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Oil Trades Near $100 as OPEC Officials Say They Can’t End Rally

Grant Smith and Alexander Kwiatkowski, Bloomberg
Crude oil traded near yesterday’s record of $100 a barrel as OPEC officials said the group can’t curb prices and the U.S. refused to release emergency supplies.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is unable to counter the rally, Libyan and Qatari officials said today. The U.S. doesn’t plan to tap strategic reserves, a spokeswoman for President Bush said yesterday. A report today is expected to show U.S. commercial stockpiles fell for a seventh week.
(3 January 2008)
Jeffrey Brown draws attention to this paragraph toward the end of the article:

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest state-owned oil company, delayed the start of production from the 500,000 barrel-a-day Khursaniyah field and said it will meet market demand with existing spare capacity.

Saudi Aramco Delays Production Start From Khursaniyah

Glen Carey, Bloomberg
Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest state- owned oil company, delayed the start of production from its 500,000 barrel-a-day Khursaniyah oil-field project and said it will meet market demand with existing spare capacity.

…The project, which will produce and process 500,000 barrels a day of Arabian Light crude and 300 million square cubic feet a day of natural gas, is part of Saudi Arabia plans to increase its output capacity to 12.5 million barrels a day by 2009 to help meet demand for oil.
(3 January 2008)

$100 OIL: Crosses Line After Yrs Of Diverging Demand, Supply

Matt Chambers, Dow Jones via Cattle Network
…The oil market chose the first trading session of 2008 as its stage for the final and successful run toward the milestone. Light, sweet crude oil for February delivery hit $100 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at around 12:10 p.m. EST. Recently, the front-month contract was at $99.50 a barrel, up $3.52 on the day.

Although the impact of events behind oil futures’ rise on Wednesday have been augmented by funds flowing into the market, those events represent the broader concerns that have taken oil 64% higher since the beginning of 2007.

…Analysts and industry experts caution that there are always unknowns with any long-term energy forecast, but many have become confident of the notion that there is now a higher long-term “floor” for oil prices. The major oil companies are making investment decisions based on whether projects make sense at $40-$50 per-barrel, as opposed to $20-per-barrel a few years ago, said Cambridge Energy Research Associates Chairman Daniel Yergin.

“Whatever the floor is, we’re certainly in a new era as far as oil prices,” Yergin said. “In the early part of the decade, we were looking backward to the

Asian financial crisis. Now we’re looking forward” to a world marked by strong energy demand, increased political risk and rising operating costs – and complicated by a weaker U.S. dollar, and uncertainty about the U.S. economy,” he said.
(2 January 2008)

Countdown to $100 oil (56)- final diary

Jerome a Paris, European Tribune
This is it. Forward month WTI has touched $100. The Series is officially over. In yesterday’s edition (Countdown to $100 oil (55) – and the winner is…), I noted that I would open the floor to everybody to select the next target for oil prices, so take the poll.

Naturally, the first diary of the new series will be to bet for end-2008 prices.

Earlier Countdown diaries: [links to 55 earlier entries in Jerome’s series: “Countdown to $100 oil] (2 January 2008)
Also at Daily Kos. French energy analyst Jerome has been tracking the rise in oil prices – and the reasons behind it. -BA

BHP, Woodside, Santos Shut Oil, Gas Fields on Cyclone

Jesse Riseborough and Rebecca Keenan, Bloomberg
BHP Billiton Ltd., Woodside Petroleum Ltd. and Santos Ltd. halted more than half of Australia’s oil production as the first tropical cyclone of the season struck the northwest coast.

BHP yesterday morning stopped oil and natural gas output from its Stybarrow and Griffin fields, spokeswoman Emma Meade said by phone today. Woodside halted Enfield and Cossack-Pioneer, spokeswoman Kirsten Stoney said. Santos’s Mutineer Exeter field shut Dec. 29, spokesman Matthew Doman said.

The closures totaling more than 260,000 barrels a day of crude and condensate output are mostly set to end today or tomorrow, the officials said.
(31 December 2007)

Oil to hit $200 in 2018, say German economists

Financial Times Deutschland.
“Oil reserves will be increasingly scarce which will drive prices further up”, said DIW energy expert Claudia Kemfert to the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung. “In five years an oil price of $150 per barrel is possible, in ten years even a price of $200.” According to the DIW the recent price rise is due however in large part to speculation: “The portion of the oil price which is to due to speculation, might amount to about 20 per cent”, said Kemfert. “Therefore a price drop is not expected within the next few weeks. I rather anticipate a further rise up to $105.” She expects a conceivable stabilization or decrease of the oil price not before the end of January, when the demand for fuel oil diminishes.

An even stronger rise of oil prices was estimated by most readers of this news in the online edition of Financial Times Deutschland (, who participated at its online enquiry (not statistically representative): At noontime (CET) about 40 percent expected the 2018 oil price to have hit $400, whereas 35 percent agree with the DIW, and only 12% expect it at $100 or $75 respectively.
(3 January 2008)
The original article is in German. Thanks to EB reader “driller” for the translation. Driller adds that the CV for Claudia Kemfert, the economist quoted in the article, is online.

DIW stands for the Deutsche Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (German Institute of Economic Research). -BA