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!
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.
Tehran says US bases and aircraft carriers stationed up to 1,200 miles around Iran are within range of its missiles.
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.
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”.
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”.
Having failed at “max pressure”, @SecPompeo‘s turning to “max deceit”
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.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) September 15, 2019
“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.
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.
- 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.’
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.
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.
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’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 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.
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.
“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!!!!
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.
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!
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?”
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!
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!
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.
U.S. weighs Iran strategy without nuclear deal…
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.
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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”.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!
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!
Boris Johnson’s bid for snap election is CRUSHED: Corbyn chickens out of letting public go to the polls as
- Boris Johnson’s hopes of triggering an October 15 election were dashed after MPs rejected the idea last night
- The PM fell far short of the required two-thirds agreement in the Commons after Jeremy Corbyn abstained
- A clearly frustrated Mr Johnson ridiculed Mr Corbyn as first Opposition leader in history to turn down a poll
- Premier looks cornered after Remainers pushed legislation through House to rule out No Deal at Halloween
- It would force the PM to ask for a Brexit delay until January if there is no agreement in place by October 19
- Mr Johnson said the law effectively ‘ends negotiations’ with the EU and it is new to clear Lords tomorrow
- Glimmer of light for the PM after Mr Corbyn said he could back a poll after No Deal legislation is finalised
- But a massive Labour civil war has erupted over whether to demand a Brexit extension before an election
- Rebel MP Ken Clarke launched tirade at ‘game playing’ PM in the Commons after being stripped of Tory whip
Jeremy Corbyn denied voters the chance to decide the future of Brexit last night after ordering his MPs to block Boris Johnson’s call for a snap election. A visibly frustrated PM ridiculed the stance taken by Corbyn – who did not even bother to be present for the declaration of the result – taunting that he was the first Opposition leader ‘in history’ to turn down the opportunity of a poll. But crucially, Mr Johnson did not give a clear indication of how he might now try to extricate himself from the impasse – merely hinting that he might try staging another vote in the coming days. That move appeared more likely in the early hours of today after the House of Lords reached an unexpected agreement to allow the rebel No Deal bill to pass by tomorrow evening. That potential lifeline would remove a key obstacle to Labour supporting a new bid to send Britain to the polls. Without it, Mr Johnson appeared to have few other cards left to play. Yesterday’s vote leaves the Prime Minister in potential purgatory with just a few days to find a solution before Parliament is suspended next week. Last night aides were frantically casting round for an alternative way to either force an election or kill off the rebel legislation.
A weary-looking Mr Johnson tried to put a brave face on the dire situation after the vote was declared in the House. ‘I note that the leader of the opposition is once again not in his place in what I think is a slightly symbolic way,’ he said. Nick Bit: We just got “lucky” and happened to “guess” again that the no deal exit wold win and the Pound would soar. So we put you in a pound trade. Do not try this trade at home without adult supervision. I guarantee your FOREX asshole is clueless. Stay up with my trade updates things could get squirrelly FASSSST!.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says he wouldn’t be surprised if U.S. bond yields turn negative. And if they do, it’s not that big of a deal. “There is international arbitrage going on in the bond market that is helping drive long-term Treasury yields lower,” Greenspan, who led the central bank from 1987 to 2006, said in a phone interview. “There is no barrier for U.S. Treasury yields going below zero. Zero has no meaning, beside being a certain level.” Negative yields are confounding traditional fixed-income investors. Lenders traditionally were compensated for parting with their money, while borrowers paid to use that cash for some purpose. That’s no longer the case in many markets outside the U.S., with more investors coming to grips with the changing dynamics of global markets over the last few years. Escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China, worsening global growth, political tensions in Europe and more central banks embarking on policy easing has resulted in more than $15 trillion of negative-yielding bonds worldwide. Add in U.S. stock-market volatility that is prompting investors to scoop up Treasuries and the result is yields on benchmark U.S. securities racing toward record lows.
Speculation that the Fed is behind the curve when it comes to easing monetary conditions is adding fuel to the fire. While current Fed Chairman Jerome Powell last month referenced a mid-cycle adjustment when the central bank lowered rates, Wall Street strategists increasingly see that type of minor easing as unlikely as recession risk grows. Germany’s entire curve is already fully below 0%, while even the 10-year yields of some of the riskiest nations in the euro area — such as Spain and Portugal — are getting close to negative. Demand for 30-year U.S. Treasuries has been so strong that yields fell Tuesday to as low as 2.0951%, just above an all-time low. Joachim Fels, global economic adviser at Pacific Investment Management Co., detailed earlier this month a view that there’s been a change in the fundamental economic theory of time preference that helps explain why people are buying debt with negative yields. He postulated that extended life expectancy and an aging population have caused people to value future consumption more than current spending. Greenspan, 93, said he views Fels’s thesis as very plausible and also a reason why more debt has a yield below zero. He doesn’t think it will last forever. “Why people continue to buy long-term Treasuries at such low yields may be also due to forces having altered people’s time preferences,” Greenspan said. “But there is hundreds of years of history showing the long-term stability in time preference, so these changes won’t be forever.” Jack Malvey, another long-time prominent figure in the bond market, also prefers to use centuries of bond history to guide his views. The former chief global fixed-income strategist at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. says he has charts of long-term yields back to the 1800s. Data back through the 1930s show that yields can “stay hyper low for years and years,” he said. “The worldwide demand for Treasuries can feed upon itself,” said Malvey, who does consulting now. “The unbelievable negative rates in Japan and across parts of Europe reinforces the temptation for international institutional bond investors to diversify by acquiring U.S. fixed-income securities. It’s certainly possible that Treasuries could penetrate historic floors.”
Oil’s Wednesday gain set to wipe out Tuesday’s losses by a factor of two!
