even greater extemporaneous diplomacy. While certainly more radical than most National Security Advisors, world leaders felt like he represented more of a rational actor than Pompeo’s sycophantic style. They will sorely miss him, as he was what counts for a brake on some of Trump’s more dangerous tendencies.” That point underscores one consistent truth about the Trump presidency, agreed upon by critics and allies alike. Asked where Bolton’s departure leaves U.S. foreign policy, officials who spoke to TIME under the condition of anonymity had the same answer: where it’s always been, in Trump’s hands.

Naftali Bennett ‘very worried’ by firing of Bolton, Trump steps on Iran

“We should be very worried. Trump is obviously a big friend of Israel, but at the end of the day are interests are not identical, he has his interests we have our interests,” said Bennett
Yamina Knesset candidate Naftali Bennett speaks at the The Jerusalem Post-Ma'ariv Elections Conferen
Yamina Knesset candidate Naftali Bennett speaks at the The Jerusalem Post-Ma’ariv Elections Conference, September 11 2019 . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Senior Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett said he was very worried about the dismissal of US National Security Adviser John Bolton by US President Donald Trump and the president’s stated willingness to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.  Speaking at the Maariv-Jerusalem Post conference on Wednesday, Bennett was asked how worried he was by these recent events, and the possibility that Trump’s hostilities with the Iranian regime could end up with the rapprochement he has pursued with North Korea. Bennett responded that he was “very” worried that Trump was seeking to come to terms with Iran.  “We should be very worried. Trump is obviously a big friend of Israel, but at the end of the day our interests are not identical, he has his interests we have our interests,” said Bennett.  “The whole idea was to create pressure [on Iran] which worked. We applied kinetic pressure by pushing away the entrenchment of Iran in Syria and other places, and they [the US] brought about pressure through sanctions. If we relax [the pressure] it will be very bad,” asserted the former cabinet minister.  “Our situation is much better than it should be, in Syria and Iraq. In Lebanon it is so-so. And with Iran, the situation is not far from lost but I am very, very troubled.” And Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman was also of the opinion that Trump has changed direction on Iran’s nuclear program, saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had therefore lost “his greatest strategic asset,” that of his coordination with the US on the issue.  And Liberman took the opportunity to blast the prime minister as acting out of political expedience on multiple fronts, saying that his recent declarations on Iran and the Jordan Valley were designed to cover up “his capitulation to terror, his capitulation to the ultra-Orthodox, his capitulation to the budget deficit.” Asked about the implications of Trump’s decision to fire his hawkish, pro-Israel National Security Adviser John Bolton who has taken a very hard line on Iran, Liberman said it meant Netanyahu could no longer claim close coordination with the US on the issue. “Netanyahu’s greatest strategic asset was supposedly his coordination with the US on the Iranian issue. His campaign propaganda is based on pictures of him with Trump,” said Liberman who was in a particularly feisty mood.  “The removal of Bolton from the White House as national security adviser means only this: the end of all the coordination from a basic perspective between Netanyahu and the White House on the Iranian nuclear program,” the former defense minister claimed.  “For the State of Israel it is a very great problem. It places before us complex challenges.” He said however that he did not believe Trump would turn on Israel. We dont have the right to give them advice. They think firstly on the uS, and we must think how we deal with this new situation.  There is no doubt that Bolton was very very close to the position of Israel [on Iran], and the fact that he was fired is a change of direction there.  When asked about the upcoming elections, Liberman evaded a question as to whether he would recommend Blue and White leader Benny Gantz instead of Netanyahu, repeating his mantra that Yisrael Beytenu will “recommend a broad liberal national unity without the ultra-Orthodox and without the messianics,” the latter a reference to the hardline members of the Yamina party.  Liberman said that he would not in any way agree to dissolve the Knesset again for a third round of elections should there be a political stalemate after the September 17 ballot, and asserted that if Netanyahu cannot muster the backing of 61 MKs to recommend him to the president to form the next government “on that day his historic role will be finished.” Said Liberman “On that day the members of the Likud party will all run to replace him.” Asked if he has had contacts with senior Likud officials about ejecting Netanyahu, Liberman claimed that they he had not reached out to them but that many Likud officials were had been in touch with him.  “All the senior Likudniks phone me, and they are speaking with [ultra-Orthodox political leaders United Torah Judaism MK Moshe] Gafni and [Shas chairman Aryeh] Deri, and everyone else.

US May Slap Sanctions On Rosneft For Trading Venezuelan Oil

Rosneft

The United States is not ruling out imposing sanctions on Russia’s oil giant Rosneft over its involvement in trading oil from Venezuela, Sputnik quoted the U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, as saying on Tuesday. Asked whether Rosneft could be slapped with sanctions because it has been buying increased amounts of Venezuelan oil and reselling it, Abrams said, as carried by Sputnik: “Yes, it can be [sanctioned]. We have not gotten to that point yet.” “At some point, we will have to consider the question of Rosneft’s conduct and what kind of reaction we want to have to it,” the U.S. envoy for Venezuela added. U.S. President Donald Trump signed in early August an executive order freezing all assets of the Venezuelan government in the United States. The move may lead to the U.S. imposing secondary sanctions against companies doing business with the Maduro government—companies such as Rosneft. According to trading sources and ship tracking data, Rosneft has already become the largest buyer of oil from Venezuela. The Russian oil giant was the top buyer and trader of Venezuelan crude in July and the first half of August, Reuters reported last month.Rosneft has been reselling the oil from the Latin American country to buyers in China and India and thus helping buyers hesitant to approach Venezuela and its state oil firm PDVSA because of the U.S. sanctions on Caracas, and, at the same time, helping Venezuela to continue selling its oil despite stricter U.S. sanctions. Last month, people with knowledge of shipping arrangements told the Financial Times that Rosneft had remained the last gasoline supplier to Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela, extending a lifeline to the Socialist leader whom Russia supports. According to documents seen by FT, Rosneft’s trading arm Rosneft Trading shipped all the gasoline that Venezuela imported in June—eight cargoes totaling 1.7 million barrels via ship-to-ship transfers offshore Malta, Gibraltar, and Aruba.

