Jim Cramer, who as soon as noticed oil shares as uninvestable, explains new view

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Wednesday offered a defense of his newfound optimism about investing in oil stocks, claiming he changed his mind after concluding that circumstances had changed.

“From an asset manager’s perspective, there’s no shame in wearing flip-flops. Call me crazy, but when the facts change, I change my mind. I want to make money,” he said “Bad Money” Host who stated in January 2020 that he was “Done with fossil fuels” and suggested oil stocks were the new tobacco.

At the time, Cramer offered a gloomy outlook on shareholders’ ability to make money from fossil fuel stocks because he believed concerns about climate change were keeping young investors away from these stocks.

Cramer said Wednesday he believes his thinking is justified.

“Was I wrong to call them uninvestable? I do not think so. Before hitting rock bottom in 2020, this group spent years in the kennel. Of course that’s no longer the case,” Cramer said, alluding to the fact that Energy ended in 2021 as the best performing sector in the S&P 500. Energy, too, has already increased by about 16% in 2022.

Cramer said there have been two major shifts at oil and gas companies that have helped stocks in the cohort surpass their previously lackluster returns. The first is that there is an “entirely new attitude” to efforts to reduce carbon emissions, Cramer claimed, pointing out chevrons $10 billion investment by 2028 and Exxon MobileI was recently announced Net zero promise by 2050.

From an investment perspective, however, Cramer said the more important change was that “both the majors and the independents have moved away from that ‘drill-baby-drill’ mentality.”

“Instead of spending a fortune to flood the market with new supply every time oil prices go up, they have become much more cautious. … Your reticence has helped the entire industry catch its breath, and that’s a key reason. ..why crude oil is now $86 a barrel,” he added, explaining that higher oil prices allow the company to be significantly more profitable.

“I spent years telling you all the issues with the oil industry — from an investing perspective — then these companies addressed each and every one of the issues that are important to me,” Cramer said.

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Oil falls to six-week low on lockdown considerations

A customer replaces a fuel nozzle at a Chevron Corp gas station on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. in San Francisco, California, USA.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Oil prices fell to a six-week low on Friday as new Covid lockdowns sparked demand concerns just as industry players signaled a return in supply.

But for consumers looking for a respite at the pump, the declines are unlikely to translate into lower gas prices immediately. The national average for a gallon of gas was a seven-year high of $ 3.41 on Friday, according to the AAA. That’s up from $ 3.34 a month ago to $ 2.12 last year.

The US benchmark for oil declined more than 4% to a session low of $ 75.37, a price not seen since October 7th.

Crude oil was trading in the green earlier in the day but fell into negative territory following news of Austria’s lockdown. The rebound in demand has been a major driver of oil recovery this year and any signs that it may thaw will startle market participants.

“The market is basically still in a good position, but lockdowns are now an obvious risk if other countries follow Austria’s lead,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda. “Moving below $ 80 could intensify the correction and perhaps pull the price back towards the middle of the $ 70 region,” he added.

The December futures contract expires today, with the more actively traded contract for January delivery falling 3.8% to $ 75.44 a barrel. Brent Crude Oil Futures, the international benchmark, traded at $ 78.15 for the first time since October 1.

Both WTI and Brent are on track for a fourth straight week of losses, the longest weekly losing streak since March 2020.

“A slight decline in gas demand, possibly due to seasonal changes in driving habits, will contribute to some price relief at the pump,” an AAA spokesman said on Monday, adding that “the persistently tight crude oil supply is likely to lead to fluctuations in gas prices.” . instead of falling for some time. “

While oil’s decline on Friday is the largest since July, the commodity has trended lower in recent weeks. The Biden government has repeatedly stated that it is looking for ways to reduce consumer burden from higher oil in the form of gas prices, which are hovering around a seven-year high. One possibility would be for the government to develop the Strategic Oil Reserve.

“If the US presidential administration wants the oil market’s attention, it has it now that all eyes are on Washington to see if it will step up its stance on China’s SPR release with a subsequent coordinated effort to put further pressure on wield oil prices. ” , “said Louise Dickson, Senior Oil Market Analyst at Rystad Energy.” The US has been publicly investigating the oil market since the summer, particularly OPEC +, to facilitate supply and obtain price relief, as well as other importing countries such as China, India and Japan. ” [are] join the choir. “

However, analysts have determined that releasing oil from the SPR is unlikely to have much long-term effects.

“While such a decision would lead to price setbacks, the SPR can only close the gap during temporary production stoppages and not fix structural problems such as underinvestment and rising demand,” UBS said in a November 5 announcement to clients.

In addition to political headwinds, oil is also being put under pressure by increasing supply, as producers, including in the USA, are putting production online.

Oil prices rose steadily throughout 2021, with WTI hitting a seven-year high of $ 85.41 on October 25. Since then, it’s down 11.5%. Despite the recent weakness, US oil is still 55% up for 2021.

