Daily Archives: January 14, 2010

By Izabella Kaminska

The oil markets have been waiting for it since the summer of 2009; some players have even acted in anticipation already.

But it wasn’t until Thursday that the commodity world got details of what the CFTC really had in mind in terms of increased regulation of energy markets, and position limits.

So without further ado here are the main proposals, via Reuters (our emphasis):

RTRS – CFTC SETS LIMITS FOR ALL TRADING MONTHS COMBINED AT 10 PCT ON FIRST 25,000 CONTRACTS OPEN INTEREST, 2.5 PCT ABOVE 25,000 CONTRACTS
RTRS – CFTC WANTS SINGLE-MONTH POSITION LIMITS SET AT TWO-THIRDS OF THE ALL TRADING MONTHS COMBINED POSITION LIMITS

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source:

- Much too much petroleum

- Could China fall out of love with coal?

- Tackling climate change without limiting CO2

- A Q4 refining headache for oil majors

- Shell and the analyst mind meld

- BYD and the electric vehicle showdown

- Woodside’s floating LNG problems and ExxonMobil’s new Texas reserves in Energy headlines

Further reading:

- Post-peak oil food supply

- The end of magical thinking

- T. Boone and wind have a falling out

- The US/Mexico energy symbiosis

- Natural gas prices in 2010

- A year without a car

- US overtakes Russia as top gas producer

- Iraq could delay peak oil a decade

Kate Mackenzie

We’ve said it before: most people just don’t like the idea of carbon cap-and-trade schemes. Whether they object because it’s like a tax, or because it’s not like a tax, or because it only benefits those crooked financial types, or because it’s too bureaucratic and expensive, or because they hate offsets, or free allowance giveaways to polluters… there’s an objection for almost everyone.

A pretty powerful constituency however does like cap-and-trade: (some) economists, financial industry types,  policy wonks, and some big businesses.

This blog has written a lot about cap-and-trade versus a carbon tax, but some are suggesting that a climate bill should just go ahead with neither a tax nor a trading scheme.

By Izabella Kaminska

Weekly US energy inventory data release on Wednesday confirmed the unbelievable. US petroleum stocks rose in the week despite especially cold weather in the region during the period.

Meanwhile, Dennis Gartman of the Gartman Letter draws attention to the fact that aggregate inventory rose by 8.9m barrels, amongst the largest weekly aggregate increase ever.

More absurdly still, gasoline stocks are now at levels not seen in two years — some 10m barrels higher than they were last year.

This is important because the product overhang until now has mostly focused on distillates — which made sense since they’re a key feedstock for industrial players, and demand is down because of the recession. Gasoline demand by comparison had remained stable.

Kate Mackenzie

A big change is apparently taking place in China’s coal production balance. The chart below is a little dated now, but you can see how China’s demand for coal began to catch up with domestic production about 2008:

EIA

Source: EIA

Coal imports have been in the news this week as prices for thermal coal hit $100/tonne and China began importing from new sources.  This could ultimately have implications for China’s climate change efforts.

Kate Mackenzie

World’s fourth-biggest oil trader reports ‘very good year’ (FT)

Woodside’s floating LNG plan rejected by East Timor (FT)

Security fears threaten smart meter plan (Times)

Forget wind, Pickens turns focus to gas (NY Times)

France to reduce solar rooftop tarriffs (Bloomberg)

Recession hits North Sea oil and gas production (FT)

Slack US power prices slow renewable energy funds – bankers (Reuters)

Repsol chief heads for showdown with critic (FT)

ICE Brent sets open interest record (Argus)

California approves low-carbon fuel standard penalising corn ethanol (Bloomberg)

Falling electricity demand slows infrastructure investments (WSJ)

Massey to expand US, global coal operations (Argus)

ExxonMobil to tap 40m barrels from mature field in Texas (Rigzone)

GoM oil production could be affected by storm this weekend (AccuWeather)

Two more LNG cargoes head to the UK (Argus)

Austrian bank accuses RBS over Enron loan (FT)

Energy Source is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

Insight into the financial, economic and policy aspects of energy and the environment.

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