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The Energy Report: Whose 'Moment of Truth' Is it?

By Phil FlynnCommoditiesNov 28, 2023 09:44AM ET
www.investing.com/analysis/the-energy-report-whose-moment-of-truth-is-it-200643953
The Energy Report: Whose 'Moment of Truth' Is it?
By Phil Flynn   |  Nov 28, 2023 09:44AM ET
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While the global oil markets are on edge to see if OPEC plus Russia will get their act together, the calling out by OPEC of the International Energy Agency (EIA) is priceless. OPEC called out the IEA’s hypocrisy in an epic response to the IEA’s report saying that the UN’s COP28 climate summit in Dubai is “a moment of truth” for the oil and gas sector.

It is also a moment of truth for the IEA that has led Europe down a path of energy insecurity and has used its data to mislead global leaders that there is a path to net zero carbon emissions. They continue to say that if you just spend enough money on green energy projects and stop investing in fossil fuels today, that is the only way to save this poor doomed planet. 

This is ridiculous. As I have pointed out many times before, the IEA lost sight of its original vision of energy security for the globe and instead became a crusader for the green energy lobby and the green energy elites. They care more about their profits than they do about the economy of the world’s standards of living. While record amounts of participants will show up at the COP28 conference and many in private jets, they are selling smoke and mirrors and not real climate or energy solutions. That is why I must side with the old cartel in this case.

OPEC wrote that, “Last week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its report “The Oil and Gas Industry in Net Zero Transitions” stated that the oil and gas industry faces a ‘moment of truth’. The industry has been told that it must “choose between fueling the climate crisis or embracing the shift to clean energy”, against the backdrop of the IEA’s proposed normative net-zero scenario. As we have recently seen from the IEA, this presents an extremely narrow framing of the challenges before us, and perhaps expediently plays down such issues as energy security, energy access, and energy affordability. It also unjustly vilifies the industry as being behind the climate crisis.

OPEC Secretary General, Haitham Al Ghais said: “It is ironic that the IEA, an agency that has repeatedly shifted its narratives and forecasts on a regular basis in recent years, now addresses the oil and gas industry and says that this is a ‘moment of truth’. The manner in which the IEA has unfortunately used its social media platforms in recent days to criticize and instruct the oil and gas industry is undiplomatic, to say the least. OPEC itself is not an organization that would prescribe to others what they should do.”

OPEC also believes that the proposed IEA, “Framework to assess the alignment of company targets with the NZE Scenario’ is a tool intended to curtail the sovereign actions and choices of oil and gas-producing developing countries, through pressurizing their National Oil Companies. The framework also contradicts the Paris Agreement’s ‘bottom-up’ approach, where each country decides the means of contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions reduction, based on national capabilities and circumstances, and will likely lead to reduced investment and undermine the security of supplies, which is one of the IEA’s key mandates.

Regrettably, the IEA report now also calls technologies such as carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) an “illusion”, even though Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment reports endorse such technologies as part of the solution to tackle climate change.

OPEC says “The truth that needs to be spoken is simple and clear to those who wish to see it.” The problem is that the IEA and the global green elites try to bury the truth because the truth sometimes does not fit their sky-is-falling narrative that is critical to make people believe that if they don’t mortgage their future and restrict their travel and change the way that they eat than the world is doomed. Or as OPEC’s Al Ghais says, “Energy security, energy access, and energy affordability for all must go hand-in-hand with reducing emissions. This requires major investments in all energies, all technologies, and an understanding of the needs of all people. At OPEC, we repeat that we believe the world has to concentrate on the task of reducing emissions, not choosing energy sources,” he added.

Oil today is rebounding after being stuck in a pretty tight trading range since the Black Friday sell-off. On the demand front things continue to look better globally. Yesterday China raised their 2023 fuel import quota by three million metric tons to allow for feedback purchase. The US air travel hit a record high over the Thanksgiving holiday the TSA said total traveler’s throughput was at 2.907 million passengers.

So, while oil is waiting for the OPEC plus agreement, speculation about a deal or no deal or a surprise cut continues to move markets. The official meeting is scheduled to go ahead on November 30th while there are rumors that progress is being made with African nations that are worried about their quotes that caused the meeting to be delayed. When it comes to details leaking out, so far the silence is deafening. Usually OPEC leaks like a sieve. Maybe silence is a good thing if you plan to shock the market.

