NO MORE NATION BUILDING, JUST KILLING THE BAD GUYS.

NO MORE NATION BUILDING, JUST KILLING THE BAD GUYS.
ICHEOKU says the United States of America mandate to its military engaged overseas particularly Afghanistan is stop cuddling the bad guys, just whack them. ICHEOKU says certainly a c-change in the rules of engagement and it will certainly make it easier for our warriors who will risk less of their lives and limbs in battle fields. President Donald John Trump is definitely leading as said and providing the leadership our military needs as their Commander in Chief. Way to go.

NORTH KOREA PUT ON NOTICE: DON'T PUSH ME.

NORTH KOREA  PUT ON NOTICE: DON'T PUSH ME.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. As I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power." - President Donald John Trump. ICHEOKU says the Michelin Tire midget at Pyongyang is definitely courting trouble and messing with the wrong man. He probably thinks Barack Obama the redline president is still in office; but unbeknownst to him there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Donald John Trump and he does not mess around. Hopefully China can rein in the little man before he commits mass suicide with his North Korean people.

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER
"When you lose to somebody who has a 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself. So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that." - Senator Charles Schumer, Senior Senator from the State of New York and Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate. ICHEOKU says the statement spoke volume and it spoke for itself. Finally it seems the Democrats have finally turned the corner and are now ready to face up to their abysmal performance in the last presidential election by acknowledging that the American people indeed choose Trump over their Hillary Clinton. Thankfully, they will also now rest their "Russians Did It" cockamamie and find a message they can present to the people and for the good of the country.. Time to move the process forward is now as American people did not buy into the crap of a Russian collusion which they tried unsuccessfully to sell to them.

IT IS GAME ON: MAYWEATHER FIGHTS MCGREGOR

IT IS GAME ON: MAYWEATHER FIGHTS McGREGOR

ICHEOKU says August 26 is the day history will be made as two of the world's most interesting athletes square off in the ring. Boxing champion Floyd MayWeather and mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor, will fight on August 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada. ICHEOKU says not in a position yet to place bet on who will win the fight. Salute


BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY

BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY
ICHEOKU says the time has come and the time is now for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to be allowed to choose their self governance and exit from Nigeria going forward.. A referendum on the future of Biafra is a legitimate demand of the people and it is their right to so do. The people of the Nation of Biafra want to of their own way because of the hostilities from other member nations of Nigeria. Let the United Nations order a referendum and let the people decide in their own Biafraexit.

PDJT ISSUES VERDICT ON ISLAMIST TERRORISTS


"There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it. Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God; they worship death. If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen and what will be the end result. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread, peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence, and the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered. If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God." - President Donald John Trump.


BBOB: BRING BACK OUR BIAFRA

ICHEOKU says it is worth fighting for, self determination and it is not a crime for a people to aspire for self governance. Indigenous Peoples of Biafra are marching forward and hopefully they will soon get to the promised land. Viva Biafra.
#BringBackOurBiafra.




"When two raging fires meet together, they do consume the thing that feeds their fury. Though little fire grows great with little wind, yet extreme gusts do blow out fire." - William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew


WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN LIFE - STEVE JOBS

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. Memories precipitated by love is the only true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. The most expensive bed in the world is the sick bed. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life. Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others.” - SJ

EVIL CANNOT BE TRULY DESTROYED.

"The threat of evil is ever present. We can contain it as long as we stay vigilant, but it can never truly be destroyed. - Lorraine Warren (Annabelle, the movie)


ONLY THE POOR WISH THEY HAD STUFF?

“I’m not that interested in material things. As long as I find a good bed that I can sleep in, that’s enough.” - Nicolas Berggruem, the homeless billionaire.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

OPEC COLLAPSES WORLD ECONOMIES!

