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The U.S. Prepares To Sell Of Its Oil Reserves

The U.S. is beginning to wind down one of the core energy security policies of the past half century as the boom in domestic drilling eases concerns about supply. (Click to enlarge)The U.S. Department of Energy could begin to sell off some of its strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) as soon as January, the beginning of a multi-year process to shrink the nation’s stockpile of oil. Congress has authorized DOE to sell off $375.4 million worth of oil in its recent budget resolution. The DOE said that such a sale could be held in January 2017. To…



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How Did The Big Name Oil Bulls Fare This Year?

For those active in commodity investments, it’s clear that forecasting prices is more or less a guessing game. This is especially true for oil and particularly this year, which has seen extremely heightened market volatility. At one point, markets were swung by any word uttered by Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister and his Russian counterpart, making it extremely difficult to glean with any degree of certainty where prices would head. Traders such as Dennis Gartman, Andy Hall, and Pierre Andurand have been among the names everyone quotes when…


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US to ‘act in kind’ if other nations increase nuke capacity

Author: 
Reuters
Sat, 2016-12-24
ID: 
1482530365852227900

WASHINGTON: The United States under Donald Trump’s presidency will not allow other countries to increase their nuclear capability without responding in kind, a spokesman for the president-elect said on Friday.
“There are countries around the globe right now that are talking about increasing their nuclear capacity,” Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary, told CNN.
Meanwhile, Trump said after being asked to clarify his comments about expanding US nuclear weapons capability, “Let it be an arms race,” and that the United States would win it, MSNBC reported on Friday.
Trump had alarmed non-proliferation experts on Thursday with a Twitter post that said the United States “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”
MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski spoke with Trump on the phone and asked him to expand on his tweet. She said he responded: “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”
Shares of uranium producers and a nuclear fuel technology company have jumped on Trump’s comments with Uranium Resources Inc, Uranium Energy Corp, Cameco Corp. and Lightbridge Corp. all trading higher on Friday.
It was not clear what prompted Thursday’s tweet by Trump, a Republican who takes office on Jan. 20, but it came the same day Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country needed to boost its nuclear forces.
In his year-end news conference in Moscow on Friday, Putin said Trump’s comment on Wednesday was not out of line and that he did not consider the United States to be a potential aggressor.
Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said in several television interviews on Friday that there would not be an arms race because the president-elect would ensure that other countries trying to step up their nuclear capabilities, such as Russia and China, would decide not to do so.

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Israel ‘turned to Trump to head off UN resolution’

Author: 
AP
Sat, 2016-12-24
ID: 
1482530365802227600

JERUSALEM: Israel’s prime minister turned to President-elect Donald Trump to help head off a critical UN resolution after learning that the White House did not intend to veto the measure, an Israeli official said Friday.
The admission marked a final chapter in the icy relations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama over the last eight years, and signaled an era of close ties between Israel and the incoming Trump administration.
The Egyptian-sponsored resolution had demanded that Israel halt settlement activities in occupied territories claimed by the Palestinians and declared that existing settlements “have no legal validity.”
But under heavy Israeli pressure, Egypt called off a planned vote in the Security Council hours before it was to take place. In the diplomatic activity ahead of the postponement, both Netanyahu and Trump issued nearly identical statements urging the US to veto the measure.
“After becoming aware that the administration would not veto the anti-Israel resolution, Israeli officials reached out to Trump’s transition team to ask for the president-elect’s help to avert the resolution,” the Israeli official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing behind-the-scenes diplomatic activity.
On Friday, Egypt said its president had received a call from Trump in which they both agreed to give the incoming US administration a chance to try and resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The call came hours after Egypt indefinitely postponed the UN vote.
A statement from the Egyptian presidency said the two men spoke by phone early Friday and agreed on “the importance of giving a chance for the new American administration to deal in a comprehensive way with the different aspects of the Palestinian issue with the aim of achieving a comprehensive and a final resolution.”
The US, along with the Palestinians and nearly all of the international community, opposes Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as obstacles to peace. Some 600,000 Israelis live in the two territories, which the Palestinians seek as part of a future independent state. Israel captured both areas in the 1967 Mideast war.
Although the US opposes the settlements, it has traditionally used its veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council to block resolutions condemning Israel, saying that disputes between Israel and the Palestinians must be resolved through negotiations. But after eight years of failed peace efforts during the Obama Administration, Israel has expressed concern the outgoing president would take an audacious step to leave his mark on the region.
In recent weeks, the White House had been especially secretive about its deliberations.
Trump has signaled he will be far more sympathetic to Israel.

