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Reduce Output And Price, Now Is The End Of OPEC?

Reduce Output And Price, Now Is The End Of OPEC?

Photo: Internet
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, the global economy has entered a recession, with gold soaring, stock markets tumbling, and oil prices plummeting.
Saudi Arabia cut pricing for oil sales to Asia and the U.S. for October shipments, and the reduction exceeded last month.
Global daily oil consumption (total liquid volume) broke the "100 million barrels" mark for the first time in 2019, reaching 10.96 million barrels. It means the global daily consumption is more than 100 million barrels, and the annual consumption is more than 5 billion tons.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, fuel demand has decreased significantly, while global oil supply has continued to increase.
Global oil consumption has decreased by nearly a quarter due to COVID-19. The global daily oil consumption level in the second quarter of this year was less than 77 million barrels, which is almost 20 years ago.
20th April saw WTI oil prices plunge from $17.85 to -$37.63, more than a 300% drop, the largest one day drop for U.S. crude in history.
The oil prices up and down in history, and various factors impact the oil prices. One of the most critical factors is OPEC.
The Birth of OPEC
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organization created at the Baghdad Conference on September 10–14, 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela.
Before the OPEC, the Seven Sisters (E Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, Gulf Oil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Socony, Standard Oil Company of New York, and Texaco) controlled the world's oil markets.
In the 1950s, coal was the most critical fuel globally, but oil consumption increased rapidly, and demand continued to grow. In 1959, the United States' Seven Sisters lowered the price of oil produced in Venezuela and the Middle East by 10% to reduce the United States' price.
To counter the U.S. oil monopoly, OPEC was born.
OPEC's 13 members control approximately 30% of global oil supplies and 79.4% of proven reserves. OPEC member nations produce about 42% of the world's crude oil, and OPEC's oil exports account for roughly 60% of the total petroleum traded worldwide.

Photo: OPEC
Impact of OPEC on Oil Prices
Within the OPEC group, Saudi Arabia is the largest crude oil producer in the world and remains the most dominant member of OPEC, with each instance of a cut in oil production by them, resulting in a sharp rise in oil prices, and vice versa.
Additionally, the 'kingdom of Saud' is also the leading exporter of crude oil globally. Since 2000, all historical instances since the 1973 Arab oil embargo indicate that Saudi Arabia has maintained its upper hand in the oil market. It calls the shots in determining crude oil prices by controlling supply.
All major oil price fluctuations in recent history can be clearly attributed to production levels from Saudi Arabia, along with other OPEC nations.
Is it now the end of OPEC?
The success of shale oil and the plunge in oil prices in 2014 are signs that OPEC has declined.
Since 2014, U.S. shale oil has created a boom in domestic crude oil production. Shale oil comprises more than a third of the onshore production of crude oil in the lower 48 states. It drove U.S. oil output from 8.8 million barrels per day in 2014 to a record 12.2 million barrels a day in 2019.
As a result, the United States became the world's largest crude-oil producer.

Photo: EIA

Photo: EIA
Today the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Russia rank among the top three in world oil production.

Photo: EIA

Photo: EIA

In November 2014, despite the appeals of other OPEC members to cut production, Saudi Arabia suddenly increased production sharply, trying to defeat U.S. shale oil companies through the competitive increase in OPEC member states. But American shale oil survived strongly by borrowing, and it became more efficient, and production costs were greatly reduced.
During this time, Saudi Arabia's economy is declining rapidly. Saudi Arabia had the highest government deficit in history-98 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 15% of GDP in 2015.
In 2016, Saudi Arabia led OPEC and Russia to reach an OPEC+ production reduction agreement. Since then, oil prices have steadily rebounded. At the same time, Saudi Arabia has begun to consider taking advantage of high oil prices to list Saudi Aramco to ease domestic financial difficulties.
During this period, OPEC +'s reduction in production has rescued U.S. shale oil again. The production capacity of shale oil has increased sharply by 4 million barrels per day, surpassing Saudi Arabia, and Russia.
So far, the OPEC structure and cohesion continues to divide and elude.
On 8th March 2020, Saudi Arabia initiated a price war with Russia, facilitating a 65% quarterly fall in the price of oil. The price war was triggered by a break-up in dialogue between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia over proposed oil-production cuts in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Russia walked out of the agreement, leading to the fall of the OPEC+ alliance.
While past oil shocks have been driven by either supply or demand, the price collapse of 2020 is highly unusual in oil market history: It results from a massive demand shock and a huge supply overhang at the same time.