Oil futures rebounded Wednesday, moving in step with a global rally in assets perceived as risky, as investors focused on geopolitical optimism and forecasts for shrinking U.S. supplies ahead of more closely followed weekly inventory reports. “Positive sentiment towards risky assets,” with U.S. and global benchmark stock indexes also rising in Wednesday dealings, kept the oil “bears at bay, for now,” said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at Forex.com. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery CLV19, gained $2.43, or 4.49%, to $56.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, following Tuesday’s 2.1% decline, which led to the lowest front-month contract finish since Aug. 26. The global benchmark, November Brent crude BRNX19, +4.26%, rose $2.49, or 4.27%, to $60.77 a barrel, more than wiping out its 0.7% drop from a day ago, on ICE Futures Europe. U.S. petroleum inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Energy Information Administration will be each delayed by a day to Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, because of the U.S. Labor Day holiday on Monday, when most major U.S. markets were closed. The EIA is expected to report a fall of 3 million barrels in domestic crude supplies for the week ended Aug. 30, according to a survey conducted by S&P Global Platts. That would mark a third straight weekly decline for crude stockpiles. Hope of weakening U.S. supplies and some upbeat developments in Asia have helped underpin buying in risky assets. Equity markets in Hong Kong HSI, +3.90% jumped by the most in a day since November after the city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she would formally withdraw the extradition bill that sparked monthslong demonstrations that have hurt the territory’s economy. Still, some crude investors remain worried that the global outlook remains dim, marked by unresolved trade tensions between the U.S. and China, and signs of weakening economic growth, including in the U.S.—factors that could eventually erode oil demand. On Tuesday, the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index fell to 49.1% in August—the reading was the lowest since January 2016 and indicated a contraction in activity. That report was released after the U.S. and China both raised tariffs on goods imported from the other, including a 5% levy on U.S. oil to China.
“The ongoing trade war between the world’s largest economies has hurt China perhaps more than the U.S. but a few signs of a slowdown have now emerged in the U.S. too – not least the ISM’s manufacturing purchasing managers index, a key factory gauge, which unexpectedly contracted for the first time since 2016,” wrote Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at Forex.com, in a Wednesday research report.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Tuesday, with U.S. crude futures down more than 3%, weighed by manufacturing data that raised concerns about a weakening global economy, while the U.S.-China trade dispute continued to drag on investor sentiment. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures fell $2.13, or 3.85%, to $53.03 a barrel by 12:23 p.m. EDT . Brent crude LCOc1 futures fell $1.25, or 2.13%, to $57.36 a barrel. Prices extended losses following data that showed U.S. manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years in August, with new orders and hiring declining as trade tensions weighed on business confidence. The U.S. numbers came after separate data showing Euro zone manufacturing activity contracted for a seventh month in August as a continued decline in demand sapped optimism. “That deterioration is continuing to undermine the demand growth outlook for oil,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital in New York. Elsewhere, South Korea’s economy expanded less than expected in the second quarter, with exports revised down in the face of the U.S.-China dispute, central bank data showed on Tuesday. Oil prices have fallen around 20% since a 2019 peak reached in April in part because of concerns that the U.S.-China trade war would dent oil demand. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that trade talks between the United States and China were going well, though he warned that he would be “tougher” in negotiations if the discussions drag on until his second term. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said on Tuesday that China firmly opposes a trade war as it is not good for it, the United States and the world, the state news agency Xinhua reported. Washington began imposing 15% tariffs on an array of Chinese imports on Sunday, while China began placing new duties on U.S. crude oil. The U.S.-China trade dispute “is the single most important flat price driver of late,” said Tamas Varga of oil brokerage PVM. Though the trade conflict has intensified, Trump said the two sides would meet for talks this month. Meanwhile, on the supply side, output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries rose in August for the first month this year as higher supply from Iraq and Nigeria outweighed restraint by Saudi Arabia and losses caused by U.S. sanctions on Iran. Russian oil production C-RU-OUT in August rose to 11.294 million barrels per day (bpd), topping the rate cap pledged by Moscow in a pact with other producers and hitting its highest since March, data showed on Monday. Data due this week on U.S. inventory levels will be delayed by a day to Wednesday and Thursday because of the U.S. Labor Day holiday on Monday. Nick Bit: Bottom line US GDP is GROWING by 2% which is above the long term tend. And oil inventories are the lowest they have been in over a year. This is a great big yawn. Typical after a holiday weekend. And the storm is adding a degree of uncertainty. I expect the lows to hold,
KISSIMMEE, Fla., (Reuters) – At a retirement community in central Florida, elderly residents waited for a bus on Monday to take them to a shelter as one of the most monstrous Atlantic hurricanes on record crawled toward the state. Mary McNiff, 92, sat in her wheelchair waiting to board at the Good Samaritan Society in Kissimmee, near Orlando, one of more than a million people under evacuation orders along the U.S. East Coast on the Labor Day holiday. “Kind of anxious to get it over with,” she said before a rare trip off the property. “I haven’t been out for two years really with this leg,” she said, pointing to a cast on her left leg that she has been wearing since she had complications with a blood clot. Hurricane Dorian was still miles out to sea, squatting over the Bahamas where it had already destroyed homes with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour (249 kph). Forecasters warned it could still be dangerous as it drew closer to Florida even if its eye did not make landfall in the state. The National Weather Service warned of hurricane-strength winds, several feet of storm surges and the risk of dangerous flash floods along much of the Florida coastline in the coming days. Sue Watson, one of McNiff’s neighbors, was reluctant to move from the place she has called home for 14 years. “I was all set to stay home until they had to turn the water off,” she said as she waited for the bus to pull out. She was not afraid, she said. “God knows what he’s doing and he’s in control.” Another Florida resident, Randy Hightower, 71, evacuated from his mobile home in Daytona Beach to the Volusia County Fair Grounds shelter on Monday with his wife and dog. He called himself “an old Florida cracker” and said: “I’m more scared of this one than I’ve ever been of one in Florida before.” Nine counties in Florida have ordered mandatory evacuations, while seven counties have voluntarily evacuations. Farther north, officials in coastal South Carolina and Georgia ordered hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes for shelter. On what would have usually been a bustling Labor Day holiday, historic downtown St. Augustine was instead filled with the sound of power saws, drills and hammers as bay-front businesses fortified themselves against impending winds and flooding. It is the third storm Joy Warren and her husband, Andrew, have weathered since buying their 16-bedroom waterfront bed and breakfast more than a decade ago. “I don’t know how many hurricanes it’s been through,” she said. “It’s still here. I love it. I’m going to get in as soon as I can. If it’s trashed, I’ll rebuild again.” The Pedro Menendez High School in St. Augustine has been converted into a shelter with space for 500 people. Lee Franco headed inside clutching a pillow and a box of tissues. She had only moved to Florida six months ago but felt prepared. “Because I was following the news, I knew what I needed, so we have sleeping bags, our papers and everything we need,” she said. “It’s so boring there, there’s nothing to do. You read and play with the telephone and that’s it.” Steven Apuzzi, 49, was hoping he and his three children would get in. His family has been homeless and arrived at the shelter in a gray Dodge caravan in which they have been sleeping. “I’m going through it,” he said, describing the problems a single father faces getting access to shelter. “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get into this shelter. I’m hoping and praying.” The shelter eventually let him in and he called it a blessing. Once the hurricane passed, he was not sure where the family would head next.