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Offshore Drillers Could Cut Costs By 30% With Standardized Equipment

The offshore oil industry could cut exploration costs by more than 30 percent if it would just agree to use standardized equipment, according to the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). When starting a new offshore drilling project, oil companies often contract out the work to engineering companies and oilfield services, and the sub-contractors often fabricate tailor-made parts and equipment. In-house fabrication is also common, necessarily leading to differences in equipment from project to project. Manufacturing unique equipment…


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Offshore Drillers Could Cut Costs By 30% With Standardized Equipment

The offshore oil industry could cut exploration costs by more than 30 percent if it would just agree to use standardized equipment, according to the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). When starting a new offshore drilling project, oil companies often contract out the work to engineering companies and oilfield services, and the sub-contractors often fabricate tailor-made parts and equipment. In-house fabrication is also common, necessarily leading to differences in equipment from project to project. Manufacturing unique equipment…


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Offshore Drillers Could Cut Costs By 30% With Standardized Equipment

The offshore oil industry could cut exploration costs by more than 30 percent if it would just agree to use standardized equipment, according to the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). When starting a new offshore drilling project, oil companies often contract out the work to engineering companies and oilfield services, and the sub-contractors often fabricate tailor-made parts and equipment. In-house fabrication is also common, necessarily leading to differences in equipment from project to project. Manufacturing unique equipment…


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Could Santa’s Sleigh Go Electric?

Indeed, it’s time to give Santa’s reindeer a break, so this year, rumor has it, they’re just along for the ride as Santa goes electric, pleasing both the animal welfare watchdogs and environmentalists who would be keen to see this go down with a minimal carbon footprint. And what better year than 2016, when electric vehicle poster boy Elon Musk, of Tesla Motors Inc., is being wooed by President-elect Donald Trump. It would seem almost inevitable that Santa would go electric, now that electric vehicles are preparing to enter the…


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Asia on alert ahead of Christmas

Author: 
Reuters
Sat, 2016-12-24
ID: 
1482529752432162500

JAKARTA/BANGKOK: Security forces across Asia were on alert on Friday ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays, as police in Australia and Indonesia said they had foiled bomb plots and Malaysian security forces arrested suspected militants.
Australian police said they had prevented attacks on prominent sites in Melbourne on Christmas Day that authorities described as “an imminent terrorist event” inspired by Daesh.
The announcement came after an attack in Berlin in which a truck smashed through a Christmas market on Monday, killing 12 people. The suspect was killed in a pre-dawn shoot-out with police in Milan on Friday, Italy’s interior minister said.
In Indonesia, where Daesh’s first attack in Southeast Asia killed four people in Jakarta in January, at least 14 people were being interrogated over suspected suicide bomb plots targeting the presidential palace in Jakarta and another undisclosed location, police said.
Anti-terrorism police killed three suspects in a gunfight on Wednesday on the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta.
Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, would deploy 85,000 police and 15,000 military staff for the Christmas and New Year period, police said.
Indonesian groups were helping authorities secure Christmas celebrations amid heightened religious tension after the Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, went on trial on a charge of blasphemy, which he denies.
Religious group Islamic Defenders Front swept into shopping centers in the city of Surabaya, in East Java, last week to make sure Muslim staff were not forced by employers to wear Santa hats or other Christmas gear.
In West Java, a group stopped a Christmas event as it was being held in a public building rather than in a church.
In Jakarta, about 300 volunteers from Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s biggest moderate Muslim group, will join police in overseeing security.
“The focus is against terrorism, especially in Jakarta and Bali, because these are the traditional targets,” Indonesia police chief Tito Karnavian told reporters.
The largely Hindu island of Bali, famed for its temples and beaches, suffered Indonesia’s most serious militant attack, in 2002, when 202 people were killed, most of them foreigners, by bombs at a bar.
In the Pakistani city of Lahore, where 72 people were killed in an Easter Day bombing targeting Christians this year, police said 2,000 Muslim volunteers had been trained to help with security.
“A three-layer security will be arranged around every church in Lahore,” said Haider Ashraf, the city’s deputy inspector general of police.
He said CCTV cameras were monitoring churches and other gathering places for Christians, who make up about 1 percent of Muslim-majority Pakistan’s 190 million people.
Police in Muslim-majority Malaysia, where Daesh claimed responsibility for a grenade attack on a bar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in June, said this week they had arrested seven people for suspected links to the militant group.
Police will monitor transport hubs, entertainment centers and tourist spots.
“We try not to have too much physical presence in public and focus more on prevention,” Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said. “People should feel free to enjoy their holidays.”
The US Embassy in India warned this week of an increased threat to places frequented by foreigners.
In mostly Muslim Bangladesh, where a militant group killed 22 people, most of them foreigners, at a Dhaka cafe in July, police would be patrolling near churches, an officer said.

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