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries known by its acronym, OPEC has crashed the world economy and must be held responsible for all the hardship facing mankind today. It was a rude joke when crude oil price skyrocketed to $148 dollars per barrel last summer; and despite all the entreaties, cajoling and outright genuflecting by the West, the countries constituting the cartel refused to bulge. These little "big" guys of OPEC countries were feeling like demi-gods, beating their chest on their perceived victory over the West? This blogger remembers the hoofing and puffing of the little man in Tehran, Ahmadenajad, that in Caracas Hugo Chavez and their friend in Moscow, the face of KGB Vladimir Putin? Their pugnacity at challenging the West with their new found energy leverage shows that some people should never lay their hands on real power otherwise the world will be held hostage in perpetuity. The result of their stubbornness is that today, so many world economies have collapsed and several others, on life support.
These guys at OPEC forgot that we are in this together; that the whole world economies are intertwined with one another; that these economies are so connected that if there is a glitch on any of the wheels driving the economy be it in America, Asia or Europe that the ripple effect goes down stream to everyone, everywhere in the globe. They forgot that if America does not buy no one sells and if America does not sell no one buys! So one may ask, what the frigging hell was this OPEC cartel thinking in the first place? Today America has stopped buying and the factories in China, Japan , South Korea etc are scaling down their production. When China does not make money selling to America, they will not have money to buy Sudan's oil and when Sudan does not sell their oil they will not have money to buy Kalashikovs (AK47) guns from Russia with which to kill their citizens in Darfur. When the Russians cannot sell their guns, they will not have money to buy French fine cognacs and Hummer vehicles from America and when America cannot sell their vehicles, the factories either shut down or are downsized and there goes the vicious circle of world economies linked together in an unholy wedlock. What OPEC started is a dance of death which forebodes no one any good. They simply do not have control, despite their oil. It is a domino-effect where one fall triggers series of falls. The chain reaction goes on and on and before you could say Jack Robinson, the entire world economy is near comatose! The irony of this is that some of these OPEC countries like Iran does not even have the capacity or the know-how to refine their own crude oil or to develop its refining capacity. They buy refined gas from foreign refineries at the same high price and Icheokudotcom wonders what then is the use of the stubborn price hike?
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a cartel of 13 countries including Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela has its headquarters in Vienna, pictured below. It was founded in 1960 in Baghdad - Iraq, at the initiative of then Venezuelan Energy and Mines minister Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo and his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Energy and Mines minister Abdullah al-Tariki, to unify and coordinate members' petroleum policies. Although OPEC's ability to control the price of oil has diminished somewhat since the 1973 oil war, due to the discovery and development of large oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea, and the opening up of Russia oil to the west; OPEC nations still account for two-thirds of the world's oil reserves, and as of March 2008, controls 35.6% of the world's oil production.. Icheokudotcom says this is an example of what is possible were the West to succeed in its present quest to source alternative source of oil. Breaking the strangle-hold which OPEC has on the world energy supply will be hilarious indeed!
The next largest group of producers are members of the OECD and the Post-Soviet states which produce only 23.8% and 14.8%, respectively, of the world's total oil production.

These countries of OPEC, if they are smart should start placating the West now, otherwise, before too long they will be forced to 'drink' their oil since no one will be needing it any longer. The West, especially America are investing massively in alternative energy sources of solar, wind, natural gas, ocean-tide etc and with their well known shared, dogged determination will have a meaningful break-through soon, to render cartels like OPEC irrelevant. This is the time, for OPEC to hire hard-charging lobbyists to try and slow down the wildfire which the quest for alternative sources of energy has assumed in the West. Billionaire T-Boon Pickings alone, has invested over $2billion of his personal fortune into alternative energy research and development in the areas of wind and natural gas. President-elect Barack Obama owes to the American people, alternative energy supply sources, being one of his campaign promises - to set America free from the shackles of foreign oil. What becomes of the mono-economies of these OPEC countries once this oil freedom is secured is better imagined than fathomed as some of them will go bankrupt, turning into failed states with no money to support their existence. In the long run, nobody saves anything - American people started driving less because gas prices were too high, then some people stopped driving entirely, trading-in their vehicles; then the car manufacturing plants cut down on their manufacturing and more people who cannot afford their cars also entered the anti-driving group. Bicycle sales shot up and it is hard for people to come back since they are now used to a new normal. The effect is that some factories shot down, companies closed, fleets of airplanes were grounded all contributing to non use of gasoline hence less demand for OPEC oil.
The target for the West is to make oil a dinosaur that once was and it is our forecast that before too long oil will be out-fashioned. As has been shown by the recent downward spiral of oil from the high pedestal of $148 to today's misery $58, one thing is clear - these OPEC countries have no real control over their oil. They cannot find it! They cannot harvest or exploit it! They cannot transport it! They cannot refine it! They cannot buy it! If left with it, they do not know the heck what to do with it! If the West do not buy their oil they cannot sell it, so what the frigging hell are these heartless cartel OPEC thinking about. As far as Icheokudotcom is concerned the price of crude might as well fall to as low as $21.75 per a barrel so that Saudi Arabia and their minions in OPEC can learn one hard lesson in how not to be too mean-spirited. They failed to come to the rescue when oil price was squeezing so many Western countries and their economies. One good turn deserves another. It was their pure greed and ruthlessness that made OPEC to allow oil price to get out of control to as high up as $148 per barrel. One wonders how the world economy could have supported such a bloated price of oil - the engine and life blood of the world economy? Some of their membership were glee at the prospect of forcing the great America to its knees, God forbid! Don't these guys know that God blessed and is continuously blessing America?