Iran has warned that they will ‘take a strong step’ away from the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers if Europe does not offer the country new terms this week. Iran had previously set a Friday deadline for Europe to help Tehran sell its oil on the global market despite US sanctions. Iran has already gone over the stockpile and enrichment limitations placed on it by the 2015 deal. However, Tehran said those steps are quickly reversible. Iranian government spokesman, Ali Rabiei, pictured has said that Iran will make a ‘strong move’ away from the 2015 nuclear deal if Europe fails to offer Tehran new ways to bypass US sanctions. He told reporters that Iran’s strategy was ‘commitment for commitment’ and that money sold from Iranian crude should be available to be returned to Tehran
The landmark 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and leading world powers sought to limit Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons in exchange for relief of economic sanctions. US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in May last year. Iran responded by enriching its uranium, something they had agreed against in the agreement Government spokesman Ali Rabiei’s comments came as Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif goes to Moscow and his deputy travels to Paris with a team of economists for last-minute talks before the deadline. The developments come after French president Emmanuel Macron surprised the Group of Seven summit in France by inviting Mr Zarif last week. Mr Rabiei described Iran’s strategy to journalists at a press conference in Tehran as ‘commitment for commitment.’ He said: ‘Iran’s oil should be bought and its money should be accessible to return to Iran. This is the agenda of our talks.’ It is unclear what the terms of negotiation are. In theory, anyone caught buying Iranian crude oil would be subject to US sanctions and potentially locked out of the American financial market. The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed last week that Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium still exceeds the amount allowed by the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA as the deal is known. The UN agency also said Iran continues to enrich uranium up to 4.5 per cent, above the 3.67 per cent allowed. Enriched uranium at the 3.67 per cent level is enough for peaceful pursuits and is far below weapons-grade levels of 90 per cent. At the 4.5 per cent level, the uranium can help power Iran’s Bushehr reactor, the country’s only nuclear power plant.
It remains unclear what further steps Iran will take, though it could involve restarting advanced centrifuges prohibited by the deal or further bumping up its enrichment of uranium. ‘We will announce implementation of the third step in a letter to the Europeans if the Europeans do not impalement necessary measures by Thursday,’ said Mr Zarif in an interview with Iran’s parliament news agency, ICANA. The nuclear deal is meant to keep Tehran from building atomic weapons in exchange for economic relief. It has been complicated by the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the deal and Washington’s increased sanctions on Tehran, which have been taking a toll on the Iranian economy. That has left the other signatories – the UK, Germany, France, Russia and China – struggling to come up with enough incentives to keep Iran in the deal.
Above is a map of the uranium enrichment site in Fordow near Qom, Iran. Guard towers are spaced 25 metres apart along the perimeter which is protected by a double ring of steel. There is also an underground tunnel entrance to the facility
The Iranian vessel, the Adrian Darya-1, was spotted on Monday moving slowly outside of Lebanese territorial waters. It had been positioned just off the coast of Syria which US Secretary of State alleges was due to a trip to an oil refinery. American authorities have warned countries not to accept the vessel, which is carrying £106 million worth of crude oil Meanwhile on Monday, an Iranian oil tanker pursued by the US that has been travelling across the Mediterranean Sea is now off the coast of Tripoli in northern Lebanon. The ship-tracking website MarineTraffic.com showed the Adrian Darya 1 moving slowly just outside the Lebanese territorial waters, after it had stood off the coast of Syria a day earlier. US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has alleged the ship is bound for a refinery in Syria, which was the reason that authorities had seized the vessel off the coast of Gibraltar in July. The US has warned countries not to accept the Adrian Darya, which carries 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil worth some £106 million.
China’s manufacturing sector recovered in August largely driven by the fastest growth in production in five months, survey data from IHS Markit showed Monday.
The Caixin factory Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 50.4 in August from 49.9 in July. A score above 50 indicates expansion.
The official manufacturing PMI dropped to 49.5 in August from 49.7 in July. Meanwhile, the non-manufacturing PMI improved to 53.8 from 53.7, data released over the weekend showed. Markit showed that production grew at the fastest pace in five months but total new orders received was broadly stable. Improved domestic demand helped to offset a further reduction in export sales. Exports fell at the quickest pace since last November. The improved production trend led firms to expand their purchasing activity further, while stocks of finished goods rose for the first time this year to date.