Babylon’s Fall visible replace improves legibility however retains “oil portray model”

Babylon’s Fall has changed its graphics and art style to make it easier for players to read.

Just below, Babylon’s fall announced the changes today, October 6th, via the game’s official Twitter account. In particular, the announcement makes it clear that the changes are based on player feedback, so it looks like some players have had a problem over the past few years Closed beta sessions for the game.

With great thanks to our Sentinels support, the # BabylonsFall team has worked to update the graphics to improve readability while keeping the unique oil painting style! pic.twitter.com/s1AbHoLxhZOctober 6, 2021

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You can have a clear look at how Babylon’s case is changing above based on this feedback. In particular, it seems like the developers at PlatinumGames are making some of the lighter colors in the environment bolder, especially when used against darker backgrounds. The gold on the red carpet on the floor, for example, now shines brighter than before and permeates the gloomy surroundings.

There’s nothing but praise to PlatinumGames for the changes here. Just below the original announcement tweet, dozens of Babylon’s Fall players are praising the developers for revamping the graphics of the action-packed game, with many commenting that these steps represent a significant improvement in overall clearer environments and readability.

The closed beta testing phases for Babylon’s case have taken place in the past few months. While the initial beta focused on giving players the ability to actually log into the action multiplayer game’s servers, subsequent testing phases ramped things up to gameplay and exploration on PC, PS4, and PS5. For now, at least, Babylon’s case doesn’t have a final release date, but it’s good to know that the developers are constantly listening to fan feedback on any areas they can improve.

You can find all the details of all other games coming to PlayStation’s New Gen console in the next few years in our upcoming PS5 games Guide for more.

Oil companies lower U.S. Gulf of Mexico output by 91% forward of Hurricane Ida

Oil companies on Saturday cut nearly 91% of US crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 1.65 million barrels as Hurricane Ida is heading for large U.S. offshore oil fields, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

The regulator also estimated that approximately 84.87% of natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut down.

Ida is expected to hit a Category 4 hurricane before making landfall west of New Orleans. Louisiana residents on Saturday hurried to prepare for the stormthat could bring winds of up to 225 km / h when it hits land.

Oil and gas companies evacuated 279 production platforms, representing 49.82% of the 560 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, and stopped nearly 91% of their typical offshore production as the storm approached, according to the offshore regulator.

The companies also moved 11 drillships off the site and out of the storm’s path on Saturday.

The Gulf of Mexico’s offshore oil production accounts for 17% of the country’s crude oil production and 5% of the state’s offshore dry gas production. corresponding the US Energy Information Agency.

Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston, said Saturday that gas prices in the southeast and mid-Atlantic markets would likely rise by about 10 cents a gallon if a Category 4 storm hit New Orleans refineries directly.

Iraq oil cash: $150 billion stolen from the nation for the reason that US-led invasion of 2003

“Of the nearly $ 1,000 billion made from oil since 2003, an estimated $ 150 billion of stolen money has been smuggled out of Iraq,” Salih said in a televised address.

The statement came when the Iraqi President submitted a draft law to reclaim corrupt funds to the Iraqi parliament.

“The draft law aims to strengthen the powers of the Iraqi nation to recover stolen money in corrupt businesses, to hold corrupt people accountable and to bring them to justice,” said Salih.

He called on Iraqi lawmakers to discuss and approve the proposed laws “to help contain this dangerous scourge that has for many years prevented our people from enjoying the riches of their country”.

The military has long had an extremism problem.  What will it do now to finally solve it?

Salih said the stolen money would be enough to improve Iraq’s finances significantly.

According to Salih, the legislation would seek to reclaim the misappropriated funds through cooperation with other governments and in partnership with international bodies.

“Here I repeat the call made by Iraq that we made earlier at the United Nations General Assembly to form an international coalition to fight corruption in the spirit of the international coalition against ISIS,” said Salih.

Salih said the challenge of corruption is no less dangerous than terrorism.

“Terrorism can only be eradicated by using up its sources of funding based on corruption funds as the political economy of violence,” added Salih.

Since 2019, hundreds of people have died in violent protests across Iraq against corruption, unemployment and the lack of basic services, including electricity and clean water, as the country failed to achieve stability after decades of sanctions and war.

The Biden administration is looking for one possible withdrawal US troops from Iraq as the country’s security forces become more efficient and the threat from ISIS subsides, the two countries announced in a joint statement in April.

The US currently has around 2,500 soldiers in Iraq focused on the mission to defeat ISIS as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the global coalition to defeat the remnants of the ISIS caliphate that controlled parts of Iraq and Syria.

The troops have now shifted to training and advisory tasks “to enable the redistribution of all remaining armed forces from Iraq,” says the joint statement by the US and Iraq.

Aqeel Najim from CNN in Baghdad contributed to this report.

SPECIAL REPORT Can the Saudis’ oil cash assist him save the planet?