Icheokudotcom calls the present free-fall of crude oil price, which has shaved off about $86 from its astronomical price of $148 to today's $58 within the last five months, a retribution from God. It is OPEC in QUANDARY! It will soon be a daylight nightmare for those little monolithic - economies of OPEC countries, when massive investments on alternative energy sources start bearing fruits. OPEC will then be cut to their actual size, with the demand for oil drastically reduced if not completely dried up! Until then, Icheokudotcom says, Good luck OPEC!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oil falls sharply on big job cuts

Oil is far below the record of $147 a barrel reached in July
Oil prices have fallen to almost four-year lows after more bad economic data in the US, including unemployment benefit rises and big job cuts.

US light crude fell more than $3.12 a barrel to $43.67, its lowest level since January 2005.

London Brent fell by $3.16, to $42.24 a barrel, also a near four-year low.

Merrill Lynch analysts forecast that the price could fall as low as $30 a barrel should China fall into recession and Opec fail to cut production.

"With demand vanishing across all key oil-consuming regions, a strong rebound... is unlikely," they said.

Despite this worst case scenario, Merrill Lynch forecast an average oil price of $50 a barrel in 2009.

Oil prices are more than $100 below their $147 a barrel highs seen in July this year.

"The scale of the correction so far would indicate further pain on the downside," said Simon Denham of Capital spreads.

Figures released earlier on Thursday showed US unemployment benefit claims at a 26-year high.

Also on Thursday, telecommunications giant AT&T and other major US companies announced big job cuts.

Anonymous said...

Oil Prices Fall Further, Close at $35.35
12.25.2008

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Crude prices tumbled further yesterday following a raft of bad economic news and growing stockpiles of unused gasoline that suggested demand for energy has continued to erode.
Despite last week's decision by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut daily crude oil production by 2.2 million barrels, oil prices had fallen to $39 on Tuesday.
The price of the commodity depreciated further by $3.63 to settle at $35.35 yesterday with Light, sweet crude for February delivery settling at $35.35 in a shortened day of trading. Prices fell as low as $35.13 just before the market closed for the holiday. It was the ninth straight day that crude has fallen.
February Brent crude slumped $3.75 to settle at $36.61 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
Investors expecting more evidence of slowing United States energy demand got a bit of a surprise as the Energy Department reported crude inventories dropped last week.
But Americans continue to cut back on driving amid the worst recession in a generation, leading to growing stockpiles of gasoline and eroding demand for motor fuel.
Gasoline futures plummeted below 80 cents a gallon.
"I don't see anything out of this report that's really going to change this downward move. Things are going to remain under downside pressure through the balance of this year and probably into the new year," said Jim Ritterbusch, President of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates.
A steady stream of dismal US economic and corporate data during the past few months has hammered investor confidence and sent oil prices reeling 74 percent since July.
More bad news emerged yesterday with consumer spending falling for a fifth straight month in November, the longest weak stretch in a half century, while incomes declined under the weight of massive job layoffs.
Separately, new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, as layoffs spread throughout the economy, more evidence the labor market is weakening as the recession deepens. The Labor Department reported initial requests for jobless benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 586,000 in the week ending Dec. 20, from an upwardly revised figure of 556,000 the previous week. That's much more than the 560,000 economists had expected.
Manufacturers are slashing energy use as well. Orders at U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods fell again in November, reflecting further setbacks in the battered auto industry and a big drop in demand for commercial aircraft.
For the week ended December 19 crude inventories fell by 3.1 million barrels, or one per cent to 318.2 million barrels, which is 9.1 per cent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.
Analysts had expected a boost of 1.5 million barrels, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
Gasoline inventories rose by 3.3 million barrels, or 1.6 percent, to 207.3 million barrels, which is 2.4 percent below year-ago levels. Analysts expected stockpiles of the motor fuel to rise by 900,000 barrels.
OPEC may meet in Kuwait City on January 19, 2009 to discuss further production cuts. The group's next official meeting is March 15 in Vienna.
The fall of benchmark crude on the Nymex has been paralleled by steep declines in Brent futures traded on London's ICE exchange.
Trader and analyst Stephen Schork noted that Brent crude has dropped "in 79 of the last 123 sessions by a total of $108.05 a barrel" - a 73 percentage point loss.