Employment was broadly unchanged in August, following a moderate reduction in July. Reflecting reduced raw material prices, the rate of reduction in input costs was the joint-quickest since January 2016, the survey showed. Lower cost burdens and efforts to stimulate sales led firms to cut their output charges at a quicker pace in August, with the rate of discounting the steepest since December 2015. The degree of confidence among manufacturers weakened from July, largely due to concerns over the ongoing China-US trade dispute and signs of a slowing global economy. China’s economy showed signs of a short-term recovery, but downward pressure remains a long-term problem. Amid unstable Sino-American relations, China needs to step up countercyclical policies, Zhengsheng Zhong, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group said. Julian Evans-Pritchard and Martin Lynge Rasmussen, economists at Capital Economics, said the big picture is that the PMIs remain consistent with a renewed slowdown in year-on-year economic growth. The fiscal support currently in the pipeline is unlikely to fully offset headwinds and authorities will have little choice but to roll out further policy easing measures in the coming months, the economists noted. Nick Bit: Trumps has a hardon (without his usual double dose of those blue pills) he says the Chinese economy is crumbling. Like so much of what Trump says is just not true! These reports are independent of Chinese government information spin. In other words sanctions are killing American business and prospering the Chinese,,…… Its not that difficult to be smarter then Trump. HE WILL BLINK FIRST AND CAVE IN!i
Investigators are trying to figure out why a man armed with an assault-style weapon went on a chaotic and deadly shooting rampage in Texas on Saturday. Theacross the heart of Texas oil country. Police say seven people were killed, ranging in age from 15 to 57. At least 22 others were hurt. The gunman was let go from his job at a trucking company Saturday morning, just hours before the shooting, according to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth Station KTVT. Sources close to the investigation tell the station, “They don’t believe his firing was the motivation behind the deadly shooting.” On Sunday, law enforcement were seen searching a home in Odessa believed to be connected to Ator, reports national correspondent David Begnaud. Investigators say the rampage began just after 3 p.m. on a west Texas interstate when state troopers tried pulling over a car following reports of a person driving erratically. The driver opened fire with an assault-style rifle – hitting and wounding a trooper – before driving off. For nearly two hours, the gunman led police on a high-speed chase while firing randomly at people. At one point, he hijacked a mail van, killing 29-year-old Mary Granados, who was working on her postal route. Mary’s twin sister, Rosie, was on the phone with her when the gunman attacked: “She was screaming for help,” she said. “And I did my best to go help her, but I couldn’t get there on time.” “Did she say anything to you after you heard the screaming?” Begnaud asked. “No,” Granados replied, “because she was already dead.” The suspect sped down the highway before slamming into patrol cars in Odessa trying to block the stolen postal service van. The shooter was killed exchanging gunfire with police. Ethan Baeza was one of dozens of people who ran for safety to a nearby movie theater during the standoff between the shooter and police. “We feared for our lives,” Baeza said. “It was the scariest moment of my life.” Investigators say the violence could have been much worse. “Local law enforcement and state troopers pursed him and stopped him from possibly going into a crowded movie theater and having another event of mass violence,” said FBI special agent Christopher Combs. Police have identified the shooter as 36-year-old Seth Ator. They say he acted alone, and don’t believe he had any ties to terrorism. Public records show he was arrested in 2001 for two misdemeanors. The shooting occurred less than a month after . Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the massacres unacceptable. “Too many Texans have lost their lives,” Abbott said. “We need solutions that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals, like the killer here in Odessa, while also ensuring that we safeguard second amendment rights.”
FIVE people were killed and at least 21 injured after a maniac mass shooter hijacked a mail van and opened fire at random in Texas last night.
Terrified locals and at least three officers were shot in the city of Odessa and neighbouring Midland, police said.
Midland Police confirmed that one shooter was chased down and shot dead at a Cinergy cinema in Odessa. Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said: “Once this individual was taken out of the picture, there have been no more victims.” Cops are yet to release the identity of the dead shooter – and instead only revealed he is a white male in his 30s who was known to police.
In 2013, President Obama’s director of drug policy, Gil Kerlikowske released a study which cited marijuana as the drug most commonly linked to crimes. The links between marijuana and violent behavior transcend national, religious and racial divides. (Read the two most recent cases of religious violence.) Heavy or very heavy use of marijuana at a young age links several gunmen and terrorists with or without ideologies: Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Dear; Aurora shooter James Holmes; Tucson shooter Jared Loughner, and the Chattanooga shooter Mohammed Abdulazeez. Marijuana was intricately tied to the Boston bombers, the Oklahoma City bomber and the Bastille Day terrorist in Nice. Brahim and Salah Abdeslem, who planned killing 130 at a Paris night club, and Cherif Kouachi, of the Charlie Hebdo killings, also belonged to the complicated web of heavy, chronic marijuana users. The perpetrators of bombings in London and Manchester were known to be heavy marijuana users.
Among the injured was a child under the age of two who was rushed hospital in an unknown condition.
He then engaged in a fierce gun battle with police and was shot dead in front of panicked bank holiday weekend shoppers. Mobile phone footage later showed people running out of the movie theatre and screaming in horror. As Odessa television station KOSA aired breaking news on live TV, their broadcast was dramatically interrupted by police telling them they had to clear the area. Retail stores, a shopping mall and the University of Texas Permian Basin were locked down as rumours spread of the shootings and sightings. US President Donald Trump tweeted: “Just briefed by Attorney General Barr about the shootings in Texas. The shooting comes less than a month after a gunman shot dead 22 people in El Paso, Texas. A separate mass shooting the following day left nine dead in Dayton, Ohio. Odessa is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Midland. Both are more than 300 miles (483 kilometers) west of Dallas.
An upcoming report by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog organization, known as the International Atomic Energy Agency, includes new language suggesting the Islamic Republic has not been cooperating with international nuclear inspectors who are mandated to provide oversight on the Islamic Republic’s weapons program, according to multiple sources familiar with the contents of the report. The IAEA’s yet-to-be-published report on the matter began circulating late Friday among reporters and Iran watchers in Washington, D.C., and it is said to show that Iran has stopped adhering to its transparency commitments under the landmark Obama-era nuclear agreement. Iranian leaders have been warning for months that the country has ended its cooperation surrounding the nuclear portfolio, including efforts by Iran to enrich uranium to levels prohibited under the nuclear deal and necessary for a functional nuclear weapon.
The IAEA’s findings, the contours of which were confirmed by sources to the Washington Free Beacon, are likely to fuel calls by Iran skeptics on Capitol Hill for a full snapback of international sanctions on Iran, which were lifted under the JCPOA, the acronym used for the nuclear deal.
