The largest oil exporter in the Middle East has teamed up with the second largest consumer of oil in the world (China) to build a gigantic new oil refinery and the mainstream media in the United States has barely even noticed it. This mammoth new refinery is scheduled to be fully operational in the Red Sea port city of Yanbu by 2014. Over the past several years, China has sought to aggressively expand trade with Saudi Arabia, and China now actually imports more oil from Saudi Arabia than the United States does. In February, China imported 1.39 million barrels of oil per day from Saudi Arabia. That was 39 percent higher than last February. So why is this important? Well, back in 1973 the United States and Saudi Arabia agreed that all oil sold by Saudi Arabia would be denominated in U.S. dollars. This petrodollar system was adopted by almost the entire world and it has Read more…
Saudi Arabia has vowed to use an “iron fist” to end violence in the country’s east after a sermon preached last week criticised the government’s use of violence against protestors in the kingdom.
The Gulf state’s Interior Ministry has accused an unnamed foreign power, widely thought to mean Iran, of backing attacks on its security forced in its Eastern province.
“It is the state’s right to confront those that confront it first … and the Saudi security forces will confront such situations … with determination and force and with an iron first,” the ministry said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency.
“Some of those few [who attacked security forces] are manipulated by foreign hands because of the Read more…
Back when Egypt was falling apart, not that it still isn’t, the Saudi king was very upset with the US for allowing his good friend Hosni Mubarak to fall. Rumor has it that the King almost or in fact did suffer a heart attack after talking to Obama about the way things were going in the Egypt.
The Saudi’s are now raising concerns that the Bushehr reactor is another Fukushima waiting to happen. The US is turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabia’s concerns, granted the Saudi’s are likely taking advantage of Fukushima to draw attention to their objective of halting Bushehr coming online. Israel has also been very quiet on Bushekr Read more…
Categories: Saudi Arabia, United States
Bushehr, Egypt, Fukushima, Hosni Mubarak, Iran, Israel, Oil, Oil Prices, Saudi Arabia, United States
LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) – Oil prices could rocket to $200- $300 a barrel if the world’s top crude exporter Saudi Arabia is hit by serious political unrest, former Saudi oil minister Sheikh Zaki Yamani told Reuters on Tuesday.
Yamani said he saw no immediate sign of further trouble following protests last month calling for political reforms but said that underlying discontent remained unresolved.
“If something happens in Saudi Arabia it will go to $200 to $300. I don’t expect this for the time being, but who would have expected Tunisia?” Yamani told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference of the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) which he chairs.
“The political events that took place are there and we don’t expect them to finish. I think there are some surprises on the horizon,” he said in a speech.
Saudi King Abdullah offered $93 billion in handouts in March in an effort to stave off unrest rocking the Arab world.
So far, demonstrations in the Kingdom have been small in scale and police were able to easily disperse a Shi’ite protest in the oil-producing eastern province last month.
But Yamani said that the reluctance of people to participate in popular protests was merely concealing underlying discontent.
“Some people relax about the situation in Saudi Arabia because the Saudi Islamic brand prohibits people to go to the street and to talk,” he said in a speech.
SAUDI TIME BOMB
Oil traded at two-and-a-half-year highs above $121 a barrel LCOc1 on Tuesday. Libya’s rebellion has shut its oil exports, stoking fears of disruptions in other major producers.
Saudi policemen form a check point near the site where a demonstration was expected to take place in Riyadh on Friday. Photograph: Hassan Ammar/AP
Saudi security forces came out in strength in Riyadh on a “day of rage” organised by pro-democracy campaigners who managed only small demonstrations in the eastern provinces.
Expectations that the unrest sweeping the Arab world in the last few weeks would spread to its most conservative kingdom appeared to have been dashed by pre-emptive security measures and stern official warnings against any protests.
Far larger demonstrations rocked Yemen, where tens of thousands of pro and anti-government protesters took to the streets as President Ali Abdullah Saleh struggled to maintain his grip.
Clashes broke out in Read more…
Categories: days of rage, Saudi Arabia
al-Qatif, Ali Abdullah Saleh, Bahrain, Day of Rage, Facebook, King Abdullah, Kuwait, middle east, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Shiite, Yemen
The following special report on oil (LA Blog Only, leverageacademy.com/blog) discusses the oil market, providing reasons to be bullish on the commodity given unrest in the Middle East, Nigerian elections in April, and rising domestic consumption in oil producing countries, including Venezuela, Nigeria, and Iran. According to the article, the rise of oil prices could easily cause the next recession. In 2010, soft commodities outperformed energy, but that will certainly change given the political headwinds abroad and continued monetary easing in the developed world. Therefore, the Bernanke “Put,” combined with political unrest will be to blame for continued sharp price increases in the energy commodity sector.
Emerging market demand, especially in China, which now consumes nearly 10mm barrels of oil per day, will also be driving the demand side of the equation. Money supply in China was also up 19.7% in 2010, because of the rapid Read more…
Categories: Nigeria, Oil, Protests, Saudi Arabia
Bahrain, China, commodity, Egypt, IEA, Iran, Libya, middle east, Morocco, Nigeria, Oil, Oil Prices, oil reserves, protests, Saudi Arabia, Straight of Hormuz, Tunisia, unemployment, Venezuela