Anonymous said...

Obama’s Energy Plan Bad For Nigeria – Soludo
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Philip Nyam, Abuja
January 22nd, 2009



The authorities in Nigeria are having sleepless nights over some of the economic policies of President Barack Obama of the United States of America.

Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo Wednesday expressed the fear that the US decision to invest heavily in alternative sources of energy will pose a great threat to Nigeria's revenue generation in the oil sector.

He said this may also lead to job losses.

Soludo also disclosed that governments at all levels will eventually resort to huge borrowing before they can pay salaries.

The investment, according to the CBN governor is also likely to lead to massive importation of goods or the arbitrary revocation of import licenses as well as a probable introduction of austerity measures.

Soludo raised this alarm yesterday while addressing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole and members of the House Committee on Banking and Currency.

In his paper titled "Global Financial and Economic Crisis: How Vulnerable is Nigeria," he expressed the fear that the situation posed imminent danger to investment in the country as it will reduce the Gross Domestic Product (GDP); it also posed a threat to oil production and a likely surge in crisis in the Niger Delta region; it could also occasion a fall in local production levels and increase in inflationary level.

The CBN governor said "the Obama government's investment on alternative energy sources is a permanent threat to oil as a mainstay of economy, and a fiscal burden and threat of abandoned syndrome and pressure on exchange the rate and foreign reserves."

According to him, other threats posed by the ongoing global financial and economic crisis include high level of excess liquidity in the economy plus rising fiscal expansion; inflationary threat as CBN relaxes monetary policy; possible fiscal deficits at all levels and crowding-out of private sector credit and risk concentration."

Soludo argued that in order to avoid the imminent collapse of the nation's economy there is need for the readjustment of the nation's exchange rate and huge investment in the non-oil sector, especially in agriculture and mineral resources.

He maintained that if the exchange rate remains as it is, Nigeria may resort to massive importation of products at the detriment of the development of the nation's economy.

Earlier in his opening remarks, speaker of the House, Dimeji Bankole asked the CBN boss to give the actual position of the nation's economy and possible solution to the menace.

Bankole noted that most governments of the world including Japan, China have invested huge sums of money to bail out the banking sector saying, "tell us how it is and then we can begin to ask questions."

According to him, the sum of $586 billion is to be invested yearly by the Chinese government to cushion the effects of the financial crisis in the country; $2.8 billion by Singapore government while Japanese government injected the sum of $210 billion to bail out the banking sector from the financial crunch.

ANC said...

If OPEC is to blame who is to blame for what happened in Wall Street? Who is to blame for what IMF and World bank have been doing to the developing countries?

Anonymous said...

Obama aims for oil independence

Obama on the three steps to energy independence
President Barack Obama has called for the US to become energy independent, saying its reliance on foreign oil and global warming posed threats.

Outlining his energy priorities, he said the country would not be held "hostage to dwindling resources, hostile regimes, and a warming planet".

He called for greater fuel efficiency and an "energy economy" aimed at creating millions of jobs.

He also ordered a review of whether states can set car emission standards.