Trump again knocks ‘boneheads’ at Federal Reserve, says interest rates should be ‘zero, or less’

President Trump in an early morning tweet on Wednesday knocked the “boneheads” at the Federal Reserve, calling for interest rates of “Zero, or less.”

“The Federal Reserve should get our interest rates down to ZERO, or less, and we should then start to refinance our debt. INTEREST COST COULD BE BROUGHT WAY DOWN, while at the same time substantially lengthening the term. We have the great currency, power, and balance sheet,” he tweeted.

“The USA should always be paying the the lowest rate. No Inflation! It is only the naïveté of Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve that doesn’t allow us to do what other countries are already doing. A once in a lifetime opportunity that we are missing because of ‘Boneheads,’ ” he said in a follow-up post.

Trump has frequently attacked the central bank and pressured it to lower interest rates. The decline could complicate Trump’s reelection bid, as the president has touted the state of the economy as one of his accomplishments. Job growth has recently slowed in the U.S., with 130,000 new jobs created in August. The figure was lower than economists expected and comes amid the president’s spiraling trade war with China.

Trump Calls for a Big Fed Rate Cut, Again Criticizes Central Bank Chairman

President says Jerome Powell has ‘horrendous lack of vision,’ says big reduction would improve economy

President Trump with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at the White House in 2017. Photo: nicholas kamm/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

WASHINGTON—President Trump on Monday called for the Federal Reserve to sharply cut interest rates and again criticized the central bank’s chairman for a “horrendous lack of vision,” while reiterating his belief that the U.S. economy is strong. The president said in a pair of tweets Monday morning that the Fed should cut its benchmark interest rate by at least a full percentage point and resume its crisis-era program of buying bonds to lower long-term borrowing costs. Such moves would typically be considered only when the economy faces serious peril, which Fed officials don’t believe to be the case. White House officials have said in recent days that they don’t believe the U.S. is headed toward a slowdown. Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said Sunday that there were no signs of a recession and that the White House is considering tax cuts aimed at the middle class, which Mr. Trump floated before the 2018 midterms but didn’t ultimately pursue. White House aides said Monday they are examining other proposals to bolster the economy. Among the ideas being discussed is a cut in the payroll tax, but two people familiar with the matter said they didn’t expect such a proposal to be pursued. One White House official said the president hasn’t endorsed the idea. Another White House official said Monday that “more tax cuts for the American people are certainly on the table, but cutting payroll taxes is not something under consideration at this time.” Payroll taxes, which are separate from the federal income tax, fund Medicare and Social Security and come out of workers’ paychecks, paired with employer levies. For 2011 and 2012, employees’ Social Security payroll tax rate was cut to 4.2% from 6.2% as a revamped tax break that was started in the 2009 stimulus law. Congress let that payroll-tax cut expire. In his latest criticism of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who goes by Jay, Mr. Trump said Monday that the U.S. economy “is very strong, despite the horrendous lack of vision by Jay Powell and the Fed.” If the Fed cut its benchmark rate by at least a percentage point and perhaps launched a new bond-buying program, the president tweeted, “our Economy would be even better, and the World Economy would be greatly and quickly enhanced.” Last month, the Fed trimmed rates by a quarter percentage point to a range between 2% and 2.25%, citing risks from slower global growth and unexpectedly soft inflation. Mr. Powell is navigating the Fed toward more rate reductions and is scheduled to speak Friday at the Kansas City Fed’s annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Investors are hoping Mr. Powell will provide more insight into his policy approach at a time when the economic outlook is buffeted by heightened risks and as the Fed is being publicly attacked to a degree that is virtually without precedent in its 105-year history. A rate cut of the magnitude Mr. Trump called for Monday, which hasn’t happened since the global financial crisis in late 2008. Interest-rate futures are pricing in a 95% chance that the Fed will reduce rates by a quarter percentage point at its Sept. 17-18 meeting. The probability of the benchmark federal-funds rate being lowered by a full percentage point before the end of the year is estimated at 2.2%, according to CME Group. Mr. Trump’s Twitter dispatch Monday came after he returned from a 10-day vacation at his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J., during which financial markets experienced wild swings and the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its biggest single-day loss of the year. While the president and his advisers have blamed the swoon on the Fed pushing interest rates too high last year, many economists and executives say Mr. Trump’s own trade policies are responsible for spooking financial markets, hurting business investment and weakening the global economy. Before Mr. Trump’s Aug. 1 announcement of the latest round of tariffs on Chinese goods, the Dow was less than 1% below its all-time high.

Bolton says he offered to resign night before Trump announced his firing

Outgoing national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday disputed President Trump‘s account of his dismissal, tweeting that he offered to resign before the president announced his ouster. “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow,'” Bolton tweeted.

The Washington Post reporter Robert Costa and other journalists said that Bolton had texted them to make clear that he resigned. The messages came moments after Trump rocked Washington with a pair of tweets that said he had asked Bolton to step down due to disagreements about policy. “I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning,” Trump tweeted. Bolton’s exit came as his influence with the president waned and amid clashes with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with whom Trump has a strong relationship. Bolton came into the administration a fierce opponent of Iranian influence and a past supporter of regime change. While the Trump administration has hammered Iran with sanctions, the president has in recent months expressed an openness to meeting with Iranian leaders, a clear contrast to his national security adviser. The president publicly rebuked Bolton during a trip to Japan earlier this year when he said he was not bothered by North Korea testing missile projectiles shortly after the adviser cited it as a violation of a United Nations resolution. Bolton was a leading voice in the effort to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. But months after the U.S. backed an opposition leader, Maduro remains in power and Trump has reportedly grown frustrated with the stagnant situation. Nick Bit: The only surprise is Bolton made it  as long as he did.