This issue is more than likely to come to a head as top Trump administration officials and diplomats from across the globe gather in New York City for the U.N.’s upcoming General Assembly meeting. New language in IAEA’s latest report indicates claims that “ongoing interactions between the Agency and Iran relating to Iran’s implementation of its Safeguards Agreement [and] Additional Protocol require full [and] timely cooperation by Iran,” according to a portion of the report published Friday by the Institute for Science and International Security, a nuclear watchdog group that routinely has access to such reports. “The Agency [IAEA] continues to pursue this objective with Iran.” A State Department spokesman, speaking on background to the Free Beacon, said reports of Iran’s noncompliance “raise serious questions.” “While the IAEA report remains restricted until released publicly, any indication that Iran is not fully cooperating with the IAEA raises serious questions,” the official said. “We look to the IAEA to continue to inform the international community in a timely fashion of any lack of full Iranian cooperation consistent with IAEA safeguards practices.” Furthermore, “any potential delay, denial, or deception by Iran that inhibits the IAEA’s essential nuclear safeguards verification work in Iran would be completely unacceptable,” according to the official. “Iran must comply with its safeguards obligations, and immediately provide the IAEA nothing short of full cooperation.” The IAEA’s rumored findings are all the more concerning given Tehran’s history of obfuscating its nuclear weapons work and lying to the international community. A nuclear archive seized from Iran by Israeli spies revealed that Iran never fully shuttered its nuclear weapons program, particularly at secretive military sites across the country.
One such site, the Fordow nuclear research facility, remains functional and is enriching uranium, the key component in a bomb, despite portions of the JCPOA mandating that Iran dismantle the facility.
“Especially given the history of Iran’s nuclear program, and its efforts to preserve a vast archive of materials from its past nuclear weapons program, any new concern related to Iran’s safeguards implementation would be an extremely serious matter,” the State Department official told the Free Beacon. “This new IAEA report comes as Iran is threatening to again expand its proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities in a transparent attempt at nuclear extortion,” the official said. “Iran has yet to address continuing concerns about its nuclear program, which would be only heightened by any lack of cooperation with the IAEA. The international community must speak clearly that full and transparent cooperation with the IAEA is the only path forward for Iran.”
An Iran expert briefed on the report told the Free Beacon that the report shows Iran has no intention of living up to its nuclear commitments, despite international pressure.
“Now we know Iran never intended to comply with the nuclear deal let alone with their broader obligations to the IAEA,” the source said, also speaking only on background about the developing diplomatic matter. “The IAEA did their very best to bury it in the new report but even they had to acknowledge the problem. And yet there are people inside the administration who want to keep the deal on life support. They’re setting up the president for personal humiliation and, when that inevitably happens, they’re going to own it.” Iran hawks in Congress, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) have raised the issued of what to do about Iran’s potential noncompliance in past correspondence to the Trump administration. This includes unilateral sanctions by the United States, as well as a full snapback of lifted sanctions by the international community.
It is alleged that the phone call, in which Chinese officials invited their US counterparts to resume trade talks, didn’t happen the way Donald Trump described it did.
The POTUS has yet to comment on the speculation. Donald Trump appears to have fabricated the story about a phone call by Chinese officials to members of his administration in a bid to prop up economic growth and, as a result, his 2020 campaign, CNN reports. Speaking to reporters at the G7 summit in France on Monday, Trump said that “China called last night our top trade people and said, ‘Let’s get back to the table’.” “They have been hurt very badly but they understand this is the right thing to do and I have great respect for it,” he added, expressing hope that a deal would be forged. But two unnamed US officials told CNN that the president “was eager to project optimism that might boost markets, and conflated comments from China’s vice premier with direct communication from the Chinese.” Despite assertions by Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that there had been “communication” which Chinese trade officials, the aides “privately conceded the phone calls Trump described didn’t happen the way he said they did.” Neither the White House nor Trump have commented on the claim yet. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang cast doubt on the veracity of Trump’s comments, saying he was not aware of the call: “I can tell you clearly that I haven’t heard of such a thing.” Trump’s phone call story came up shortly after Vice-Premier Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator, noted that Beijing wanted a “calm” resolution to the trade war. “He wants to see a deal made, he wants it to be made under calm conditions,” Trump said of Liu He’s statement. “He used the word ‘calm,’ I agree with him.” The White House sources were quoted as saying that Trump’s language was meant to make up for a possible backlash from his electorate over the delay in the border wall’s construction, as well as quell mounting recession concerns. A 2019 survey by the National Association for Business Economists has found that more than 70 percent of economists think the United States will tip into its next recession by the end of 2021. Some predict it may happen even earlier. One of the factors fuelling these fears is Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China, which he started last year under the pretext of eliminating the yawning trade gap and accusations of unfair trading. The dispute saw Washington and Beijing exchange several rounds of multi-million-dollar tariffs. The latest one saw the United States hike duties on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. China in response slapped tariffs on $75 billion in US imports. The two superpowers have been engaged in negotiations which have yielded no results so far; the latest positive signals from both sides of the table have elicited a measured response from the market, however.
You do not have a lot of time to figure it out…the war is on!