This challenges a Bush administration decision which favoured a national standard for vehicle pollution.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton picked Todd Stern - who took part in the Kyoto Protocol negotiations on climate change from 1997 to 1999 - as her envoy for climate change, the state department said.

Mr Stern, who served under former President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, will be the Obama administration's principal adviser on international climate policy and strategy as well as its chief climate negotiator.

"Containing climate change will require nothing less than transforming the global economy from a high-carbon to a low-carbon energy base," said Mr Stern after Mrs Clinton announced his appointment.

"But done right, this can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and become a driver for economic growth in the 21st Century."

Crossroads of history

At his first White House news conference since becoming president, Mr Obama said he would reverse America's dependence on foreign oil while creating jobs, but warned there was no "quick fix".

OBAMA ENERGY PLAN



Reverse US dependence on foreign energy
Review of decision to block states from setting own emission targets
Orders the transportation department to come up with new short-term rules on how carmakers can improve fuel efficiency
Federal buildings to become more efficient
Double 'green' energy from wind, sun and biofuels over next three years


Obama diary: First 100 days

"We will commit ourselves to steady, focused, pragmatic pursuit of an America that is freed from our energy dependence, and empowered by a new energy economy that puts millions of our citizens to work."

He added: "Now is the time to meet the challenge of this crossroads of history, by choosing a future safer for our country, prosperous for our planet, and sustainable."

Mr Obama ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review its refusal of a waiver which had previously allowed California to set its own - stricter - vehicle emission and fuel efficiency standards.

He said California had taken bold moves in implementing the standards.

Mr Obama said: "The days of Washington dragging its heels are over.

"My administration will not deny facts. We will be guided by them."

His statement that the US would lead on climate change was a clear swipe at his predecessor's sceptical view of global warming, says the BBC's James Coomarasamy in Washington.

Energy efficiency drive

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had asked Mr Obama to reverse the Bush administration's insistence on a single, national standard.

California wants a 30% reduction in motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions by 2016, achieved by improving fuel efficiency standards.

President Obama also ordered the transportation department to come up with new short-term rules on how carmakers can improve fuel efficiency.

A 2007 law required that new cars and trucks produced by 2020 obtain 35 miles per gallon of fuel (about 15km/litre).

However, then-President George W Bush did not put in place the regulations to enable the law to be carried out.


Car exhaust is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions

The new rules Mr Obama wants to put in place would mean the new standard is reached by 2011, the New York Times said.

The president also announced plans to make all federal government buildings more energy efficient, and pledged to cut families's energy bills by "weatherising" 2.5 million homes.

He also said the US would double its capacity for "green" energy generation, from sources such as wind, sun, and biofuels, over the next three years.

More than 3,000 miles of transmission lines would be established to transmit the energy.

In the European Union, a recently agreed climate package set out average emission targets for the whole car industry of 120g of CO2 per kilometre by 2012 for new cars, compared with current levels of 160g/km.

The EU target for 2020 is 95g/km. But CO2 emissions vary from car to car, and manufacturers have been given until 2015 to meet their specific targets for each model.

Anonymous said...

Oil prices fall below $41 a barrel as U.S. crude workers prepare to strike

TRADERS yesterday ignored the bullish effect of strike threats from U.S. oil workers, sending benchmark crude prices below $41 over continued concerns about the world's economy.

Even new indications that OPEC members were generally complying with significant output reductions failed to buoy markets.

Light, sweet crude for March delivery fell 89 cents to $40.79 a barrel by afternoon in Europe in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the contract rose 24 cents to settle at $41.68.

Negotiations over wage increases for refinery workers in the US continued over the weekend, with some 24,000 workers agreeing to postpone a strike for at least a day. The United Steelworkers agreed to a rolling 24-hour extension of talks.

Workers plan to show up for scheduled shifts Monday, though a strike would affect 60 refineries. The biggest U.S. refiner, Valero Energy Corp., said it would shut down some facilities if workers walk out, as did European oil company BP PLC.

"The threat of an oil workers union strike is helping support prices in the short-term," said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore. "If refineries shut down, prices for crude products will go higher."

After a year when oil prices soared to a record $147 a barrel in July only to collapse to $33 in December, crude has traded in the low $40s for the last week or so as investors eye weakening crude demand matching OPEC production cuts.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has promised to slash output by 4.2 million barrels since September, and officials have suggested the group may reduce quotas again soon.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC's biggest exporter, has led the production drop.

