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  • Schork Oil Outlook: NatGas Bears Running Out of Steam? Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 1:06 PM ET

    As of two weeks ago yesterday, money managers trading the Nymex Henry Hub natural gas futures were short by 207,413 contracts, i.e. ≈207 Bcf of gas. That is enough gas to keep U.S. Steel’s furnaces aglow for the next 19 years (per the company’s 2008 annual report).

  • Just as the thought that Charlie Sheen can actually be rehabilitated, the idea that releasing barrels from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) can alleviate the upsurge in oil prices is a nice thought, but it is a specious argument.

  • Is Bahrain Returning to Business as Usual? Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 | 10:32 AM ET
    Bahraini anti-government protesters stand close to makeshift roadblocks in Manama.

    Armed security forces and light tanks were visible Tuesday in Bahrain's financial harbor as the local press ran headlines heralding the resumption of "business as usual" and displaced expats began to slowly trickle back to the island kingdom.

  • Schork Outlook: NatGas Bears Must Endure More Pain Monday, 21 Mar 2011 | 12:17 PM ET

    Over the two weeks ended last Tuesday the net length of Nymex natural gas futures held by money managers dropped by 16%, from a record 207,413 contracts to 174,921. At the same time spot gas futures rallied around 1.8%. However, since last Tuesday gas has rallied another 5.8%!

  • Will Saudi Arabia's Stimulus Calm Sectarian Tensions? Monday, 21 Mar 2011 | 11:01 AM ET
    Saudi youth wave their national flag as they celebrate the return of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

    Saudi Arabia's plan to shell out some $90 billion as part of a state-backed economic aid package continued to buoy regional markets Monday, but it is too early to tell how much the spending package will do to assuage sectarian tensions in the country, market analysts told CNBC.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Libya vs. the World Friday, 18 Mar 2011 | 1:11 PM ET

    Last night (Thursday), the United Nations approved military action against Libya, including a no fly zone and air strikes against Libyan forces. WTI and Brent rallied sharply in the electronic markets in response, but our question is: what took so long?

  • 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?