North Korea says it’s willing to talk with US, and launches projectile

Official: North Korea launches more short range missiles
Official: North Korea launches more short range missiles 02:28

Seoul, South Korea (CNN)North Korea launched two unidentified projectiles from South Pyongan Province toward the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, on Tuesday morning, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement. The JCS said they received warnings of the twin launches at 6:53 am and 7:12 am Korean time. They are believed to have flown a maximum of 330 kilometers (205 miles). “Our military is observing the situation and maintaining readiness,” the JCS sad. A senior US administration official said the US is monitoring the situation and consulting with allies. Japan’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that its territory was not threatened. The launches happened just hours after a top North Korean diplomat working on nuclear negotiations with the United States said Pyongyang would be open to resuming talks with Washington. The envoy, Choe Son Hui, said in a first-person statement published Monday by North Korean state media that North Korea is willing “to sit with the US side for comprehensive discussions of the issues we have so far taken up at the time and place to be agreed late in September.” “I believe that the US side will come out with a proposal geared to the interests of the DPRK and the US and based on the calculation method acceptable to us,” Choe said, referring to North Korea by an acronym for the country’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. After more than a year of refraining from missile tests, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s regime has conducted 10 launches since May including Tuesday’s. Most of those are believed to be short-range missiles, and experts say they have shown impressive technological advancements. In August, two projectiles were launched. A US official confirmed then that North Korea launched short-range ballistic missiles, and said they appear to be similar to other recent launches. The previous four rounds of launches by North Korea were believed to be short-range missile tests, which Pyongyang is barred from conducting under United Nations Security Council resolutions. US President Donald Trump has played down the tests when speaking about North Korea publicly. At one point he referred to them as “very standard. Trump said that Kim had only agreed to stop testing long-range ballistic missiles — the type that can reach the US mainland — and nuclear weapons. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that Kim hasn’t yet violated his commitment to Trump, but the US is “disappointed that he is continuing to conduct these short-range tests. We wish that he would stop that.” “But our mission set at the State Department is very clear: to get back to the table, to present a mechanism by which we can deliver … a full, completely denuclearized and verified denuclearized North Korea.” Analysts say the short-range missiles being tested threaten US troops deployed in northeast Asia and citizens living in US-allied countries like South Korea and Japan. And weapons experts have warned that the advanced technologies being tested on the short-range missiles could eventually be applied to long-range weapons. The missile tests also come at a time of increasing friction between Japan and South Korea, two key US allies in the region. Seoul announced last month that it would abandon a military intelligence sharing agreement, a change which former military and defense officials say will slow down decision making and make the movement of information less efficient. In an interview with CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout on Monday, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said that his country, South Korea and the US needed to form a united front in dealing with the threat from North Korea. “Right now, the major threat is coming from North Korea and I think we really need to be watertight among the US, Japan and South Korea,” he said. “And as South Korea’s defense minister said, there are some countries who would be happier if this alliance or relationship falls apart. We shouldn’t have that happening,” he added.

New Saudi energy minister says OPEC+ alliance staying for long term

ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s new energy minister said on Monday the world’s top oil exporter would keep working with other producers to achieve market balance and that an OPEC-led supply-curbing deal would survive “with the will of everybody”. Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who took over as energy minister from Khalid al-Falih on Sunday, told reporters there would be “no radical” change in the oil policy of Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s de facto leader, which he said was based on strategic considerations such as reserves and energy consumption. The prince had helped negotiate the deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, to cut global crude supply in order to support prices and balance the market. He told reporters on the sidelines of an energy conference in Abu Dhabi that the OPEC+ alliance was “staying for the long term” and called on OPEC members to comply with output targets. “We have always worked in a cohesive, coherent way within OPEC to make sure that producers work and prosper together,” the prince said. “It would be wrong from my end to pre-empt the rest of the OPEC members,” he said when asked whether there was a need for further oil production cuts to support the market. Prince Abdulaziz said oil markets were being driven by “negative sentiments” but he did not believe there was an impact on oil demand growth. He said the global economic outlook was expected to improve once a trade dispute between the United States and China was resolved. “People are speculating about a global recession but there is no recession today,” he said. The oil ministers of Oman and Iraq earlier told reporters in Abu Dhabi that it was too early to assess whether deeper cuts were required to support oil markets at a time of global recession concerns due to the U.S.-China row. The energy minister of non-OPEC Oman, Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy, said Muscat would like to see oil at $70 a barrel. He said overall compliance with the supply-curbing deal was good, but there were concerns that compliance was not fully shared. The oil minister of Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, said Baghdad was committed to complying with the deal and that his country’s production stood at 4.6 million barrels per day.“ We are definitely committed to respect (the curbs) … our exports have decreased by at least 150,000 bpd from the south,” Thamer Ghadhban said. OPEC, Russia and other non-members agreed in December to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd from Jan. 1 this year. OPEC’s share of the cut, which now runs to March 2020, is 800,000 bpd, delivered by 11 members and exempting Iran, Libya and Venezuela. On Sunday the United Arab Emirates’ energy minister, Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazrouei, said OPEC and non-OPEC producers were committed to achieving oil market balance and that Abu Dhabi would support any consensus decision on further production cuts. The OPEC+ joint ministerial monitoring committee, known as JMMC, will meet on Thursday in Abu Dhabi on the sidelines of the energy conference.

