Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Scottish Independence YES Vote Panic - Scotland Committing Suicide and Terminating the UK? - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Independent Scotland Will Disintegrate as Unionist Regions Demand Referendum's to Rejoin UK - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Bank of England Panic! Scottish Independence Bank Run Already Underway! - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Gold and Silver Price Ready To Go BOOM - Austin_Galt
5.Gold and Silver Potential Price Meltdown Scenario - Rambus_Chartology
6.Scottish Independence UK Catastrophe - The Balkanisation of Britain - Video - Nadeem_Walayat
7.The Price Of Gold And The Art Of War Part I - Darryl_R_Schoon
8.Main Reason Why Scotland Will Vote NO to Independence, 70% Probability - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Heavy Gold and Silver Shorting is Bullish - Zeal_LLC
10.10 Year U.S. Treasury Short Best Place to be Remainder of 2014 - EconMatters
Last 5 days
The Emergence of the US Petro-Dollar - 16th Sept 14
Economic GDP Drives Stock Prices Inestment Myth - 16th Sept 14
Don't Miss This Gold Buying Opportunity - 16th Sept 14
Why ECB QE Is Bearish For Gold Prices - 15th Sept 14
Property Rights and Property Taxes—and Countries That Don’t Have Them - 15th Sept 14
Junior Miners Breaking Out Higher Forecasting Gold and Silver Price Bottom? - 15th Sept 14
Stock Market Patiently Waiting for Mean Reversion - 15th Sept 14
A Closer Look at the US Dollar - 15th Sept 14
The Silver Price Sentiment Cycle - 15th Sept 14
Stock Market Correction Underway - 15th Sept 14
Marc Faber - “I Want To Be Diversified, I Want To Own Some Gold” - 15th Sept 14
The Myth of Nuclear Weapons - 15th Sept 14
US Dollar Forecast to Go Much Higher - 15th Sept 14
Analysis And Price Projection Of The Uranium Market - 15th Sept 14
Bank of England Panic! Scottish Independence Bank Run Already Underway! - 15th Sept 14
The Ethics of Entrepreneurship and Profit - 14th Sept 14
The Big Investor Opportunity in the Orbital Space Junkyard - 14th Sept 14
Kohl's and The Rest of The Retailers are in Deep Doo Doo - 14th Sept 14
Independent Scotland Will Disintegrate as Unionist Regions Demand Referendum's to Rejoin UK - 14th Sept 14
Stock Market Pullback Continues - 13th Sept 14
SNP Fanatics Warn of Day of Reckoning for Scottish Independence No Campaigners - 13th Sept 14
Scottish Independence Would Shake Up the Global System - 13th Sept 14
The World Order Becomes Disorder - 13th Sept 14
Is Geothermal Power About to Become The Next Great Battleground Over Fracking? - 12th Sept 14
Heavy Gold and Silver Shorting is Bullish - 12th Sept 14
Strong U.S. Dollar Undermines Gold and Silver - 12th Sept 14
Debt And The Decline Of Money - 12th Sept 14
Panic On The Streets Of London ... Can Scotland Ever Be The Same Again? - 12th Sept 14
Will The Real Silver Commercials Stand Up? - 12th Sept 14
If You Own Only One Investment, Make Sure This Is It - 12th Sept 14
Main Reason Why Scotland Will Vote NO to Independence, 70% Probability - 12th Sept 14
Better Days Ahead For U.S. Stock And Housing Market - 12th Sept 14
U.S. Meddling Dims Prospects for Ukraine Peace - 12th Sept 14
Is the Fed Preparing to Asset-Strip Local Governments? - 12th Sept 14
China Holds “Gold Congress” - Positioning Itself As Global Gold Hub - 11th Sept 14
Fire Ice Could be Energy's Magic Bullet or a Planet-killing Catastrophe - 11th Sept 14
The Mass Psychosis Of 9 /11 Will Never Be Healed - 11th Sept 14
Radical Islam's Crisis of Competing Caliphates - 11th Sept 14
Ukraine Crisis And Self-Determination - 11th Sept 14
Cameron and Miliband Desperately Attempt to Prevent Scotland Committing Suicide - 11th Sept 14
A Supply Crunch Points to Higher Uranium Prices - 11th Sept 14
The Myanmar Shadow - 11th Sept 14
Europe Takes the QE Baton - 11th Sept 14
Full Frontal Inflation - 11th Sept 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Huge Stocks Bear Market

Libya Oil Export Offline Indefinitely?

Commodities / Crude Oil Apr 03, 2011 - 09:19 AM GMT

By: Dian_L_Chu

Commodities

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThere were some interesting developments coming out of Libya that It seems behind the scenes a transitional government is already being put in place, and contracts are being signed for the resumption and export of Oil to Libya`s trading partners.


