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Friday, 2 February 2018

Oil heads for biggest weekly drop since October

Oil heads for biggest weekly drop since October:

"Major oil markets are on track for their biggest weekly drop in four months after a stronger US dollar sent prices sliding on Friday. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was down 1.9 per cent at $68.33 a barrel, facing its largest one-day drop since December 12. West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, was off 1.7 per cent and on track for its biggest fall since December 6. For the week, Brent was down 3.2 per cent and WTI was 2.1 per cent weaker: these were their worst weekly performances since the first week of October."

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The remarkable revival of US oil production

The remarkable revival of US oil production:

"Half a century after US oil production began to peak, sending the world fretting that supplies were running out, the US is once again setting records. Output is topping 10m barrels per day for the first time since 1970. And it will not stop there. The government’s Energy Information Administration forecasts that America will soon overtake Russia as the world’s leading oil producer.

On many levels this is welcome. Soaring output from shale wells has helped to hold down world prices, benefiting consumers everywhere. It has created tens of thousands of jobs in the US, bolstered energy security and led to a dramatic reduction in net imports, which are down from a peak of 13.4m b/d in 2006 to 2.5m b/d in October 2017. This represents a remarkable reversal from even a decade ago, when one of the principal questions about the global oil market was how fast US imports were going to rise.

The shift in the structure of the industry since has been fundamental. Shale producers can bring wells in and out of production in response to price changes far more swiftly than conventional producers. That has weakened the power of Opec, the cartel of 15 oil-producing nations — which is welcome news for everyone else."

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Saudis Raise Allowances for Some Royals After Purge - Bloomberg

Saudis Raise Allowances for Some Royals After Purge - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia increased its payments to some members of the royal family just as officials were wrapping up a controversial anti-corruption campaign that targeted some of the kingdom’s richest men and most prominent princes, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The most recent monthly stipend -- paid after the government had stopped covering electricity and water bills for royalty -- was raised by as much as 50 percent, two of the people said. A Saudi government official said the report was “absolutely not true.”

It’s not clear whether the payment was a one-time bonus or will continue each month, or how widely the money was distributed. One of the people said it extended beyond the descendants of King Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s founder, to include more distant branches of the family. Another person said the payment was only given to adults who had reached a particular age. The three spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue."

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