Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Russia Could Slip in the Oil Patch (excerpt)

Yesterday, the Russian government submitted its budget to the Duma, the lower house of the parliament. Once approved, Vladimir Putin will sign it into law. A 9/30 post on The Economist website reported that “over the last few years the budget’s reliance on oil revenues have increased. When excluding oil, there was a shortfall of 3.6% of GDP in 2007 but now it is more like 10%. Russia expects to run a small budget deficit (about 0.6% of GDP) this year. That prediction is optimistic--the Kremlin is banking on an oil price of $100.”

Everyone tends to compare US crude oil production to Saudi production. Given the current world disorder, it might make more sense to compare the US plus Canada to Saudi Arabia and Russia. The former has steadily exceeded Saudi output since October 2012 and Russian output since July 2013. Putin produces and exports lots of oil. Khrushchev promised to bury us. Maybe we can drown Putin by continuing to produce more oil.

Today's Morning Briefing: Good Break. (1) A couple of timely calls on energy stocks and the price of oil. (2) Bombing ISIS oil. (3) A happy story in the US oil patch of more output and exports, and fewer imports. (4) Rising fuel efficiency is part of the happy story. (5) The US is #1 in liquids. (6) Demand for oil still falling in Eurozone and Japan. (7) The strong dollar is depressing oil price, which is strengthening the dollar. (8) Khrushchev didn’t bury us, but we can drown Putin! (9) A brief history and requiem for Peak Oil. (More for subscribers.)

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