The black stuff
Crude oil prices have fallen to their lowest levels since the global financial crisis, with further losses likely in the coming weeks. On 4 December, the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) voted to continue its policy of acquiring market share rather than supporting prices, which resulted in US crude oil values dipping to under $40 a barrel. Values are now at their lowest levels since December 2008, when crude-oil futures price fell to around $34.
Opec’s decision to maintain its market share strategy is only part of the story, with the cartel’s organisational disarray stimulating renewed selling and causing widespread anxiety in the sector.
Are you switched on?
After the scandal surrounding the recent VW emissions episode, consumer confidence is being tested once again with the news that some Samsung TVs in Europe appear to record lower energy outputs during official tests than they do in real-world use. The alleged discrepancies were found in unpublished lab tests by EU-funded research group ComplianTV which logged consistently higher energy consumption rates for the company’s models in the field than in lab conditions.
Energy for free?
What if you could supply all the energy need for your home from a set of rechargeable batteries? Well it seems that this futuristic vision could be more than just an eco-pipedream in the wake of Tesla’s announcement that it intends to enter the domestic energy market with low-cost solar batteries for homes, businesses and utilities.
Is a Fracking Boom the Answer to America’s Woes? Yes and No.
Quick. What’s the first thing on an analyst’s mind after a Republican sweep? Congratulations if you said ‘energy stocks’; Warren Buffet would be proud of your business acumen.
The GOP thrashed the Democrats in the midterms and generated a wave of high fives throughout the oil and gas industry. The XL Keystone pipeline’s path from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast has been all but cleared. Republican candidates’ clear message of jobs over less tangible issues like climate change resonated with voters.