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Thursday, October 8, 2015

T. Boone Pickens: OPEC Nations Have a Long-Term Oil Strategy and America Doesn't

From CNBC comes an op-ed by oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, which says in part:
After oil prices plummeted, I went on the record saying I thought they'd be back above $70 per barrel by the end of 2015. 
The year isn't over yet, but my prediction isn't looking good. 
I thought worldwide demand would go up — and it has. The latest from the International Energy Agency shows demand is already up about 1.7 million barrels a day.

I thought supply from the United States would go down — and it has. Companies have been laying down rigs, and U.S. production has dropped by 500,000 barrels a day since June.

So where'd I go wrong? One word: OPEC. 
I thought supply from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries — and specifically Saudi Arabia — would also go down. You can't get rich selling anything for less than it costs to maintain the country. I expected they would at least maintain, if not cut, production to command a better price. 
That didn't happen. Rather than cutting back or holding steady, OPEC drove prices even lower as Saudi Arabia has increased production by almost a million barrels a day. 
I erred in underestimating OPEC's determination to keep the flow of oil under their control. The OPEC cartel is controlled by leaders whose top priority isn't to make money for stockholders, it's keeping themselves in power.
Click here to read the rest of Pickens' comments.

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