There is talk that Saudi Arabia is displeased a little bit with the African nations but also with Russia. Russia reportedly saw their exports again rise after they fell before the OPEC meeting. It was reported today that Vladimir Putin had no plans to call Crown Prince bin Salman ahead of the OPEC meeting. That headline did not seem to concern the oil market that much. Yet it is more intriguing surrounding the meeting. The question becomes: is silence a good thing or a bad thing if you’re writing a script to shock and awe. For the market this would be a perfect setup as we know the hedge funds have really been pressing the downside. We also know that seasonally Thanksgiving week has been horrible for oil prices. We also know that we may see some increase in supply this week but beyond this, we see significant drawdowns in the weeks and months ahead.

There’s also a report of a major oil output decline at the largest Kazakh fields which reached 56%. Oil Price reports that, “Crude oil loadings at key Black Sea ports in Russia and Ukraine continue to be halted amid a raging storm that has left an estimated two million people without power, according to Agency France Presse. Hurricane-level winds, massive snowfall, and heavy rain shut down electricity lines and led to major flooding. Train transport along the Russian Black Sea coast has also been halted after tracks fell into the sea. The geopolitical risk for oil remains high.

Yahoo reports that the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower and its carrier strike group transited the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday and entered the Persian Gulf, after arriving in the waters of the Middle East earlier this month amid heightened tensions in the region stemming from the conflict between Israel and Hamas. This comes as Bloomberg reports, “US Warns of Evolving Threats to Ships Sailing Through Red Sea”.  After a  spate of attacks on merchant shipping near Yemen and Somalia, likely triggered by the war in Gaza, have prompted the US to warn vessel operators to be extra careful when navigating the region. “Exercise caution when transiting these areas and remain cognizant of evolving threats in this region,” the US Department of Transportation Maritime Administration, or Marad as it’s better known, said in an alert on Monday.

The bottom line is based on supply and demand. As long as OPEC rolls over their production cuts, the market is still going to be exceedingly tight. Yes, we are seeing some increase in non-OPEC production which is raising concern. We expect the demand will continue to outstrip supply with every indicator. We see that demand is going to come back with a vengeance.

Weather in Europe and a cold snap in the United States means that it is unlikely we’re going to have a record-breaking warm winter as we did a year ago. There is still a possibility it could be colder than normal, but the weather forecasters are mixed on that.

We expect that we will see more of a normal demand cycle this year which means supplies will end up being a lot tighter especially when it comes to distillate inventory. RBOB gasoline prices did better than heating oil yesterday. That is probably a sign that overall gasoline demand is stronger than the weekly numbers suggest. Look for big upward revisions in gasoline demand in the coming weeks from the Energy Information Administration.

Biden still doesn’t get it he doesn’t understand that it’s governments that cause inflation by printing more money and spending more money. He is blaming US corporations for his economic policies. Biden rarely takes responsibility for anything that has happened under his administration.

 He definitely wants to push the blame on the American people for his economic problems. Remember he called the US energy industry price gougers and war profiteers? But we all know that it wasn’t the energy industry that decided to spend tons of money that it didn’t have. It was not the US energy industry that decided to print more money and give money away. Yet now it’s the rest of corporate America that is to blame according to Biden. Yesterday he said, “To any corporation that has not brought their prices back down, even as inflation has come down, even as supply chains have been rebuilt – it’s time to stop the price gouging.”

So, take that you corporations! Quit raising those salaries! Quit employing people! Quit making profits! Quit investing in the future of the economy. Biden has spoken.

Natural gas is still torn it doesn’t know whether it should focus on cold weather and supply draws or it should focus on record-breaking natural gas production. We’ve seen whipsaw action here as that debate is being played out. Still the bottom line is whether or not these cold temperatures are going to hang around. Some forecasters have below normal temperatures for parts of the country but it could shift to above normal in other parts. There is a polar vortex that could come into America and if that happens then natural gas will probably have a pretty good move to the upside. If not, get ready to meander to the downside.

The Energy Report: Whose 'Moment of Truth' Is it?
 

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The Energy Report: Whose 'Moment of Truth' Is it?

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Comments (3)
Gary Offill
Gary Offill Nov 28, 2023 4:50PM ET
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Here let me fix this for you Phil. This is ridiculous. As I have pointed out many times before, the Phil Flynn has lost sight of its original vision of financial security for the globe and instead became a crusader for the personal wealth and his oil trading minions. They care more about their profits than they do about the economy of the world’s standards of living. Phil likes to bash and blame others for high prices while he personally profits from it.
Manfred Kruger
Manfred Kruger Nov 28, 2023 4:46PM ET
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This is one of the best articles that I have read in a long time. Facts and experience over BS narrative. Congratulations, someone has to call them out with the truth.
Rajeev Kumar
Rajeev Kumar Nov 28, 2023 12:37PM ET
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tum sabhi mother chod ho
 
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