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Monster trip report: 2 weeks in Japan with 2 kids in July (overview)

Overview and general information:
We are a family of 4 (kids 10 and 12) who were in Japan from July 9 to July 21.
I typed this up on the plane on my way home to keep the details fresh, and it got a bit out of hand. :-)

The weather: we got lucky. Only one day of heavy rain, though it was often overcast and humid, with drizzle/light rain at times. It was never really all that hot in Tokyo. We had one brutal humid and 35 C day in Kyoto, but the rest of the time, the daily highs were around 24-27 C, which isn’t too unpleasant.

Money: We did not change money—instead we used ATMs to withdraw yen. We have an account that does not charge extra for this. We mostly used ATMs in combinis. The fees were consistent (and we were pre-warned there would be fees at the machine before completing the transaction): 108 yen for 10,000 yen, 216 yen for anything more. When possible, we used a credit card (we have both US and Canadian cards with no ForEx fees), but many restaurants and attractions only take cash, and cash is needed to refill IC cards.

Transportation: We used mostly Google Maps in cities, and HyperDia for trains between cities. We got Pasmo card upon arrival, and used them extensively. We had 7-day Japan Rail passes, which I activated in Ueno station with no wait. I brought a list of desired train reservations, and had them all done at the same time. We were unable to get reservations for desired travel times for Tokyo to Kanazawa, so we took an unreserved car. We got there about 30 min before the scheduled departure, and got 4 seats together without difficulty.

Google Maps is super useful. It tells you the exit you should take when leaving each station, which is very helpful. Many train stations have a large number of exits, and taking the wrong one can lead to lots of extra walking. We also found it useful to plot both walking and public transit routes to get from place to place. The estimated costs were very accurate, and it was quite helpful to find comparable routes that use a single company’s line when possible, saving quite a bit for 4 people over many days.

We walked A LOT (which is not atypical for our family). Other than that, we took trains of various sorts. We didn’t try buses, so I can’t comment there. The trains look complicated if you look at the whole system, but are actually pretty straightforward once you start using them.

Internet: The free wifi in Japan is very painful to use. Slow, and requires lots of registration and re-registration. We relied on a SIM from Singapore that works well in Japan and enabled us to share out data when needed. 2 Gb was enough for a 2 week trip with lots of searching. We had a Pocket Wifi from one of our accommodations, and found it a little annoying to have to track and charge another device, but YMMV. We only stayed places that provided Wifi, so we only used the SIM when out and about.

Accommodations: As a family of four, we mostly stayed in family rooms at hostels to keep costs down. All of our accommodations were great except for one (Guesthouse Kintoto in Kanazawa) because the room was sooooo tiny, it was impractical. And when I say tiny, I mean the size of two bunkbeds set less than 30 cm (6 inches) apart tiny. All of our hostels were very clean with good wifi, and all had desk staff for 12-14 hours in case we needed help with anything. There were laundry machines at all of our hostels, helping us pack light for the trip.

Food: We ate breakfast from combinis almost every day, and really enjoyed the food in Japan. Our children are big eaters and adventurous eaters, so trying new foods with them is a pleasure. One of my kids was not really into ramen, but loved udon and soba, so we looked for noodle shops instead of ramen shops as our go to places to eat, especially when the kids were getting hangry. We also went to supermarkets and had picnic lunches. What the kids missed most actually was fresh fruit, which is really expensive in Japan. The kids really enjoyed using the vending machines, and going into stores to find new Japanese foods to try (especially snacks). The family favorite vending machine beverage was Melon Skal.

Miscellaneous: For souvenirs, we tried to get things the kids would actually use (like Frixion pens and bento lunch boxes), though we let them use allowance to buy what they wanted. I also bought them each one pack of Pokemon cards. For ourselves, we bought a bunch of different kinds of teas and that awesome sesame salad dressing. And cool Uniqlo Gundam T-shirts. ☺

The cut-off age for kids is often elementary school vs older, which is interpreted as 11 or 12 (depending on where you are). For trains, it is 11. My 12 year old daughter is very tall for Canada, making her extremely tall for Japan. We had to show her passport at times to demonstrate her age.

Part 1: Tokyo
Part 2: Kanazawa and Takayama
Part 3: Kyoto
Part 4: Tokyo again
submitted by qshark00 to JapanTravel [link] [comments]

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