Iranian tanker row: Oil ‘sold’ in defiance of US threats

 

A tanker suspected of trying to deliver Iranian oil to Syria in defiance of international sanctions has now sold its cargo, Iran says. Satellite images appeared to show the vessel, the Adrian Darya-1, off the coast of Syria on Friday. But an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman would only say the ship had delivered its cargo after docking “on the Mediterranean coast”. The ship has been at the centre of a US-Iran diplomatic tussle. It was seized by British marines off Gibraltar in July and held there until 15 August when Iran gave assurances it would not sail to Syria. The US vowed on Sunday to impose sanctions on any buyer of the oil. “We will continue to put pressure on Iran and as President (Trump) said there will be no waivers of any kind for Iran’s oil,” US Treasury official Sigal Mandelker told Reuters. Separately, a British-flagged tanker seized by Iran in what many saw as a retaliatory move was being prepared for release, Iran’s foreign ministry said. The Stena Impero was going through the final legal processes and would be released “soon”, spokesman Abbas Mousavi said. The ship has been held since 19 July, for allegedly breaching maritime law – and Iran has consistently denied its seizure had any link to the detention of the Iranian tanker. Satellite imaging company Maxar released photographs which is said showed the Adrian Darya about two nautical miles off the Syrian port of Tartus on Friday. The tanker was carrying 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil. The ship, originally known as Grace 1 when it was detained in July off Gibraltar, a British territory, has been a further cause of tension between Washington and Tehran. British marines had helped Gibraltar authorities detain the vessel, partly drawing the UK into the row. The United States made an official request to seize the ship in August, but the courts in Gibraltar denied it.

The tanker’s fate was complicated by the different approaches from American and European leaders to Iran.

The US last year withdrew from the international 2015 deal to limit Iran’s nuclear programme, and reinstated sanctions. In response, Iran stopped abiding by some commitments in the deal.  The EU has sought to salvage the accord. The Iranian tanker was seized because it was suspected of heading to Syria in breach of EU sanctions. Authorities in Gibraltar released the vessel on 15 August after receiving assurances from Iran that it would not discharge its cargo in Syria. The US has been trying to seize the tanker since it was released by Gibraltar. It issued a warrant and blacklisted the vessel, threatening sanctions on any country which offered it aid. The ship has since been sailing east across the Mediterranean. Earlier this week it was revealed that a US official had even offered the captain of the ship millions of dollars to change course and sail the tanker to somewhere the US might be able to seize it. Following the emergence of the satellite images on Saturday, the UK’s Foreign Office called the reports of the ship’s presence near Syria “deeply troubling”.

UAE minister says he ‘wouldn’t suggest’ more oil cuts amid US China tensions

Dubai — UAE energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei on Sunday downplayed the possibility of deeper OPEC production cuts as a key ministerial committee gets set to meet later this week with oil prices still struggling around $60/b. OPEC, Russia and nine other non-OPEC allies are in the midst of a 1.2 million b/d production cut accord scheduled to run through March 2020, but there has been market speculation that the group could consider larger supply curbs. “I wouldn’t suggest we jump into cuts when we have an issue in trade tensions,” Mazrouei said in a press briefing ahead of the World Energy Congress, which begins Monday in Abu Dhabi. The OPEC/non-OPEC Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, on which Mazrouei sits, is scheduled to meet Thursday on the sidelines of the WEC. “Oil market is not only affected by supply and demand, it’s the main thing we can control, but there are geopolitical effects, concerns about trade tension especially between major economies like US and China.” The US and China have been engaged in a tariff tit-for-tat, leading many economists to downgrade their forecasts for global economic growth and oil demand. “If trade tensions escalate further, oil demand growth may soften even more, requiring much lower prices,” Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst for investment bank UBS, said in a note on Friday. ”

On the other hand, unexpected supply disruptions in the Middle East or a surprise production cut by OPEC and its allies may push oil prices higher.

Oil prices are some $10/b below where supply-and-demand fundamentals suggest they should be, according to some analysts, who cite the OPEC/non-OPEC cuts and US sanctions on OPEC members Iran and Venezuela for tightening the market. The nine-country JMMC, co-chaired by Saudi Arabia and Russia, is tasked with monitoring market conditions, assessing compliance with production quotas, and making policy recommendations to the wider coalition, whose next full meeting is December 5-6 in Vienna. OPEC crude production edged higher by 50,000 b/d in August to 29.93 million b/d, according to the latest S&P Global Platts survey, but the bloc’s compliance with its committed cuts remains healthy at 103%. The UAE, OPEC’s third largest producer, pumped 3.07 million b/d in August, the survey found, in line with its production quota under the deal. Mazrouei said at the press briefing in Abu Dhabi that the country “is totally committed to meeting and even exceeding its commitment.” Saudi Arabia early Sunday sacked its energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, who had been OPEC’s leading voice on the cut accord, and replaced him with Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, a longtime oil veteran and half-brother of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Falih had been energy minister since 2016 and many OPEC watchers expect no change to Saudi Arabia’s engagement with OPEC. “I expect a continuation of oil policy with closer cooperation with OPEC and non-OPEC but with a different management style,” said Bassam Fattouh, director of the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies, noting that Prince Abdulaziz played a key role in negotiating a 1997-98 OPEC/non-OPEC supply accord and in managing the sharp price swings during the financial crisis of 2008. The prince serves on the OIES board of governors. Mazrouei said the prince’s longstanding presence on Saudi Arabia’s OPEC delegation would make any transition easy for the group. “I would argue he is one of the oldest contributors and has been there for more than 30 years,” Mazrouei said. “I am sure he will do a great job and continue to do a great job like his predecessor, Minister Falih.”

Exclusive: IAEA found uranium traces at Iran ‘atomic warehouse’ – diplomats

FILE PHOTO: A person uses a smartphone to film the seat of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ahead of a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria July 25, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo

VIENNA (Reuters) – Samples taken by the U.N. nuclear watchdog at what Israel’s prime minister called a “secret atomic warehouse” in Tehran showed traces of uranium that Iran has yet to explain, two diplomats who follow the agency’s inspections work closely say. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is investigating the particles’ origin and has asked Iran to explain the traces. But Tehran has not done so, according to the diplomats, stoking tensions between Washington and Tehran. U.S. sanctions have slashed Iranian oil sales and Iran has responded by breaching its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

In a speech a year ago Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who vehemently opposed the deal, called on the IAEA to visit the site immediately, saying it had housed 15 kg (33 lb) of unspecified radioactive material that had since been removed.

