Oil Prices Fall After Producers Fail to Reach Deal at Doha By Georgi Kantchev Updated April 17, 2016 9:42 p.m. ET


Hopes of a deal had helped oil prices rally in recent weeks

 Oil prices opened sharply lower in early Asian trading hours on Monday after major oil producers ended their meeting in Doha, Qatar, over the weekend without reaching an agreement to cap production.

Hopes for a deal among major producers, including several from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, were a main driver in a rally that lifted U.S. crude prices more than 50% from their February lows. U.S. crude settled at $41.50 a barrel on Friday.

Now, much of those gains could be eroded in a market that has already endured a turbulent year, analysts say.

U.S. crude was recently trading 5.7% lower at $38.05 a barrel and Brent down 5.2% at $40.86 a barrel.

“This is an extremely bearish scenario,” said Abhishek Deshpande, oil analyst at Natixis. “Prices could touch $30 a barrel within days.”

Steep falls in crude could also weigh on equity markets more generally. Stocks have often moved alongside oil this year. Bank shares, for instance, many of which have large energy portfolios, have been pressured by the declines in oil.

Qatari Minister of Energy and Industry Mohammed Saleh al-Sada attends a news conference following the oil-producers' meeting in Doha, Qatar on Sunday.

Qatari Minister of Energy and Industry Mohammed Saleh al-Sada attends a news conference following the oil-producers’ meeting in Doha, Qatar on Sunday. —  Photo: European Pressphoto Agency

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Environmental groups demand inquiry after Exxon ‘misled public’ on climate | Business | The Guardian


In call for attorney general to investigate, top activists say company acted deceptively despite knowing about climate change ‘as early as the 1970s’

Source: Environmental groups demand inquiry after Exxon ‘misled public’ on climate | Business | The Guardian

How Obama’s waiting game killed Keystone – By ELANA SCHOR and SARAH WHEATON 11/06/15 08:36 PM EST


After seven years, improving jobs numbers and plunging oil prices soothed the political costs of rejection.

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Dressed as a polar bear, climate-control activist Catherine Kilduff from the Center for Biological Diversity holds a victory sign after President Barack Obama announced that he would reject the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal. | Getty

In the summer of 2011, the signs outside the White House gates denouncing the Keystone XL pipeline mixed with Barack Obama campaign buttons and chants of “Yes we can.”

But inside, the president and his top aides were fretting about the economy, with unemployment stuck at 9 percent and gasoline topping $3.60 a gallon little more than a year before Obama had to face the voters again. And supporters of the Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline were playing the pocketbook card big time, promising it would put thousands of Americans to work, lower prices at the pump and lessen U.S. reliance on Mideast oil.

Obama and his aides were skeptical of those claims, but knew they could lose the political argument if his opponents painted him as a jobs-killer. So, stuck between the demands of allies he would need for his reelection — labor unions that supported Keystone, and green groups and liberal donors who detested it — he waited.

And waited some more, past 2012, past the 2014 midterms. Until Friday, when he finally rendered the verdict that the project’s supporters and foes had come to expect: He was saying no to the $8 billion, 1,179-mile pipeline.

The White House said Obama’s decision was entirely based on his commitment to taking on climate change — and the decision came just weeks before he’s due to jet to Paris to try to reach a global climate agreement with leaders of nearly 200 nations. But the move also came in a world where many of Keystone’s political and economic underpinnings had collapsed: Oil prices have plummeted in the past year, while the unemployment rate fell Friday to 5 percent, the lowest since before the 2008 financial crisis.

“Four years ago, anything that said ‘job creation,’ people would jump onto,” said former Obama chief of staff Bill Daley, whose one-year tenure coincided with those first massive anti-Keystone protests outside the White House. “Now it’s a very different world.

“They waited long enough to where — whether intentional or not — obviously I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Daley said Friday. “Oil prices are down, unemployment’s low.”

 

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Bernie Sanders Calls For Federal Investigation Of Exxon – BY EMILY ATKIN OCT 20, 2015 4:28PM


CREDIT: AP PHOTO/JACQUELYN MARTIN Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., poses for a portrait before an interview, Wednesday May 20, 2015, in Washington.

CREDIT: AP PHOTO/JACQUELYN MARTIN
Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., poses for a portrait before an interview, Wednesday May 20, 2015, in Washington.

 

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wants ExxonMobil investigated by the Department of Justice.

In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Tuesday, Sanders charged the oil giant of engaging in a cover-up to intentionally mislead the public about the reality of human-caused climate change, and by extension the risks of its carbon-intensive product.

“It appears that Exxon knew its product was causing harm to the public, and spent millions of dollars to obfuscate the facts in the public discourse,” Sanders wrote. “The information that has come to light about Exxon’s past activities raises potentially serious concerns that should be investigated.”

The information Sanders cited was a recent investigation by Inside Climate News, which found that the ExxonMobil conducted research as far back as 1977 affirming that climate change is caused by carbon emissions from fossil fuels. At the same time, the oil giant gave millions of dollars to politicians and organizations that promote climate science denial, and spent millions more lobbying to prevent regulations to limit carbon emissions.

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http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/10/20/3714390/bernie-sanders-investigate-exxon-climate-denial/

Gas Politics in Gaza – By Tareq Baconi October 15, 2015


At the end of the summer, the Italian energy giant Eni discovered one of the largest gas reserves in the Mediterranean. Just off Egyptian shores sits Zohr, a gas field with a staggering 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. As Egypt celebrated the good news, Israel panicked about the implications of the discovery on its much-touted Leviathan gas field, which was discovered in December 2010. It was a “painful wake-up call,” the Israeli energy minister, Yuval Steinitz, said.

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Why? Eni’s discovery could possibly return Egypt, which significantly reduced gas exports in 2012, to its role as a regional gas exporter. This threatens Israel’s aspirations to position itself as the region’s energy powerhouse. For one, the rationale underpinning the $15 billion gas deal signed between Jordan and Israellast year now appears weak: Jordan, which sought to substitute for the drop in Egyptian resources, may now decide to turn to Cairo for a less controversial source of gas.

For Palestine, however, which has also been in gas negotiations with Israel, these regional changes have little impact. With nearly total dependency on Israel for its energy needs, Palestine is seeking ways to enhance the quality of life under occupation. Gazans are seeking to import gas from the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon to alleviate suffering and reduce power shortages, while the West Bank is discussing with Israel the import of gas to increase local power generation and reduce electricity costs.

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