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  • 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.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Chavez to the Rescue? Friday, 4 Mar 2011 | 12:35 PM ET

    Apparently Hugo Chavez thinks the U.S. is distorting the situation in Libya “… to justify an invasion.” As if the video being shown on CNN, BBC et al. has somehow been staged (perhaps on the old set from Capricorn One) by the U.S.

  • The World’s 15 Biggest Oil Producers Thursday, 3 Mar 2011 | 11:59 AM ET
    Unrest in the Middle East has put investors on high alert as crude oil prices move seemingly with every development in the region. In order to understand the effect of those events on both US and global oil markets, a key figure to watch is the amount of crude oil produced daily in each country. With data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), a division of the Department of Energy, CNBC.com took a look at the countries that produce the most crude oil on a daily basis. Production is d

    With data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), a division of the Department of Energy, CNBC.com took a look at the countries that produce the most crude oil on a daily basis.

  • In the weeks ahead the market for natural gas in Canada will transition to the spring breakup. To this effect, Canadian rig counts (Baker Hughes or BHI) will peak in the next couple of weeks for the onset of the spring thaw. This is the seasonal downturn in rig counts which historically begins in early March, depending on weather conditions, and lasts through late April.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Betting Against the Crowd Monday, 28 Feb 2011 | 12:57 PM ET

    The vernal equinox (i.e. spring in the Northern Hemisphere) is but three weeks away. We are on the down slope of weather induced drawdowns in heating Btu stocks (natural gas, high sulfur diesel and propane). The pitch of this negative weather-demand function will steepen in the weeks ahead.

  • The UAW trust (VEBA) earned around $3.4 billion last November by selling a third of its allotted stake (102 million shares at $33 per) in G.M.’s IPO. Analysts’ estimates peg the VEBA’s break-even on its remaining shares at $37.

  • Oil Could Hit $120 a Barrel: Boone Pickens Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 11:54 AM ET

    Oil prices, now topping $100 a barrel, could hit $120, energy financier T. Boone Pickens, chairman and CEO of BP Capital, and an advocate of replacing oil with natural gas in some applications, told CNBC Friday.

  • Options Market Sees Oil Under $115 Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 10:58 AM ET

    Oil prices have seen wild moves in recent days amid increasing violence in the Mideast, but the options market is telling us the roller-coaster ride may be over.

  • Saudis Stress Oil Actions Are Important, Not Words Friday, 25 Feb 2011 | 9:29 AM ET

    If Saudi raised oil production to 9 million barrels per day, then they've chosen a good time to do it.

  • saudi_oil_200.jpg

    Good King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia figures that $36 billion will buy off any potential unrest in his realm of Saudi Arabia. That's an expensive piece of cake he's dishing up.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: $100 a Barrel? Not Really Thursday, 24 Feb 2011 | 11:27 AM ET

    Here we go again… Nymex crude oil failed to trade at $100 yesterday in the electronic market, but that apparently did not prevent some yahoo down on the floor of the Nymex from buying $100 WTI anyway.

  • Saudi Arabia in Talks to Boost Oil Output Thursday, 24 Feb 2011 | 8:40 AM ET

    Saudi Arabia is in “active talks” with European oil companies to meet the production shortfall left by Libya, the clearest indication to date that the leader of the Opec oil cartel is about to boost supplies to stop further rises in the oil price.

  • Halftime: Are Energy Bulls Running Blindly? Wednesday, 23 Feb 2011 | 1:48 PM ET

    With energy the one bright spot in an otherwise bleak market, should you get in too? Or is this trade about to reverse?

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Oil into the Danger Zone Wednesday, 23 Feb 2011 | 12:01 PM ET

    Per yesterday’s (Tuesday's) update from the DOE, retail gasoline prices in the U.S. hit another post bubble high, $3.189. In other words, U.S. consumers are now paying the highest price for gasoline since October 2008.

  • Bahrain Crisis Short-Term Blip: Investment Fund Wednesday, 23 Feb 2011 | 10:23 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 mass protests in Bahrain will make the country stronger and not lead to the fall of the ruling royal family, the boss of Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund has told CNBC.

  • Calls Grow for Scrutiny of Family’s Finances Wednesday, 23 Feb 2011 | 8:34 AM ET
    Moammer Gaddafi speaking

    Muammer Gaddafi’s family has built up vast business interests in sectors ranging from oil to hotels during his 41-year rule, giving it a hold over large swathes of Libya’s economy, according to US diplomatic cables and governance groups, reports the Financial Times.

  • Johnson: Obama's Window of Opportunity in Libya Tuesday, 22 Feb 2011 | 12:20 PM ET
    President Barack Obama News Conference

    The administration is searching for an acceptable blend of government support and a pro business environment because voters demand better jobs without compromising the nation’s balance sheet. The answer may be in Tripoli.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Fear of Contagion Realized in Libya Tuesday, 22 Feb 2011 | 10:28 AM ET

    The quote above demonstrates how extreme tensions have become regarding Libya. Warplanes are said to be strafing protestors in Tripoli, the capital, while Benghazi, the second largest city, is said to be in the hands of the insurgency.

  • Turmoil in the Middle East: Will Saudi Arabia be Next? Sunday, 20 Feb 2011 | 10:07 AM ET

    With the recent turmoil across North Africa and the Gulf, investors are now becoming increasingly concerned that the ‘political contagion,’ as the wave of upheaval has come to be known, may flow over into Saudi Arabia as well.

  • Pundits have recently been talking about stocks at Cushing, OK and the effects of the Keystone pipeline. They have also been talking about the widening front month spread, which recently crossed below the -$4.00 barrier for the first time since May 2010. However, there is a less discussed effect of Cushing that takes place much further along the curve, writes Stephen Schork.