Reuters first reported in April that the IAEA, which is policing the nuclear deal, had inspected the site – a step it had said it takes “only when necessary” – and environmental samples taken there were sent off for analysis. Israeli and U.S. media have since reported that the samples turned up traces of radioactive material or matter – the same vague language used by Netanyahu. Those traces were, however, of uranium, the diplomats said – the same element Iran is enriching and one of only two fissile elements with which one can make the core of a nuclear bomb. One diplomat said the uranium was not highly enriched, meaning it was not purified to a level anywhere close to that needed for weapons. “There are lots of possible explanations,” that diplomat said. But since Iran has not yet given any to the IAEA it is hard to verify the particles’ origin, and it is also not clear whether the traces are remnants of material or activities that predate the landmark 2015 deal or more recent, diplomats say. The IAEA did not respond to a request for comment. Iranian officials were not available to comment. The deal imposed tight restrictions on Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief, and was based on drawing a line under Iran’s past activities. Both the IAEA and U.S. intelligence services here believe Iran had a nuclear weapons programme that it ended more than a decade before the deal. Iran says its nuclear ambitions have always been peaceful. Hawks such as Netanyahu, who has repeatedly accused Iran of seeking Israel’s destruction, point to Tehran’s past to argue that it can never be trusted. The Islamic Republic’s previous secrecy might explain why uranium traces were found at a location that was never declared to the IAEA. The IAEA takes environmental samples because they can pick up telltale particles even long after material has been removed from a site. Uranium traces could indicate, for example, the former presence of equipment or material somehow connected to those particles. Cornel Feruta, the IAEA’s acting director-general, met Iranian officials on Sunday. An IAEA statement said afterwards: “Feruta stressed that these interactions (on its nuclear commitments) require full and timely cooperation by Iran.” The United States, pulled out of the nuclear deal last year by President Donald Trump, is trying to force Iran to negotiate a more sweeping agreement, covering Tehran’s ballistic missiles and regional behaviour, than the current accord. Iran says it will not negotiate until it is granted relief from U.S. sanctions, which France is trying to broker. In the meantime, Iran is breaching the deal’s restrictions on its nuclear activities step-by-step in response to what it calls U.S. “economic warfare”. A quarterly IAEA report issued a week ago did not mention the sample results because inspection-related matters are highly confidential. But it did say Iran’s cooperation could be better. “Ongoing interactions between the Agency and Iran…require full and timely cooperation by Iran. The Agency continues to pursue this objective with Iran,” the report said. It is far from the first time Iran has dragged its feet in its interactions with the IAEA over the agency’s non-proliferation mandate. The IAEA has made similar calls in previous reports, in relation to promptly granting access for inspections. The IAEA has likened its work to nuclear accounting, patiently combing through countries’ statements on their nuclear activities and materials, checking them and when necessary seeking further explanations before reaching a conclusion, which can take a long time. The process of seeking an explanation from Iran has lasted two months, the IAEA’s safeguards division chief told member states in a briefing on Thursday, diplomats present said. But he described what it was seeking an answer to far more generally as questions about Iran’s declaration of nuclear material and activities, since the details are confidential. “It is not something that is so unique to Iran. The agency has these cases in many other situations,” a senior diplomat said when asked about the current standoff with Iran. “Depending on the engagement it can take two months, six months.” That does not mean all member states will be happy to wait. “IAEA Acting Director General going to Iran just as IAEA informs its Board that #Iran may be concealing nuclear material and/or activities,” U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Twitter on Saturday. “We join with other @iaeaorg Board member states eager to get a full report as soon as possible.” The IAEA’s policy-making, 35-nation Board of Governors holds a week-long quarterly meeting starting on Monday.

Top US national security adviser: Iranian tanker seized by UK now off coast of Syria

Washington (CNN)US national security adviser John Bolton on Friday shared a satellite image of an Iranian tanker off the coast of Syria, after the Iranian government denied that it was the vessel’s final destination. The Iranian tanker— Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as the Grace 1 — was seized in July by the UK in Gibraltar, due to evidence that the vessel was attempting to carry oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.”Anyone who said the Adrian Darya-1 wasn’t headed to Syria is in denial,” Bolton wrote on Twitter, along with a satellite picture from DigitalGlobe timestamped September 6 showing the tanker two nautical miles away from the Tartus Naval Base in Syria. “Tehran thinks it’s more important to fund the murderous Assad regime than provide for its own people. We can talk, but Iran’s not getting any sanctions relief until it stops lying and spreading terror,” Bolton added. Anyone who said the Adrian Darya-1 wasn’t headed to #Syria is in denial. Tehran thinks it’s more important to fund the murderous Assad regime than provide for its own people. We can talk, but #Iran’s not getting any sanctions relief until it stops lying and spreading terror! pic.twitter.com/saar05T8wt