Rebels Making Oil Deal

The finance minister for the Libyan opposition, a University of Washington lecturer Ali Tarhouni who returned to Libya nearly a month ago to help the opposition, told reporters that Libyan rebels have signed a deal with Qatar to market their crude oil abroad in exchange for food, medicine and fuel. In late March, Tarhoni also said the rebels, who were at the time in control of all the country's eastern oil facilities, expected to begin exporting crude "in less than a week".

Libyan Oil Offline For Years?

This suggests that much of the fear that Libya oil export could be offline for years or even ‘indefinitely’ seems to be somewhat hyperbole, and a bit of a red herring. It appears that the Qaddafi regime is crumbling according to information gleaned from the recent defection of Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, and it could be only a matter of time before the unrest in Libya is resolved with the stepping down of Qaddafi.

Recent news also pointed to members of the Qaddafi regime were trying to negotiate a way out of their current predicament, once the no-fly zone was established. By the way, no-fly zone essentially means the oil assets are pretty safe from harm, while realistically, both sides were never going to harm the oil assets, as that is how all of their power is derived--no oil assets equates to no power in Libya.

Saudi’s New Light Sweet Blend

Then, if you look at the production level relative to the world’s, you’d realize Libya’s production is about 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd), accounting for less than 2% of the world’s 88 million bpd of oil. Out of the 1.7 million bpd, Europe is the Libya’s top crude customer with 11 countries importing about 1.1 million bpd, according to The Economist (See Chart).


So, even if in the unlikely event that Libyan oil is totally off the market for an extended period of time, the shortfall could easily either be made up by rising production from other oil producing regions or by substitutions.  For example, despite doubt that Saudi’s high sulphur, sour crude would be an adequate substitute for Libyan light sweet crude, Saudi Aramco has come up with a new light sweet blend, and just sold EU buyers around 2 million barrels to replace the disrupted Libyan barrels.

Sanctions Leakage

Furthermore, even though the United Nations specifically named state oil company the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) in its list of entities whose assets are frozen, analysts have said eventually there might be some significant sanctions leakage.  After all, oil is a valuable commodity, and one way or the other, Libyan oil is going to find its way onto the market.

Given that Oil is a also fungible commodity, this essentially means more supply added to the total world oil market since the Saudi’s already covering 100% of the loss from Libya`s disruption, and this just serves as bonus supply on the world oil market.

Economics Trumps Politics

All of this eventually has let me to realize that the laws of free trade, mutually consistent interests, and economic survival transcends the politics and even political revolutions of individual countries. For the oil exporting countries, their main source of income is oil, and their sole survival is based upon financial means.

Regardless of who is in power in Libya, Gabon, Nigeria, or even in Saudi, oil is a means to an end for any government, and will be made available to the world market in the form of trade as it is the only way these governments could stay in power given that this is their sole source of revenue.

Free Trade Transcends Revolution

In short, there isn`t going to be much of a long-term or massive supply threat due to the democratization of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. The world has a long and storied history of countries which undergo revolutions, governmental transitions, etc., and there remains a consistent record of their continual exchange of goods and services where it is in the best interest of all parties involved to continue trading relations.

Free trade is a concept that is bigger than individual governments, and even governments with divergent views on many issues throughout history still manage to agree on certain commonalities and conduct trade when based upon mutually beneficial interests, i.e., each side has something of value important to the other party and worthy of trade.

Fear, Speculation vs. Facts

So, the idea that Libyan oil is going to be locked in 100% and off the market for even six months is a bit of a red herring, and contradictory to the history of trade relations. Even the North Koreans have trading partners in the midst of numerous sanctions by the world community.

There is a lot of fear mongering, hyperbole, and exaggeration taking place right now in the oil market mostly on behalf of speculators with a vested interest in exploiting the current political upheavals in the MENA region in order to push up the price of Crude Oil, and make a lot of money.

Often times, they are just speculations with very little facts to support much of the claims being bandied about regarding legitimate supply shortages in the Oil market. It is tantamount to yelling fire in a crowded movie theatre, and in the end, the stampede could run over whoever started the fire screaming in the first place.  

Dian L. Chu, M.B.A., C.P.M. and Chartered Economist, is a market analyst and financial writer regularly contributing to Seeking Alpha, Zero Hedge, and other major investment websites. Ms. Chu has been syndicated to Reuters, USA Today, NPR, and BusinessWeek. She blogs at http://www.econmatters.com/.

© 2011 Copyright Dian L. Chu - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014