• Schork Oil Outlook: US Consumers Have a Problem Thursday, 17 Mar 2011 | 11:09 AM ET

    While the FOMC endeavors to pay close attention to the evolution of inflation, yesterday the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a much larger than expected uptick in inflation at the wholesale level in February, particularly for food and energy goods.

  • 'Business-Friendly Bahrain' Disappears; Ex-Pats Exit Thursday, 17 Mar 2011 | 8:38 AM ET
    Passengers line up for flights out of Bahrain at the country's airport March 17.

    "A sense of calm with an undercurrent of mild panic," is how one Bahraini described the scene at Bahrain International Airport Thursday morning,after the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF) cleared the country's Pearl Roundabout area of anti-government protestors, killing at least three people.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: The Future Is Now for Speculators Wednesday, 16 Mar 2011 | 11:42 AM ET

    As of a week ago yesterday, total net length held by all non-commercial interests trading Nymex WTI crude oil hit a record 275,582 contracts; a 92% (!) increase since the end of January. As discussed on Monday, that is enough oil to fill the Nymex storage hub 6× over.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Bahrain Impact Review Tuesday, 15 Mar 2011 | 11:22 AM ET

    First Greece, then Ireland, then Tunisia, then Egypt, then Libya, then Japan, and now… Bahrain? The island nation saw severe protests yesterday, which caused the price of WTI to rally in intra-day trading. But as with the other countries listed, how important is Bahrain?

  • IEA Says Libyan Oil Exports Halted Tuesday, 15 Mar 2011 | 7:43 AM ET

    The International Energy Agency says Libyan oil exports have "ground to a halt" because of the fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

  • US State Dept Urges Americans to Avoid Bahrain Tuesday, 15 Mar 2011 | 4:09 AM ET
    Protesters run from a cloud of teargas during a clash with Bahraini security forces near the Pearl roundabout in Manama, Bahrain. Protesters said that the army fired on them with live rounds, followed by teargas which drove the demonstrators back. There are unconfirmed reports that there are four dead in the clashes.

    The U.S. State Department urged U.S. citizens on Tuesday to defer travel to Bahrain and suggested Americans there should leave due to ongoing political and civil unrest.

  • A Bahraini anti-regime protester holds up a poster with a caricature image of Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa calling him a "war criminal" during a demonstration in the capital Manama.

    General confusion reigns and businesses prepare for another day off as Gulf Cooperation Council forces deploy in Bahrain.

  • According to Friday’s Commitment of Traders (CoT) report from the CFTC, speculators (managed money) owned a record 274,235 contracts of WTI crude oil on the Nymex. That is a 68% increase in three weeks. Total net length held by all non-commercial interests rose to a record 275,582 contracts; a 92% (!) increase since the end of January.

  • Arab Gulf Forces Said to Deploy to Bahrain Monday, 14 Mar 2011 | 11:54 AM ET
    Bahraini anti-government protesters gather in Pearl Square, in Manama.

    Forces from Gulf Arab countries will help with maintaining order in Bahrain and some forces have already arrived in the country, according to press reports.

  • Fukushima Dai Ni Nuclear Power plant

    The unfolding crisis at the two reactors, both at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, feeds into a resurgence of doubts about nuclear energy’s safety — even as it has gained credence as a source of clean energy, the New York Times reports.

  • Citigroup’s shakiest days are over, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al Saud, the biggest single individual shareholder of the bank’s stock and chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, which also holds Citi stock, told CNBC Friday.

  • Schork Outlook: NatGas to Keep Trading Sideways Friday, 11 Mar 2011 | 11:55 AM ET

    Natural gas prices were weak yesterday after reports of heavy production in the Gulf of Mexico Producing Region. Furthermore, the latest 6-10 day weather forecasts place temperatures in the Midwest and the East Coast much above normal, reducing the chances of another weather-related boost like the one seen in prices last week.

  • Police and protesters clashed in Saudi Arabia Thursday and the country faces a day of possible mass protests Friday, but even heavy demonstrations will not succeed in removing the current regime, according to analysts at the Eurasia Group.

  • the EIA’s Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) revised its average price for crude oil in 2011 from $91 to $105, but how reliable is this?

  • Tripoli Pours Old Notes Back in Circulation Thursday, 10 Mar 2011 | 4:41 AM ET
    Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi

    Libya’s central bank has ordered banks to recirculate old currency in the first sign that the oil-rich north African state is facing liquidity problems amid international efforts to freeze the regime’s assets, reports the Financial Times.

  • Saudi Prince Alwaleed Calls for Citi Dividend Thursday, 10 Mar 2011 | 2:55 AM ET

    Wealthy Saudi investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal expressed confidence in Citigroup's earnings potential and also called for the bank to issue a dividend to shareholders.

  • The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) was created during the Ford administration in response to the 1973-74 Arab oil embargo. Barrels started moving into the reserve in 1977 during the Carter administration, to which a total of 108 million barrels moved in by the time Carter left office in 1981...

  • Gaddafi Money Casts Shadow in Hollywood Wednesday, 9 Mar 2011 | 2:39 AM ET
    Hollywood sign

    Things have gotten chilly here for Natural Selection, the film production company backed by Col. Muammar el-Gaddafi’s son Saadi, the New York Times reports.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: The Dollar / Oil Relationship Tuesday, 8 Mar 2011 | 11:05 AM ET

    Yesterday’s (Monday's) intra-day charts show a strong inverse relationship between USDEUR and Nymex WTI, as illustrated in today’s issue of The Schork Report. Yet traders may be hesitant to trade this correlation consistently due to its historical tendency to break down

  • Keeping in mind that markets abhor uncertainty, the most significant (and obvious) driver supporting oil prices today are the two big unknowns related to the Middle East; namely, duration and contagion.