There have been heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran since President Donald Trump withdrew the US out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, and later reimposed all sanctions lifted under the 2015 agreement. This week, the Trump administration further ratcheted up pressure on Iran, announcing a reward program to disrupt Tehran’s financial operations as well as confirming it had offered to pay tanker captains if they helped the United States impound Iranian vessels carrying Iranian oil and unveiling a new wave of sanctions.
 Iran called the seizure of the tanker “illegal” and an act of “piracy.” Iran also denied that the ship was headed for Syria. Two weeks later, Iran seized a British-flagged tanker, the Stena Impero, in the Strait of Hormuz, in what has been widely regarded as an act of retaliation. Gibraltar’s Supreme Court released the Adrian Darya-1 on August 18, despite efforts from the US to block the ship’s release.
Gibraltar claimed it received assurances from Iran and the owners of the oil that, were the tanker to be released, its cargo would not be taken to Syria.
Iran disputed Gibraltar’s account and insisted it had made no such commitments. “Iran has made no commitment that the ship would not go to Syria because from the early hours of the tanker’s detention, we announced that Syria was not its destination and we have upheld the same … and reiterated that it was nobody’s business even if it was Syria,” the country’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said, according to semi-official Tasnim news. Nick Bit: America deserves to be nuked by trumps BFF Kim on Num Chucks or Iran….. simply for being STUPID!  YOU WILL NOT SURVIVE NO  MATTER HOW MANY IODINE TABLETS (hahahahahahaha)THE BULLSHIT SURVIVAL STORE SELLS YOU! You will die from Nausea and vomiting (within about an hour), reduced lymphocyte count (one day), reduced neutrophil and platelet count (less than one week), severe infection, bloody diarrhea, dehydration, death from 3 to 10 days. And you will not receive a bone marrow transplant. That therapy will be saved ( if needed ) for the ruling elite in their radiation proof bomb shelters. The real 5 star prepers who all ready storing their blood and bone marrow for a transplant.. But enjoy your naive stage.

Iran begins using more advanced centrifuges, violating dea

In this photo released by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, spokesman of the organization Behrouz Kamalvandi speaks in a news briefing in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019  Iran has begun injecting uranium gas into advanced centrifuges in violation of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Kamalvandi said. (Atomic Energy Organization of Iran via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has begun using an array of advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium in violation of its 2015 nuclear deal, a spokesman said Saturday, warning that Europe has little time left to offer new terms to save the accord. The comments by Behrouz Kamalvandi of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran signal a further cut into the one year experts estimate Tehran would need to have a enough material for building a nuclear weapon if it chose to pursue one. Iran maintains its program is peaceful. Iran already has breached the stockpile and enrichment level limits set by the deal, while stressing it could quickly revert back to the terms of the accord if Europe finds a way for it to sell its crude oil abroad despite crushing U.S. sanctions. However, questions likely will grow in Europe over Iran’s intentions as satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press on Saturday showed an once-detained oil tanker Tehran reportedly promised wouldn’t go to Syria was off its coast. Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have risen in recent months, with mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, Iran shooting down a U.S. military surveillance drone and other incidents across the wider Middle East. “Our stockpile is quickly increasing,” Kamalvandi warned in a news conference. “We hope they will come to their senses.”The accord saw Iran limits its enrichment of uranium in exchange for sanctions relief. Among the limitations was a requirement that Iran use only 5,060 first-generation IR-1 centrifuges. A centrifuge is a device that enriches uranium by rapidly spinning uranium hexafluoride gas. Today, Iran has begun using an array of 20 IR-6 centrifuges and another 20 of IR-4 centrifuges, Kamalvandi said. An IR-6 can produce enriched uranium 10 times as fast as an IR-1, Iranian officials say, while an IR-4 produces five times as fast. Iran already has increased its enrichment up to 4.5%, above the 3.67% allowed under the deal. Using advanced centrifuges means a shorter time would be needed to push up its enrichment. Kamalvandi said Iran had the ability to go beyond 20% enrichment of uranium. Experts say 20% is just a short technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90% enrichment. While Kamalvandi stressed that “the Islamic Republic is not after the bomb,” he warned that Iran was running out of ways to stay in the accord. “If Europeans want to make any decision, they should do it soon,” he said. Kamalvandi also said Iran would allow U.N. inspectors to continue to monitor sites in the country. A top official from the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency was expected to meet with Iranian officials in Tehran on Sunday. Kamalvandi made the remarks in a news conference carried on live television. He spoke from a podium with advanced centrifuges standing next to him. Meanwhile Saturday, satellite images showed a once-detained Iranian oil tanker pursued by the U.S. appears to be off the coast of Syria, where Tehran reportedly promised the vessel would not go when authorities in Gibraltar agreed to release it several weeks ago. The tanker Adrian Darya-1, formerly known as the Grace-1, turned off its Automatic Identification System late Monday, leading to speculation it would be heading to Syria. Other Iranian oil tankers have similarly turned off their tracking beacons in the area, with analysts saying they believe crude oil ends up in Syria in support of embattled President Bashar Assad’s government. Images obtained by The Associated Press early Saturday from Maxar Technologies appeared to show the vessel off Syria’s coast, some 2 nautical miles (3.7 kilometers) off shore under intermittent cloud cover. Iranian and Syrian officials have not acknowledged the vessel’s presence there. There was no immediate report in Iranian state media about the ship, though authorities earlier said the 2.1 million barrels of crude oil onboard had been sold to an unnamed buyer. The oil on board would be worth about $130 million on the global market, but it remains unclear who would buy the oil as they’d face the threat of U.S. sanctions. The new images matched a black-and-white image earlier tweeted by John Bolton, the U.S. national security adviser. “Anyone who said the Adrian Darya-1 wasn’t headed to #Syria is in denial,” Bolton tweeted. “We can talk, but #Iran’s not getting any sanctions relief until it stops lying and spreading terror!” U.S. prosecutors in federal court allege the Adrian Darya’s owner is Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, which answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. On Wednesday, the U.S. imposed new sanctions on an oil shipping network it alleged had ties to the Guard and offered up to $15 million for anyone with information that disrupts its paramilitary operations. Brian Hook, the U.S. special envoy for Iran, also has reportedly emailed or texted captains of Iranian oil tankers, trying to scare them into not delivering their cargo. Meanwhile, the U.S. Transportation Department’s Maritime Administration issued on Saturday a new warning to shippers about a potential threat off the coast of Yemen in the southern Red Sea. “A maritime threat has been reported in the Red Sea in the vicinity of Yemen,” the warning read. “The nature of the event is potential increased hostilities that threaten maritime security.” Large areas of war-torn Yemen are held by the country’s Houthi rebels, which are allied to Iran. Shipping in the Red Sea has been targeted previously by rebel attacks. On Wednesday, a warning went out after two small boats followed one ship in the region, but there’s been no other information about a new threat there. Cmdr. Joshua Frey, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said the Navy remained ready to maintain the safety of shippers in the region. He declined to specifically discuss the warning. The U.S. military’s Central Command did not respond to a request for comment.

