Friday, 30 October 2009

Face In the Crowd - Tom Petty (1989)

Should you happen to attend next week's 25th Asia-Pacific Petroleum Conference in Singapore (November 3rd - 5th), be on the look out for our contingent (photos here for easy identification).

Ms. Lesley Rigg - Sales Director, EMEA, Asia/Pacific, Latin America
Ms. Crystal Yeo - Regional Account Manager, Asia-Pacific
Mr. Phillip Woo - Pricipal Account Executive, Asia-Pacific

Monday, 26 October 2009

What a Price to Pay - Michael Damian (1991)

We have added a crude oil price chart which you will now find on the right hand side of this blog. It will reflect 15-minute updates throughout the day so you can be assured of the latest read even as you check us out.

Having said that today seems to be one of those times when you might not want to check out as often how the commodity is doing given that gains from last week are being returned due to a strengthening of the US dollar. As of my entry it is down to just over $78 a barrel. This in turn is affecting the share prices of energy stocks.

Let's see whether the bulls will return this week...

Monday, 19 October 2009

Lie Down in the Grass (Charlie Peacock) - 1968

Today's The Wall Street Journal reports how the credit-crunched biofuels sector is being boosted by the supermajors. We've known about BP and Shell jumping into the act but with ExxonMobil's big move this year to invest in an "algae-to-fuel startup," it is more than just a fad and is perhaps now an established trend.

Among the possible explanations are Renewable Fuels Standard mandates set by governments coupled with restrictions on high-carbon fuels coming down the pike. It spells the need to diversity product portfolios.

To read the enitre article click here and to get caught up on the fundamentals and most recent developments in biofuels, consider taking any of these forthcoming courses:

A Biofuels Overview
7 - 8 December 2009
Oxford, UK

The Emerging Ethanol Energy Markets: A Comprehensive Overview
24 February 2010
Houston, TX

Thursday, 15 October 2009

I've Got Confidence (Elvis Presley) - 1971

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassing the 10,000 mark yesterday, the first time in over a year, and a barrel of crude oil trading at plus $75 a barrel, it's hard not to express a bit of buoyancy with such green shoots abounding.

A day does not make a recovery but hitting these milestones certainly builds back confidence and a renewed commitment to take corporate training off the backburner and into the forefront if one hasn't done so already.

Alisha Gainer, The Oxford Princeton Programme's Houston-based Account Executive, shared with her clients in a note yesterday that, "I have witnessed a huge influx of lifted budget restraints that have allowed many to get back in the swing of things training wise. What a tremendous month we have had so far! In the ever evolving energy industry it is pertinent to stay current."

I'm with her on this and I do trust you are so as well.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Makin' It Natural (Dr. Hook) - 1971

I came across an article in the latest edition of Businessweek entitled "Betting Big on a Boom in Natural Gas."

Needless to say, it stopped in my tracks.

It seems that U.S. gas producers, thanks to technological advances in recent years, have discovered vast reserves in shale rock.

What volume are we really talking here though?

The article says, "the U.S. now holds 1,800 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, one third of it in shale, the equivalent of some 320 billion barrels of oil. That's more than Saudi Arabia's 264 billion barrels."

But gas isn't oil, so it may not fuel cars but it can be used to generate electiricty, which would mean using less (dirty) coal to do so and that would be a good thing for the environment. Moreover, prices have dropped precipitously in recent months which has businesses reconsidering their options whether it is to retrofit coal plants for gas or convert transport fleets from oil to gas.

And this phenomenon isn't limited to North America either.

Read the full Businessweek article here.

