Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Great Leap Forward – Simple Minds (1995)

Janet Lawrence, our in-house Product Developer, found this article in The Calgary Herald from earlier in the month which provides a sound rationale for why “Hedging May be Best Strategy for Oil Producers”. A story like this sure stopped me in my tracks. It has to do with the barrel price rising back to US$75 due to a confluence of factors including OPEC's ongoing interests and behavior as well as the depth and length of the current global recession.

Once you've had a chance to read, let me know if you and others are poised to sell forward when the time is right and if your staffs have the right tools and instinct to do so?

Monday, 30 March 2009

Meet El Presidente – Duran Duran (1986)

Over the weekend, the Obama Administration announced a series of meetings with the European Union and other global players to tackle energy and climate issues including global warming, energy efficiency and security, some of the topics that we’ll be tackling in our forthcoming course on The Changing Geopolitics of Oil and Gas: Identifying and Managing Political Risk.

For details on the meetings from The New York Times, read on.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Lights Out - Lisa Marie Presley (2003)

Today many are observing Earth Hour to bring world awareness to global warming and the need for solutons that will ensure energy needs are met in a responsible manner. I have already seen lights dim in Sydney, Shanghai, Jakarta and elsewhere on television and via the Internet. In a few hours it will be Europe's Africa's and the Americas' turns to do so.

Today is also when The Oxford Princeton Programme launches its latest web-based course on Overview of the Ethanol Market. So after you do turn out your lights, log on to learn about this energy resource and the role it will play in brightening the future.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Take A Giant Step – Monkees (1978)

The fine folks at LNG Industry Magazine allowed me to share my thoughts on Stepping Up LNG Training in their Spring 2009 issue.

Have a read and let me know any of your thoughts as well as other LNG-related education and training needs.

And by the way, here are some of our forthcoming LNG courses:

Monday, 23 March 2009

Answer's In The Question - Bob Seger with Patty Loveless (2006)

The tweet below from CBOE caught my attention today. It's a fair question so I had to see what the author had to say.

Minyanville: "Can Selling Options Make You a Better Trader?" http://tiny.cc/TsFJ0

Friday, 20 March 2009

Danger Zone – No Doubt (2004)

Tradewinds has just reported that a there has been a large fuel spill today in the busy Strait of Hormuz due to a collision between a US submarine and a US frigate. Eighty five tonnes of fuel oil was spilled and 15 sailors were injured.

This real-life case study is representative of the discussions delegates will have when they attend these forthcoming courses:

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Hold On To Your Hat – Rolling Stones (1989)

Here we go! Oil jumped over 6% today to over $50 a barrel based in part on brighter outlooks for the U.S. economy.

More details from Yahoo at: news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090319/bs_nm/us_markets_oil

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Downstream – Supertramp (1977)

The following is courtesy of Richard Prince, Faculty, The Oxford Princeton Programme and Course Director for the forthcoming course in Downstream Oil Products Marketing to take place 15-19 June 2009 in Oxford.
Will Low Oil Prices Give New Life to Marketing?

As the price of crude oil rose, year after year, to last summer's peak of $145, Downstream oil product marketers found themselves squeezed by ever higher costs and Upstream seemed to get all the capital investment. Hardly surprising as the best investment returns by far were in upstream while oil prices were high.

Now things look very different. In this new environment of relatively low crude prices, Downstream marketing businesses should make a much greater relative contribution to the performance of many integrated oil companies. Falling cost of product has given marketers a chance to restore margins that had been pressured when costs were much higher and enables them to make a much better case for new investment compared to last year.

But we are also in a global recession and demand for oil products has dropped. So we can expect much more competition for customers and hence new pressure on prices. Businesses with good customer relationships will expect to have more secure volumes – a critical factor in maintaining capacity utilisation from wellhead, through refinery to market. And some companies may be thinking about entering new markets or making acquisitions of weaker players.

Although there are real opportunities for marketing to capture more attention and grow profit in this new environment, only those who are really good at understanding their markets will do well.

Our "Downstream Oil Products Marketing" course (code DSP) could be just what you need to create a competitive advantage for your business. This course provides an overview of downstream oil products marketing, with a strong emphasis on understanding the demand side of the market and customer and end user expectations. It will enable you to create a marketing strategy that is right for your business in your markets. It also will give you practical tools and ideas to implement your strategy and to build profitable business in a wide range of refined oil product markets (transportation fuels, commercial fuels, lubricants and bitumen).