Venezuela’s oil woes deepen as Chinese contractor halts work

CARACAS (Bloomberg) – A Chinese oil contractor halted work on an expansion project in Venezuela because it hasn’t been paid, underscoring the difficulties for the Nicolas Maduro regime even at energy ventures backed by allies. China Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering Corporation, an affiliate of government-run China National Petroleum Corp., notified the Sinovensa joint venture it has suspended work to expand a crude blending facility by 57% to 165,000 bpd, according to a document seen by Bloomberg and a person familiar with the matter. That’s in contrast to comments from state-controlled Petroleos de Venezuela SA last month announcing a second expansion to take output to 230,000 bpd at the project, which is jointly owned by PDVSA and CNPC — China’s biggest energy company. PDVSA declined to comment. A representative at the press office of CNPC didn’t answer two calls, or immediately reply to text messages seeking comment. The halt is another blow for Venezuela, which is increasingly reliant on Russian and Chinese oil companies to prop up an industry struggling against an economic blockade by Donald Trump’s administration. Chevron Corp. and four U.S. oilfield service companies will stop work in the Latin American nation at the end of October unless sanctions waivers are extended, potentially affecting nearly half the drilling rigs operating in the country. A project manager at HQC — as the Chinese contractor is known — said in a notification to Sinovensa it was owed more than $52 million in invoices dating back to 2018, and that it was suspending activities from Sept. 3. The JV is a key project in Venezuela’s Orinoco region that boasts the largest oil reserves on the planet and currently accounts for about half of the country’s remaining production.

US oil and gas rig count falls, Permian takes biggest hit

Houston — Permian sees lowest rigs count since January 2018. Most of weekly decline was oil rigs, down 16 to 767

The US oil and gas rig count fell 21 to 966 on the week, according to Enverus DrillingInfo data released Thursday, with Permian Basin rigs taking by far the biggest hit. Permian rigs in the West Texas/New Mexico basin were down 15 in the past week, leaving 418. That is the lowest number since the first week of 2018. Overall, most of the week’s rig count decline was in oil-oriented rigs, which were down 16 to 767, Enverus said. Gas rigs dropped by 8 to 191, while there was a three-rig gain in rigs not classified as either oil or gas. Of the other seven major named US basins, the Dry Marcellus, largely in Pennsylvania, was down by three to 26 rigs. Two basins lost a rig each: The Denver-Julesburg Basin, mostly in Colorado, is now at 26 rigs, while the SCOOP-STACK play in Oklahoma is at 65. But the Williston Basin in North Dakota and Montana, which encompasses the Bakken Shale, gained a rig for a total 59. Four other basins remained the same week on week: the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas stayed at 73, the Haynesville Shale of East Texas and northwest Louisiana remained at 52, the Wet Marcellus, also mostly in Pennsylvania, kept to 19 rigs and the Utica Shale, largely in Ohio, held steady with 16 rigs. Permit approvals this week were down by 198 compared to last week, for total US approvals of 790. Permitting was down in virtually all basins; the largest single move was in the DJ Basin, down 243 to zero this week. In other basins, the Wet Marcellus was down 22 to 9, the Permian was down 21 to 106, the Eagle Ford was down 19 to 26, and the Williston was down 17 to 10. All other named basins were down by 11 or less, except in the Utica Shale, which recorded a five-permit gain for a total of 6. Pioneer’s 10-year plan calls for adding two to three rigs per year, but the company will not add more in response to any oil price run-up should that occur. If prices drop and stay there, the company may reevaluate so as not to harm its balance sheet, Sheffield said. But if WTI prices should rise to $70/b, Pioneer will “not add a single rig.”

Exclusive: U.S. congressional probe finds possible lapses in Deutsche Bank controls – sources

Deutsche Bank’s anti-money laundering specialists once recommended that transactions involving entities controlled by President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a US agency that investigates financial crime

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. congressional investigators have identified possible failures in Deutsche Bank AG’s (DBKGn.D) money laundering controls in its dealings with Russian oligarchs, after the lender handed over a trove of transaction records, emails and other documents, three people familiar with the matter said.

The congressional inquiry found instances where Deutsche Bank staff in the United States and elsewhere flagged concerns about new Russian clients and transactions involving existing ones, but were ignored by managers, two of the people said.

Lawmakers are also examining whether Deutsche Bank facilitated the funneling of illegal funds into the United States as a correspondent bank, where it processes transactions for others, one of the sources said. The congressional probe, whose initial findings have not been previously reported, is at an early stage, and it is not yet clear whether it will lead to any action against the bank, the three sources said. A Deutsche Bank spokesman, Troy Gravitt, said the bank cannot comment on the work of the congressional committees but remains committed to cooperating with authorized investigations. Addressing past deficiencies in the bank’s controls, the spokesman said: “We have worked to address them, taken disciplinary measures with regards to certain individuals and reviewed our client onboarding and monitoring processes.” The House of Representatives Financial Services Committee declined to comment.

The Democrat-controlled House began examining possible money laundering in U.S. property deals involving President Donald Trump, a Republican, earlier this year. The lawmakers are also looking into whether Trump’s dealings left him subject to the influence of foreign individuals or governments.