Washington gave Israel its blessing to strike Iranian-backed forces in Iraq a day after Pentagon leaders distanced themselves from the operations, emphasizing the United States is a “guest” in the country. “It’s our position that if neighbors of Israel allow a malign third country that does not share a border with Israel to use their sovereign territory as holding ground for increasingly sophisticated dangerous weapons, the only purpose of which is to attack Israel, I think those governments, if they cannot curb or control those elements, are going to have to be prepared to be responsible for them,” a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters Thursday. “So be it Lebanon, be it Syria, be it Iraq — I think that has to be our very clear message to those governments.” That is the Trump administration’s most explicit signal of support for Israeli operations against Iranian-backed Shiite militias in Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israeli forces have reportedly targeted Tehran-controlled weapons depots in Iraq and on Sunday conducted an apparent drone strike against Hezbollah’s Iran-supplied missile systems in Beirut. Military offensives in both countries could complicate the regional situation for the U.S. and Israel, but those dangers have been trumped by alarm that Iran is amassing an arsenal in strategic locations throughout the Middle East. Iran has transferred more than 100,000 rockets to Hezbollah in recent years, according to U.S. officials. The Sunday operation targeted some of the systems Iran has been developing to upgrade those rockets into precision-guided missiles. The size of that arsenal suggests that the Israeli Defense Forces would not be able to shield every building in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv in a conflict. “It’s our position that Israel is only acting because of Iran’s actions,” the official said, all but confirming that Israel is responsible for the recent strikes in Iraq and Lebanon. “If Iran is not pouring heavy weapons and fighters into Israel’s neighbors with the express purpose of threatening Israel, I wouldn’t think Israel would be needing to take any of these actions. And we fully support Israel’s right to self-defense and denounce Iran’s regional campaign of violence.” The sorties against Shiite militias around Baghdad have irritated Iraqi leaders and stirred unease among American military leaders, in part due to the risk of political or terrorist blowback against the approximately 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq as part of the campaign to defeat the Islamic State. Iranian-backed militias gained ground and influence in Iraq after the U.S. withdrew in 2011. Defense Department officials, wary of any policy that might trigger another war in the Middle East when the Pentagon is bracing for long-term competition with China, distanced the U.S. military from Israel’s reported operations in Iraq multiple times this week. “We support Iraqi sovereignty and have repeatedly spoken out against any potential actions by external actors inciting violence in Iraq,” the Pentagon said in a statement Monday. “The government of Iraq has the right to control their own internal security and protect their democracy.” Pentagon leaders expressed the same sentiments Wednesday, in the first press conference held by a defense secretary in a year. “We are in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government, and we are there and focused on one thing, our forces, and that is working with and through the Iraqi forces to execute the D-ISIS campaign,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Wednesday when asked about the reported Israeli operations in Iraq. “Obviously, we’re concerned about anything that may impact our mission, our relationship, or our forces,” he said. “We remain focused on supporting Iraq and supporting our forces in Iraq to go after ISIS.” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, who appeared alongside Esper, concurred. “Again, all of our operations are consistent with the agreements that we have with the Iraqi government. All of our operations, in conjunction with the Iraqi Security Force, are focused on ISIS. All of our operations,” he said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on the other hand, emphasized Israel’s right to self-defense in a Thursday morning radio interview. “Each time Israel has been forced to take actions to defend itself, the United States has made very clear that that country has not only the right but the duty to protect its own people,” Pompeo told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt. “And we are always supportive of their efforts to do that.” That’s a natural attitude for Pompeo, who has helped orchestrate the administration’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran in the year since Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and renewed sanctions on the regime. The Israeli strikes provide a martial component to that campaign, which the administration maintains is designed to pressure the regime to negotiate new restrictions on its nuclear program and tame Tehran’s actions throughout the Middle East. “If there’s any one thing that is pretty clear about American strategy, it is precisely that the way to get Iran to the table and to get a better deal with Iran if we ever get to that is to keep the pressure on on every front,” David Pollock, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the Washington Examiner. “Economically, militarily — whatever we can do, and our friends in the region or elsewhere can help us do, to keep the pressure on Iran, that’s good.” What’s not clear is how far apart the White House and Foggy Bottom are from the Pentagon. “They’re kind of speaking to two different audiences, but I don’t think it’s a deep split,” James Phillips, a Middle East analyst at the Heritage Foundation, told the Washington Examiner, speaking of Pompeo and Esper. “Both are committed to the containment of Iran, it’s just the Pentagon in Iraq in the short run is focused on preventing ISIS from returning.” Pollock agreed that Esper is signaling that Netanyahu should keep one eye on the potential for retaliation against the U.S., either by local fighters or by politicians in Baghdad. “It was not a sign of surprise or anger or something like that at Israel for doing it,” Pollock said. “It was an expression of concern — be careful and remember we’re here too, and we don’t want to be tagged with your operations because they’re yours, not ours.” There is broad consensus that American officials have a real stake in maintaining a good relationship with Iraqi political leaders, at least publicly. “It’s a matter of jeopardizing the American military presence in Iraq, and whether because of direct retaliation or because Iraqi politicians will finally carry out the threats that some of them have been making for a long time, which is that we don’t want the Americans here,” Pollock said. “As serious as it is, it’s probably outweighed by the larger strategy — which is not to accept, either on behalf of the U.S. or Israel, the Iranian entrenchment in Iraq.” Trump’s team showed little interest in questions about whether Israel’s operations violate Iraq’s rights as a sovereign nation. “I think that’s actually an excellent question for the Iranians,” the senior administration official said. “Where was their respect for Iraqi sovereignty when they were putting this material into Iraq? That seems to be a pretty gross violation of sovereignty, if that’s the topic under discussion.” Nick Bit: See the war is on. By the time its on CNN breaking news its time to take profits as the lizards crowd in!
Your World host Neil Cavuto closed his show Thursday afternoon with a monologue addressing President Trump’s recent criticism of Fox News. The segment began with an audio clip of President Trump discussing his displeasure with Fox News during an interview on Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade’s radio show. Cavuto reacted to President’s Trump complaint that Fox News “isn’t working for us anymore,” reminding him that “we don’t work for you. Nick Bit: The cracks in the armer are everywhere. Trumps most ardent supporters are starting to distance themselves from him. The sold out media does not want to get cashed out when not if the Trump administration crashes and burns, As far as Cavuto… he is a flaming asshole. Who was a idiot when he was on CNBC and fired. A idiot when he tried to start a financial newsletter (what a joke that was) and he is even a bigger idiot now that he is on HA HA HA HA Fox business full of shit news!!!!
STOCKTON (CBS13) — At least 100 individuals can be seen in video involved a brawl that forced a response from police and paramedics in Stockton Thursday afternoon. Cell phone video captured the chaos that spilled off-campus at Stagg High School. A crowd can be seen converging around one fight at first, then another and another. Theresa Saunders shot video of the massive melee on her cell phone. She owns a flower store across the street from the school. “This one went from boom boom boom boom, all these different fights,” Saunders said. “It’s like what happened in school? Was it a day to get revenge for each other?” At one point video shows a single Stockton Unified School District police SUV attempt to break up the fights. An officer inside using a loudspeaker commanded people out of the street, but the crowd did not disperse. “I asked her ‘where the backup?’ she said, ‘they coming,’” Saunders said. More Stockton Unified School District police officers eventual arrived. Video shows officers taking one person into custody.