Friday, 13 March 2009

Vienna Calling – Falco (1985)

It looks like this week is ending on a high note with the bulls still raging down Wall Street for a fourth day now and oil hovering at around $48 as all anticipate this coming Sunday’s OPEC meeting in Vienna when a further cut in production is surely to be announced. The betting could begin with how much a cut it will be given more reports today on the persisting decline in global demand. It should be quite a gathering with a much larger-than-usual Russian delegation planning to show up. Hmm... what could that be about? And will we see $50 a barrel by Monday?

For more perspective, here is a just-released report from the Associated Press.

Jobert E. Abueva

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Trade It All - Fabolous featuring P Diddy (Puff Daddy) & Jagged Edge (2001)

The worldwide recession continues to drag down projections for oil consumption as evidenced by the latest EIA estimate drop by 1.4 million barrels per day in 2009. This translates into 200,000 fewer barrels since last month's projection and three million barrels since September 2008. Global GDP could see further declines by 0.8 percent in 2009 before growing by 2.6 percent in 2010 which, yes, means an increase in oil consumption.

So where am I going with this?

Arguably there is light at the end of the tunnel. But even as production swings and crude oil prices sway, the need for sophisticated training in oil trading is constant. My data points are the strong enrollment rates for our advanced oil trading courses, especially these two which are coming up (both confirmed to run):

International Oil Trading and Pricing to run end of this month in Oxford as well as International Oil Trading - Advanced Techniques and Strategic Risk Management which takes place in mid-April in Singapore.

I encourage you to check these out as they are great value for your money and yes, you are certain to walk away with critical strategies and tactics to weather this roller coaster ride.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Where Have All The Good People Gone? – Sam Roberts (2002)

With the economy certain to rebound, oil companies are turning to lessons learned: do not fall to the kneejerk responses of laying off workers who become well-trained resources lost forever. This is highlighted in this article courtesy of Rigzone.com.

I have been touting such wisdom for a few weeks now and the need to keep up investment in training as a competitive advantage that pays off when things do turn around. I believe this more than ever.

Jobert E. Abueva

Monday, 9 March 2009

Anywhere On Earth You Are - Alan Jackson (2006)

Ethanol producers are looking for a way out of idle refining capacity even after a slew of governmental initiatives such as tax credits, subsidies and production mandates by Congress. Will this latest effort push the Obama administration to come up with even more support?

Read further in this article from last Friday's edition of The New York Times: U.S. is Asked to Permit 15% Ethanol in Gasoline

The Oxford Princeton Programme will be launching its new web-based course on Overview of the Ethanol Market to coincide with Earth Hour 2009 (8:30 - 9:30 pm) to be observed on Saturday, March 28th, when over 80 countries and 930 cities will dim their lights in a show of support against global warming and for renewable energy.

Receive a voucher to try a second course FREE when you make your web-based purchase on this very day. Contact us for details.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Take A Look At My Face - Michael Bolton (1987)

We've started The Energy Education Network on Facebook which is quickly building a global community of individuals interested in our mission of advancing the education and training of all professionals within and related to the energy sector regardless of function or level of expereince.

The group serves as a platform for those engaging in energy education worldwide whether it be in oil, gas, power, coal, nuclear, green energy, or renewables; physical, technical or commerical; up-, mid- and downstream; and it is a friendly forum for colleagues, clients and competitors to share information and learn from one another.

Consider us unbiased and bipartisan and always willing to converse.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Marching On - The Alarm (1983)

March brings a change in seasons as we cross over an equinox (more light and warmth in the Northern Hemisphere but you wouldn't have thought so on the U.S Eastern Seaboard with yesterday's snow event). It also heralds an airer attitude now that the first quarter will soon wind down and businesses can stretch their legs. Markets remain volatile (yesterday surely proved so with the DJIA dropping to a 12-year low) and malaise still thickens the commercial landscape.

Things will get worse before they get better we're told but you are reading from an eternal optimist. I do see signs of life both in my garden (the croci have sprouted) and here at work (the CROCI* may be improving as well). Registrations are pouring in for our spring courses. Despite the recession, clients are realizing that corporate training must still go on and does remain the best investment for when we all come out on the other end.

The Oxford Princeton Programme has a lot of good news to share this time of year including the launch of our newest web-based course on European Gas: Security of Supply (Understanding the Russia-Ukraine Gas Conflict) followed by Overview of the Ethanol Market in April. Our worldwide instructor-led course schedule for March onward is full and far-reaching and includes new courses including the course series on Energy Derivatives Pricing, Hedging and Risk Management debuting in Calgary and Houston. All our latest news items can be found on our home page.

Good news begets good news and I do hope you have it coming your way.

* CROCI - Cash Return on Capital Invested