The White House and a Trump Organization spokeswoman, Amanda Miller, did not respond to requests for comment. Deutsche Bank has been drawn into the inquiry as Trump’s biggest lender and submitted documents to investigators in response to a subpoena. The stakes are high for the German lender, which is trying to engineer a turnaround under Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing after a multi-year bet on building a global investment banking business unravelled. Graham Barrow, a financial crime consultant, said that while the bank had since sought to reform, it had taken too many risks in countries such as Russia. “The bank decided to go for becoming a global investment bank,” Barrow said. “They were compromised.”Deutsche Bank declined to comment on Barrow’s view. In 2017, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay regulators in the United States and Britain $630 million (511.24 million pounds) in fines for organising $10 billion in sham trades that could have been used to launder money out of Russia. Two of the sources said that the preliminary findings of the congressional investigators may have some overlap with that case but also include lapses unrelated to that matter. New evidence thrown up by the congressional probe could feed into further investigations by other authorities, regulatory experts said. If evidence of wrongdoing is found, it could also harm the bank’s efforts to strengthen its relationships with U.S. regulators and deter investors concerned about the possibility of future regulatory sanctions. Deutsche Bank’s shares hit an all-time low last month. Earlier this year, the House Financial Services Committee served a 12-page subpoena on Deutsche Bank. Reuters has seen a version with portions blacked out. Lawmakers requested documents that identify “any financial relationship, transactions, or ties” between Trump, his family members and his companies and “any foreign individual, entity, or government”, according to the subpoena. It also asks for hundreds of documents relating to other bank clients, including Russian oligarchs, the three sources said. These documents include account applications, know-your-client money laundering checks, internal assessments of “suspicious activity”, as well as information about loans and mortgages, according to the subpoena. Although Trump has challenged the release of his banking records in court, in April Deutsche started handing over information that is not directly related to the president and is continuing to do so, one of the people said. That includes material prepared by bank staff for filing so-called suspicious activity reports to the U.S. Treasury Department and documents about Russian deals circulated among the bank’s management and reputational risk committee, one person said. The bank has also assembled a large amount of the subpoenaed Trump material, pending the court’s decision on whether it should be released, the three people said. The House Financial Services Committee will continue its investigation of Deutsche Bank’s money laundering processes regardless of whether the court rules the lender should hand over the Trump documents to investigators, three sources familiar with the investigation said. Nick Bit: Trump is OWNED by the Russians. He fights for them on a daily bass. You saw the dog and pony show he did at the G7 trying to get them admitted. This ties into is refusal to release his tax returns. He was stone cold broke until he started laundering money for Ruiisan crime organizations with his real estate deals. Deutsche Bank has been one of the few big banks willing to lend money to the Trump Organization in recent years. Trump’s businesses have borrowed more than $300 million from Deutsche to finance a golf course in Florida and hotels in Chicago and Washington, according to financial disclosures and public filings from 2012 to 2015. And I understand why the Round UP farmer, and the assemble line opiod worker and coal is great again no minds don’t care. They are to stupid! We have reported to you loud and long about this bank where 1 trillion dollars in capita was lost by their algo trades. They are still hiding billions of loses and counter party risks where their is no money to cover the staggering losses shared with US investment banks. Their corruption and desperation will bring down the global financial system….. And you if your not very wise and very careful!

Trump clings to idea Alabama faced big threat from Dorian- Totally not true

President Donald Trump holds a doctored chart as he talks with reporters after receiving a briefing on Hurricane Dorian in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, in Washington. You can see where the cone was extended with a black magic marker to show Alabama in the cone. The REAL chart issued by the National Weather Service had only the white cone

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump isn’t giving up on the dubious idea that Alabama faced a serious threat from Hurricane Dorian. During an Oval Office briefing Wednesday, Trump displayed a map of the National Hurricane Center forecast for last Thursday that showed Dorian could track over Florida. The map he displayed included what appeared to be a hand-drawn half-circle that extended the cone of uncertainty over a swath of Alabama. Trump had raised eyebrows and drawn an emphatic fact check from the National Weather Service on Sunday when he tweeted that Alabama, along with the Carolinas and Georgia, “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.”

The National Weather Service in Birmingham, Alabama, tweeted in response: “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama.

The system will remain too far east.” No meteorologists put Alabama in the hurricane’s path. Asked Sunday if Trump had been briefed about potential impact to Alabama, Christopher Vaccaro, a spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, wrote in an email, “The current forecast path of Dorian does not include Alabama.” On Monday, Trump pushed back on skeptics by insisting that “under certain original scenarios, it was in fact correct that Alabama could have received some ‘hurt.’” And then, on Wednesday, Trump displayed the graphic with the alteration that suggested the storm could have tracked over Alabama. Trump had no explanation for who had altered the map he displayed in the White House. But he told reporters, “I know that Alabama was in the original forecast.” He added: “Actually, we have a better map than that which is going to be presented, where we had many lines going directly — many models, each line being a model — and they were going directly through. And in all cases Alabama was hit if not lightly, in some cases pretty hard. … They actually gave that a 95% chance probability.”  Trump later tweeted a map dated Aug. 28, claiming: “As you can see, almost all models predicted it to go through Florida also hitting Georgia and Alabama. I accept the Fake News apologies!” Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, responded: “He has no clue what he’s talking about, or what is plotted on that map. At the time of that cycle, Alabama was at even lower risk than before, and it was barely anything to start with.” The National Hurricane Center has issued 45 advisories giving probabilities for tropical storm and hurricane force winds for dozens of cities. Alabama locations have not been in any of those wind probability advisories, although Massachusetts and Canadian locales have been listed. “Trump should have just admitted he made a mistake and moved on!” emailed Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. Ryan Maue, a meteorologist, said it’s important for the president’s tweets to be accurate if he wants to provide helpful information to the public facing a potential emergency. He said the problem with the president’s tweet came from sending out stale information. “If he’s going to be a provider of up-to-date information, he needs to be up to date,” Maue said. Nick Note: he will soon do far worse. I am amazed that people put up with this shit! This is a very dangerous man!