When you are done and would like to delve further into the promise of natural gas, consider these forthcoming courses:

Energy Value Chain
19 - 21 Oct 2009
London, UK

Natural Gas Sales and Marketing in a Competitive Environment
19 - 23 Oct 2009
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

LNG Shipping - A Voyage of Discovery
3 - 5 Nov 2009
Oxford, UK

Overview of the European Natural Gas Industry
9 November 2009
London, UK

Natural Gas in the Competitive Electricity Generation Market
9 - 13 Nov 2009
Oxford, UK

Exploring European Natural Gas Markets
10 - 11 Nov 2009
London, UK

Overview of the North American Natural Gas Industry
10 November 2009
Houston, TX

North American Natural Gas Transportation and Storage
11 November 2009
Houston, TX

Overview of the Global LNG Industry
12 November 2009
Houston, TX

Global LNG - The Complete Supply Chain
16 - 20 Nov 2009
London, UK

Overview of the North American Natural Gas Industry
18 November 2009
Calgary, AB

North American Natural Gas Transportation and Storage
19 November 2009
Calgary, AB

Overview of and Opportunities in Latin American Natural Gas
2 - 3 Dec 2009
Houston, TX

The Changing Geopolitics of Oil and Gas: Identifying and Managing Political Risk
7 - 8 Dec 2009

For details on any of these courses, click here.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder) - 1973

A barrel of oil is pricing near year-highs today with the US Dollar depreciating against most other major currencies. Even the rise in crude supplies might not stop investors from hedging.

Benchmark crude for November delivery jumed to $73.89 on NYMEX and even reached as high as $74.47, just short of the 2009 high of $75 reached in August.

Let's see whether the rally has any legs.

Click here for full article from The Associated Press.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Can't Get You Out of My Head (Kylie Minogue) - 2001

I have Latin America and more specifically Brazil and Rio de Janeiro stuck in my mind since last week's announcement that they will be hosting the 2016 Olympics. But then I also came across an article in the September 2009 issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering entitled "Mucho Gas" which speaks to the region's natural gas sector with country-by-country analyses. Its key message: since there is no "integrated, multinational network to move gas from source to consumption point," unique challenges certainly arise including price controls and geopolitics. Nonetheless, the investment opportunities for participants near and far remain vast.

It just so happens that The Oxford Princeton Programme will be debuting its course on Overview of and Opportunites in Latin American Natural Gas (LANG) in Houston on December 2nd and 3rd 2009.

This follows immediately after another new course on Overview of and Opportunities in Latin American Crude Oil (LACO) on November 30th and December 1st also in Houston and is slated to run in Rio de Janeiro on November 12th and 13th.

With all this forthcoming activity, see why I can't get the region out of my head?

Monday, 5 October 2009

Celebration (Kool & The Gang) - 1981

I did want to congratulate Rio de Janeiro for winning its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics (as yours truly correctly predicted it would - phew!). I know my contacts in Brazil haven't stopped celebrating.

I did want to highlight coruses coming to Rio before 2009 is over so I invite you to read through the International edition (October issue) of our e-newsletter, The Oxford Princeton Pipeline.

Also now available, the North American edition (October issue).

Friday, 2 October 2009

Choices (Mudvayne) - 2005

In a couple of hours we shall find out which city will host the 2016 Summer Olympics in an announcement from Copenhagen. Chicago and Rio de Janeiro seem to be top contenders vs. Madrid and Tokyo. While Chicago would mean a quick plane ride for me and relatives to stay with, my sense is that it will go to Brazil.

Other than the fact that the Olympics have never run in South America, Brazil has blossomed onto the global stage with its developing economy (now commonly included in the acronym BRIC - Brazil, India, China, Russia). Recent discoveries of significant gas reserves off its coast play a major part in signalling the countries' importance.

If it goes to Chicago, then I will have underestimated the last-minute Obamas' charm offensive (with help from the likes of Oprah Winfrey).

Whether it is Rio or Chicago, it's good to know that The Oxford Princeton Programme offers courses in both locations. Chicago courses for 2010 will be announced soon but you can sign up today for courses in Rio de Janeiro.

Click here for the entire Rio De Janeiro schedule for the rest of 2009 and into 2010.

Obrigado (that's Thank you in Brazilian Portuguese).

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Coming Up - Paul McCartney (1980)

What an October surprise: oil prices jumped up yesterday after data released indicating the US economy is indeed on the rebound as its GDP shows recovery. The rally has a barrel of light sweet crude back above $70 at $70.61 from $66.71. The decrease in the US government petroleum stockpile suggests demand is one the rise too.

Read on from this article courtesy of Channel news Asia.