“I just don’t understand the kids nowadays, it’s like they just fighting,” Miles said. “They should all get along. I’m hearing too much violence out here.”
The Stockton Unified School District sent an email to parents Thursday evening alerting them of the incident they call an “ongoing investigation.” A spokesperson said an individual who was treated at a hospital was also arrested for their role in the massive fight. Fists flying in this massive after-school scuffle. “Now it’s on Facebook, and you’re momma see you out here fighting, what’s she going to think?” Saunders said. The school district plans to have extra security on hand Friday as a precaution. Nick Bit: This is a direct result of the Marianna epidemic. It is making people far more violent. See this brain scan of the amygdala (lizard brain) on pot. Talk about lighting up a joint and you life
This ain’t your hippie days good shit. This is a powerful hybrid pushed on the masses by none other then you good friend and Nazi collaborator George Sores. And yes we did advise them on their great currency trade. See this link
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil futures fell on Friday, with U.S. crude down nearly 4% ahead of a hurricane near the Florida coast that could dampen demand, but prices were still headed for the biggest weekly increase since early July, boosted by an easing of U.S.-China trade rhetoric. Brent crude LCOc1 futures fell 79 cents, or 1.3%, to $60.29 a barrel by 11:20 a.m. EDT (1520 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures fell $2.09, or 3.7%, to $54.62 a barrel. Hurricane Dorian gained strength as it crept closer to Florida’s coast on Friday, raising the risk that parts of the U.S. state will be hit by strong winds, a storm surge and heavy rain for a prolonged period after it makes landfall early next week. “The latest modeling has Hurricane Dorian avoiding the Gulf of Mexico, while raking the entire state of Florida, turning it into a demand destruction event for the energy market rather than a supply disruption event,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital in New York. Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ oil output rose 80,000 barrels per day in August, the first monthly increase this year, a Reuters survey found. OPEC, Russia and other non-members, an alliance known as OPEC+, agreed in December to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd in 2019. Russia’s oil output in August was slightly higher than levels agreed under its output deal with OPEC+, but Moscow is still aiming to fully comply with the deal, RIA and Interfax news agencies cited Energy Minister Alexander Novak as saying. Oil prices have fallen by around 20% since they hit a 2019 peak in April, in part because of concerns that the U.S.-China trade war could hurt the global economy and soften demand for oil. In August alone, Brent was set for a monthly drop of 7.4%, and WTI was on track to lose 6.3%. This week, however, WTI is set to rise 0.9% and Brent by 1.6%, in part due to hopes that trade tensions between the world’s two biggest oil consumers are easing. Chinese and U.S. trade negotiating teams are maintaining effective communication, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday at a daily news briefing in Beijing. On Thursday, the United States and China gave signs that they will resume trade talks, discussing the next round of in-person negotiations in September ahead of a looming deadline for additional U.S. tariffs. “Recession fears are casting a shadow on sentiment and oil prices should keep dancing to the tune of the U.S.-China trade saga,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM. Analysts polled by Reuters slashed their price forecasts for Brent to an average of $65.02 in 2019 – the lowest in more than 16 months – citing softening global demand brought on by an economic slowdown and the trade row.
Rig count losses mostly from oil rigs, down 10 to 783
Houston — The US oil and gas rig count continued to drop Thursday and was down 11 to 987 on the week, as industry continues to wait for more data points to gauge its own uncertain trajectory amid oil prices that have stalled. Rig losses this week came almost entirely from the oil side which dropped 10 rigs week on week ended Wednesday, leaving 783. Rigs chasing natural gas remained steady at 199. There was also a net loss of one rig that was not classified as oil or gas. Most major basins fell by at least one rig or stood still, according to data supplied by Enverus’ RigData segment. The biggest basin movements came in the SCOOP-STACK play in Oklahoma, down 4 to 66 and in South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale where the rig count fell 3 to 73. Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg Basin lost 2 rigs, leaving 27. Losing one rig apiece were the Permian Basin of West Texas and southeast New Mexico, falling to 433, and the Wet Marcellus mostly sited in Pennsylvania, down to 19. Holding firm with last week were the Dry Marcellus, also mostly in Pennsylvania, at 29 rigs, and the Haynesville Shale in Northwest Louisiana and East Texas at 52. Two basins gained a rig – the Williston Basin in North Dakota and Montana, up to 58, and the Utica Shale mostly in Ohio, up to 16. Many observers predict the rig count will continue to drop as oil prices remain in the mid-$50s/b for WTI and around $60/b for Brent. E&P operators are meeting their production goals as they adhere to capital discipline pledges and devise better well completion techniques, and now seek ways to further pare expenses. Oil prices dropped a bit on average, according to Platts average assessments. WTI was down 75 cents this week to $54.75/b, while WTI Midland was down 84 cents to $54.67/b. The Bakken Composite price was down 53 cents to $48.27/b. “A drop in the oil-directed horizontal rig count last week … should be closely watched as investors remain keenly focused on the needed rationing of upstream capital and the potential support this could lend to 2020 balances,” Evercore ISI Group Stephen Richardson said in a late Wednesday note.
Richardson added that the Baker Hughes rig count was down by 18 week on week, the second-largest weekly decline since early 2016. Baker Hughes uses Enverus RigData in its own rig count calculations.
Analysts have noted a second “merger of equals” among midcap companies was announced Monday – PDC Energy’s acquisition of SRC Energy, following Callon Petroleum’s move in July to take out Carrizo Oil & Gas – may be the next industry trend that builds scale and removes costs for oil companies”It’s hard to ignore the slow simmer of corporate M&A in the sector,” Richardson said. “The reality is efficiencies are [slowing] and there does not look to be much lemon to squeeze for many, but the industry is self-sufficient at a low-$50s/b WTI price.” Permits approved were also up on the week to 983, a gain of 89. The biggest number came from the DJ Basin, up by 143 permits to 243, and the Wet Marcellus, up 28 permits to 31. In the Permian, the number of approved permits was down 23 to 127. Otherwise, the number permits up or down was under 15 for the US’ eight large named basins.