"OPEC producers seem to have a rather high level of compliance with the cuts, especially Saudi Arabia," Shum said.

Vienna's JBC Energy estimated that the 11 OPEC members bound by quotas cut output by 1.57 million barrels a day between in the month ending with January to produce 25.85 million barrels a day.

"We have calculated that the latest month-on-month decline in output contributes to an overall rate of compliance of more than 76 percent" to OPEC's commitment to slash output by a daily 4.2 million barrels from last September, said JBC in a research note.

"The impact of OPEC's most recent efforts should not be underestimated and ... the group is serious about reducing the current supply overhang," said JBC.

Still, investors remain most focused on the economy -- they'll be watching closely for signs of slowing demand from a slew of U.S. economic numbers released this week. Friday's January employment report while data on home sales, manufacturing, factory orders, and the services sector come out throughout the week.

Cisco Systems Incorporated and Time Warner Incorporated are also set to report quarterly results this week.

"I expect those numbers will be rather bleak," Shum said. "The economic data will continue to put downward pressure on oil."

In other Nymex trading, gasoline and heating oil futures fell by more than 3 cents to $1.23 a gallon and to $1.40 a gallon while natural gas for March delivery slipped by nearly 11 cents to $4.31 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, the March Brent contract fell $1.37 to $44.51 on the ICE Futures exchange.

Anonymous said...

OPEC Nations In Distress
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Ese Awhotu, Abuja with agency report
February 11th, 2009
Member nations of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have collectively postponed 35 oil drilling projects as low crude prices deter investment, a top OPEC official has revealed.

This development is a signal that the cartel has started feeling the pinch from falling oil prices. LEADERSHIP reported yesterday that Nigeria, a member of the oil cartel is experiencing a cash crunch in its oil sector as a result of the sharp drop in oil returns.

OPEC Secretary General, Abdalla Salem El-Badri, said the delayed projects had been shelved indefinitely. "These projects are on hold... and will continue to be until the (oil) price recovers," Badri told reporters attending an energy conference in London. AFP reports that the delayed projects are from among a total of 150 that OPEC states had planned to deliver over the next decade. OPEC nations pump about 40 percent of the roughly 86 million barrels of oil consumed globally every day. Members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries have seen oil revenues tank in recent months, with crude prices falling to around 40 dollars a barrel in New York on Monday from a record high of above 147 dollars in July. Crude futures have slumped as a global economic slowdown hits demand for energy. Badri had last week insisted that OPEC members needed an oil price of above 50 dollars a barrel to make exports worthwhile.

(OPEC) will be under less pressure to cut oil production at its next meeting in mid-March if the U.S. crude oil price stabilizes near the current $40-a-barrel level, OPEC President and Algeria's energy minister has said.

Algeria's Chakib Khelil said U.S. oil at $40 a barrel "is a good price for the moment." Speaking to reporters at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Khelil said a steep fall in oil prices below $40 will make an OPEC production cut more likely."We make a decision to cut (output), to stabilize it," Khelil said of oil prices less than $40 a barrel.

Khelil said he did not think world oil demand in 2009 would fall much further than forecast. He said oil prices should rebound to $60 a barrel by the end of the year. He said OPEC eventually wants oil to return to $70 to $80 a barrel. "I think it's a good target (price) to re-initiate our investments" in oil projects, Khelil said.

Khelil blamed market speculators for the sharp rise in oil prices to a record $147 a barrel this summer and the subsequent steep drop in crude costs to current levels.

Meanwhile oil rose toward $41 a barrel on Tuesday, lifted by expectations that the approval of an $800 billion-plus stimulus package by the U.S. government would boost demand for oil in the world's largest energy consumer.

However, uncertainty about the timing and detail of the plans kept investors on edge, capping oil's gains.

Reuters reports that U.S. light crude for March delivery rose $1.36 to $40.92 a barrel by 1301 GMT (8:01 a.m. EST). The contract settled down 61 cents at $39.56 a barrel on Monday.

London Brent crude gained $1.67 cents to $47.69 a barrel, maintaining its premium against U.S. prices.