ABC Oz: World Oil Prices Surge Overnight

any evidence of this out there?  just stumbled across this surfing

According to Bloomberg, crude futures are at $57.88 as of 11:08 Et on 11/21.

While the report seemed to implicate an especially harsh winter, the notion that cold weather drives energy futures has been described as the Homer Simpson school of analysis (after his efforts to make money buying pumpkins in summer). Everyone knows winter is cold, so it gets priced in (according to the economists)

WTI crude is up +$1.00 11/22.
so yes, i call that a surge and it happened for the following reasons:

  1.  prices ususally move up in the winter.
  2.  the move is in anticipation that this winter will be colder than the norm  and if so...
  3.  we may not have enough heating oil and natural gas.
Indeed - light crude up $1.14 so far.  Bouncy bouncy bouncy - I think the volatility is more telling than the absolute level at this point.
No surge that I can see.  At midnight, the NYMEX price of crude is up only 20 cents/barrel, and gasoline is up by 1.17 cents per gallon.  


Here's tomorrow's Wall Street Journal on the consensus among traders that oil prices won't soon be rising dramatically (pasted here in full for those of you without access):

Energy Prices Finally Calm Down
Despite the Approaching Winter,
Oil and Related Commodities Fall;
Most See Scenario as Temporary
November 22, 2005; Page C1

Usually, energy prices aren't sliding at the same time many Americans are starting to slip on snow and ice.

Yet that is the scenario experts see as winter sets in. Few analysts or traders who specialize in crude oil, heating oil or natural gas -- whose jobs help determine what people pay to heat their homes or fill their gas tanks -- believe the long-term bull market in energy has run its course. But they acknowledge a period of softness that could last for several months, with supplies abundant and prices stuck at high but fairly steady levels.

"Right now, what we're seeing represents a major retracement," in crude-oil prices, said Jeffrey Grossman, president of BRG Brokerage Inc., which trades commodity contracts at the New York Mercantile Exchange. Front-month crude-oil futures, which had touched $70 a barrel just weeks ago, finished at $57.70 a barrel yesterday, up 49 cents on the day.

Nymex futures -- contracts that require the holder to buy or sell crude, natural gas and heating oil at a set price at a future date -- are all down about 20% from the records reached this fall after hurricanes damaged refineries and offshore production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. Gasoline futures have fallen almost 40%, closing yesterday at $1.4573 a gallon.

Analysts say some of the run-up immediately following the storms was driven by panic buying, including activity by speculators making bets independent of any actual need for fuel. As Gulf Coast energy facilities have restarted, those bets have been unwound.

Unseasonably warm autumn weather in the Northeast accelerated the trend; the absence of the usual jump in demand for fuel to heat homes allowed inventories of crude oil and natural gas to grow. The first real cold is set to arrive this weekend, causing some stockpiles to be drawn down, although few traders are betting on a run back to the year's loftiest levels.

For example, veteran energy investor Boone Pickens says he expects crude-oil prices to remain weak for the near term but perhaps hit highs around $65 a barrel sometime next year, driven by a continuing tightness between global supply and demand around 85 million barrels a day.

Scott Hess, an independent energy trader at Nymex, says crude-oil contracts, which hit post-Katrina highs around $70, look like they have "found support" lately at around $55 a barrel, meaning buyers are willing to step in when prices dip near that level.

He also says heating-oil traders have been encouraged by signs of economic strength in the U.S., solid demand and a potential record in holiday travel. Such trends have become important in the heating-oil market in recent months, because those futures contracts are increasingly used as proxies for diesel and, to a lesser extent, jet fuel, both of which are chemically similar to heating oil.

"Some of the uncertainties surrounding energy have been cleared up lately, and speculative froth has come out of the market," says Michael Cuggino, president and chief executive of the Permanent Portfolio Family of Funds. "That said, I don't think anything has fundamentally changed regarding the mismatch between supply and demand."

Despite the recent selloff, energy prices are still up strongly so far this year at Nymex. Through yesterday, crude-oil futures have risen 33%, or $14.25, to $57.70 a barrel. Gasoline futures, which represent a wholesale price excluding taxes and fees, have jumped 34%, or 36.86 cents. Heating-oil futures have climbed 39%, or 47.98 cents, to $1.7095 a gallon. And natural-gas contracts have leapt 84%, or $5.182, to $11.331 per million British thermal units on Nymex.

Aside from analysts' hunches, one statistical measure increasingly being used as a signal of long-term energy trends also is looking pretty flat: The so-called price curve for monthly Nymex crude futures is signaling a relatively slight rise in prices -- of about $2, bringing them to just short of $59 a barrel -- from January through November 2006. From there, the curve heads lower but doesn't dip below the nearby price until December 2008.

In a recent research report, commodity strategist Francisco Blanch of Merrill Lynch wrote that he expects the Nymex price curve to flatten further as traders increasingly use long-term contracts to hedge unexpected gyrations in supply or demand.

Whether the prediction is correct or not it the real story is that  the term 'peak oil' is being used regularly by public broadcasters.  The ABC is running an item on peak oil on their science show 'Quantum' later this week. When the Murdoch press picks it up the concept will become mainstream in Australia.

We might be in luck

Look what appeared in the Australian,5744,17319555%255E643,00.html

The ABC in Australia have been featuring interviews with various peak oil luminaries such as Julian Darley, Colin Campbell and Matthew Simmons on its Lateline programme for a number of years now, at least since 1999.  Some transcripts below:
Campbell '99,
Simmons and Campbell,
It looks like they have moved Campbell's piece from 1999 and have attached another in its place.  Still makes for good reading though.
It looks like they have moved Campbell's piece from 1999 and have attached another in its place.  Still makes for interesting reading though.
I went to Kjell's lecture on monday night at the University of Western Australia. It was well attended (packed out) with a large cross-section of the community and academics. Mostly newbies from the couple of people I spoke too.
The WA Sustainable Transport Coalition organised the lecture in conjunction with ASPO-oz.
Nothing new for me in the presentation (I'm only an interested observer) , but good emphasise on the need to force government into action.
The speaker was introduced by the minister (for something) Judy Edwards.
Question time was dominated by Engineers, Geo's and an Economist which kept things interesting.
The ABC and The Australian newspaper have had small articles or interviews relating to it.