1. Oil prices drop to three month low despite OPEC cuts.
Brent crude has fallen to $51.02 per barrel on Monday, March 13, 2017. This is the lowest level since November 30th. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) is also down to its lowest level since November, coming in at $48.07 per barrel. Although OPEC and Russia reached an agreement to curb production, U.S. drillers continue to add oil rigs. The latest reports from Baker Hughes showing eight weeks of consecutive growth. Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance Securities in Sydney stated, “Supply appears to be outpacing demand, putting the focus back on the glut… OPEC is unlikely to react until prices get down to about $40 a barrel.”
2. Massive onshore oil discovery in Alaska.
Approximately 1.2 billion barrels of oil have been uncovered on state land in Alaska’s North Slope. This is the largest onshore discovery in the U.S. in three decades.
Spanish oil conglomerate Repsol and its privately-held U.S. partner Armstrong Energy released news of their discovery last Thursday, and accompanied that with predictions that production could begin as soon as 2021, leading to as many as 120,000 barrels of output per day.
“The interesting thing about this discovery is the North Slope was previously thought to be on its last legs. But this is a significant emerging find,” Repsol spokesman Kristian Rix told CNNMoney.
“This is also great news for the State of Alaska,” Alaska Governor Bill Walker applauded. “We must all pull together to fill an oil pipeline that’s three-quarters empty.”
3. Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, receives standing ovation at energy industry conference in Texas on Thursday evening.
With over 1,200 in attendance, Prime Minister Trudeau discussed the Keystone XL pipeline, combatting climate change and Canada’s role in the oil and gas industry. He touted Canada’s willingness to supply US demand, and referencing Alberta’s oil sands reserves stating, “No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there,” He emphasized, "The resource will be developed. Our job is to ensure that this is done responsibly, safely, and sustainably… Nothing is more essential to the US economy than access to a secure, reliable source of energy. Canada is that source."
While he agreed with building the Keystone XL pipeline, he was adamant that at border tax would hurt both U.S. and Canadian economies.