DUBAI/LONDON/RIYADH (Reuters) – The board of Saudi Aramco has determined that listing the state energy giant in New York would carry too many legal risks to make it a realistic option, five sources said, although they said a final decision lay with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince. New York was the exchange favoured by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before plans for the initial public offering were put on hold last year, the sources said, even after Aramco’s lawyers and some government advisers had raised legal concerns. New York offers the largest investor base in the world, vital for an IPO that aims to attract as much as $100 billion (81.5 billion pounds), a sum that could prove tough for other exchanges to raise. U.S. President Donald Trump urged the kingdom to list in New York. One source familiar with the IPO plan told Reuters the board, made up of cabinet ministers and Aramco executives, had concluded at an August meeting that a U.S. listing would not be considered “unless Aramco is offered sovereign immunity that protects it from any legal action.” “This is, of course, hard if not impossible to achieve,” the source added. Like other sources who spoke to Reuters, he asked not to be named because of sensitivities surrounding the fate of the IPO which the crown prince hopes will value the company at $2 trillion. Some insiders and bankers say that figure is too high. The move to rule out New York and scale back on the valuation suggests technocrats in Aramco and the government are pushing for a more realistic IPO plan, the sources said. Alongside New York, exchanges in London, Hong Kong and Tokyo have been keen to woo Saudi officials to secure a deal to trade shares in Aramco, which is expected to have a primary listing in Riyadh. But Saudi officials say the New York disclosure process and complex regulations might legally interfere with the sovereignty of the Saudi government, which would remain the major Aramco shareholder, probably retaining a 95% stake. “Listing in New York is no longer an option,” one industry source familiar with the IPO process said. Riyadh and London were now the main options, with the domestic listing first to be followed by an international offering at a later stage, four of the sources said. “The likelihood of a local listing is increasing, with 1-2% of Aramco being listed locally,” another source familiar with the IPO process said, adding that “the other possibility is listing in London”. Three sources said potential litigation risks in the United States included U.S. Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) and proposed U.S. legislation known as “NOPEC”, which could lead to Aramco being sued in U.S. courts. “The whole system is highly litigious, but of course Aramco has lots of investments in the U.S. which will continue,” said another industry source, who has discussed the IPO process with Saudi officials. NOPEC legislation would make it illegal for foreign nations to work together to limit fossil fuel supplies and set prices, opening Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to U.S. legal challenges. JASTA allows lawsuits against the Saudi government as it says it helped plan the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and should pay compensation. Riyadh denies the charges. Aramco could also become embroiled in existing lawsuits against oil companies in the United States for their role in climate change, the sources said. Saudi Aramco said in a statement it “continues to engage with the shareholder on IPO readiness activities”, when asked by Reuters if New York had been dropped as a listing venue. “The company is ready and timing will depend on market conditions and be at a time of the shareholder’s choosing,” it added, without elaborating. Tadawul, the main Saudi stock exchange, has said it expected inflows of $15 billion to $20 billion this year after its inclusion in the FTSE Russell and MSCI emerging market indices, helping secure liquidity for Aramco’s local listing. The crown prince has favoured a New York Stock Exchange listing in part because of Riyadh’s longstanding ties with Washington, sources familiar with Saudi thinking have said. Aramco began life in the 1930s as a U.S.-Saudi venture. Selling a 5% stake in Aramco has been a centrepiece of Vision 2030, a plan to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil. But the IPO, initially slated for 2017, has faced repeated delays. The IPO is now not expected until Aramco completes its acquisition of a majority stake in petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), pushing it back to 2020 or 2021. Aramco has already asked major banks to submit proposals for potential roles in the planned IPO, two sources said. Saudi banks were pitching for various roles in the IPO in late August in the eastern Saudi city of Dhahran, while international banks would be pitching for mandates for the share sale in early September in London, one of the two sources said.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices on Friday were set for their biggest weekly gains since early July, boosted by a decline in U.S inventories and a looming hurricane in Florida, while new signs of trade talks between the United States and China emerged. Brent crude LCOc1 was up 8 cents, or 0.1%, at $61.16 a barrel, by 0420 GMT after adding 1% on Thursday. Brent is heading for a gain of 3% this week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 fell 7 cents, or 0.1%, to $56.64 a barrel. The contract is set for a gain of more than 4% this week. “The frothy price action emphasizes the store that energy markets place on trade progress to support further gains in prices going forward,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA. “What is given, can be taken away though, and the rally looks more like it’s running on vapors than petrol,” he said. Worries about a slowdown in economic growth due to the trade war between the United States and China and the impact on oil demand, the countries are world’s two biggest oil consumers, kept a lid on price gains, even as falling inventories indicate a balancing market. However, on Thursday, the United States and China gave signs that they will resume trade talks, discussing the next round of in-person negotiations in September ahead of a looming deadline for additional U.S. tariffs. The approach of Hurricane Dorian toward Florida raised fears that offshore U.S. crude producers may shutter output if the storm passes into the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. Dorian is heading toward landfall on the Atlantic coast of Florida over the weekend and may enter into the eastern Gulf of Mexico next week. It is forecast to strengthen and become a highly dangerous Category 4 hurricane on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said. Chevron Corp’s (CVX.N) 356,440 barrel-per-day Pascagoula, Mississippi, oil refinery is closely monitoring the progress of Hurricane Dorian, a company spokesman said on Thursday. Last month, Hurricane Barry prompted offshore oil companies to shut as much as 74% of production, lifting U.S. crude prices, before it weakened to a tropical storm. Government data on Wednesday showed U.S. crude stocks dropped last week by 10 million barrels to their lowest since October as imports slowed, while gasoline and distillate stocks each fell by over 2 million barrels. Inventories at the nation’s main delivery hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI futures, slumped last week by nearly 2 million barrels to their lowest since December, the data showed. Cushing stocks have dropped by over 300,000 barrels since the government report, traders said, citing market intelligence firm Genscape’s midweek report. But the EIA data also showed that U.S. production rebounded to a weekly record of 12.5 million barrels per day, suggesting there is still plenty of supply available.