Spanish biologist Carlos Duarte had been at a Saudi royal palace until three o’clock in the morning, waiting for the country’s most powerful man.

Finally in his hotel room, Duarte awoke hours later and noticed an alert on his smartphone screen. It was the palace: He and the other scientists and officials at the meeting on sustainable development should return immediately. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was ready for them.

It might seem improbable that a highly respected marine biologist committed to solving climate change is advising the leaders of the world’s foremost petro-state, renowned for its intransigence over the years at international climate talks. But contradictions abound in Saudi Arabia.

It’s the world’s largest exporter of crude oil, which has played a significant role in global warming. But it’s also a country that is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The crown prince has clamped down on dissent, and a U.S. intelligence report recently accused him of approving the 2018 operation to kill dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (The crown prince denies involvement.) But he has also been praised for efforts to open up the repressive Gulf state, including encouraging women to work and allowing in non-Muslim tourists.

And it is Saudi petro-dollars that fund Duarte’s dreams of creating “blue carbon” marine ecosystems – oceanic preserves that, along with revitalized forests and wildlife on land, can gently scrub the atmosphere of excess carbon dioxide. Over time, some experts estimate, such restorations could remove 300 gigatons of carbon dioxide, about a third of the amount that humans have added to the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution in the mid-1800s. And the restoration of seagrass meadows, in particular, has tremendous promise. In fact, Duarte estimates they can store up to 15 times more carbon than similar areas of rainforest.

Recently, as virtual hosts of a G-20 summit of the world’s largest economies, the Saudis highlighted Duarte’s coral research along with several planned projects that could shift the country’s economy away from oil. One of the world’s top climate scientists, Duarte ranks 12th on the Reuters Hot List, which measures the influence of the top 1,000 scientists in the field among both peers and the public. He joined King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in 2015 after a career that spanned Europe, North America and Australia.

WORKING WITH THE SAUDIS

Some scientists and diplomats say it’s far-fetched to suggest that Saudi Arabia can be a climate-change leader, given the country’s reliance on oil, which accounts for about 50% of the Saudi economy. It pumps 12% of the global oil supply, behind only the United States. In this view, as the influential climate scientist Michael Mann puts it, Saudi Arabia “is one of the villains.”

Duarte counters that the Saudi government has embraced many climate-change solutions he has long advocated.

“I would not claim I had influence, but certainly I have helped and supported the 180-degree change towards a collaborative solution” in Saudi Arabia, he said. “It is teamwork.”

Duarte says the Saudis have no choice but to adapt as the world moves toward more sustainable energy. And he argues that he is no more compromised by using Saudi money for research than a scientist who takes money from the U.S. government. After all, he notes, the United States is not only the largest producer of fossil fuels in the world, it’s also the largest user of them.

Duarte’s career path speaks to the moral calculus that scientists sometimes must make in seeking the funding that fuels all ambitious research. He says he came to Saudi Arabia because he saw a unique opportunity to pursue ideas that could help solve climate change, perhaps the greatest threat humanity has ever faced.

“I do not want to leave science just with a pile of published papers and accolades,” he said. “I want to be able to reflect back on my life in my last minutes and conclude that I was able to make the world slightly a better place.”

Even Saudi Arabia has an interest in addressing climate change, says David Reidmiller, who dealt with the Saudis as a regular U.S. government representative to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Reidmiller said he often faced Saudi resistance at the IPCC to ideas that threatened the use of fossil fuels. For the Saudis, climate change poses “an existential threat,” he said, but in a completely different way it does to small island nations, for instance.

Little island states in the Pacific, such as the Marshall Islands, are being inundated by rising sea levels caused by global warming. Continued use of fossil fuels is already a threat to their existence.

The Saudis have the opposite problem, Reidmiller said. “When the world moves away from fossil fuels, their economy will be decimated, and they’re going to have complete civil upheaval. And so, I sympathize with that to a degree. I hate that they have a fossil-dependent economy in the first place. But that is what it is. And so I think you’ve got to hear that.”

Advocates of a decisive fast break with oil and gas call for steps such as sudden sharp increases in fuel costs through taxes or fees, or state-mandated rapid shifts to other energy sources. Such moves, Duarte says, would destabilize many petro-states, not just Saudi Arabia. He champions a different answer: gradual emissions reductions combined with programs to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Saudi Arabia’s critics are skeptical. Despite public announcements in recent years that the country is making massive investments in solar and wind energy, virtually all of the kingdom’s electricity is still generated by oil and natural-gas plants. And even if the Saudis succeeded in using less oil themselves, they could continue pumping and exporting crude.

Among the skeptics is American climatologist Mann, who ranks 37th on the Reuters Hot List. He has been on the other side of the table from the Saudis at some of those climate conferences, and remains distrustful of the Saudi government because of the role it played over the years in encouraging skepticism about climate science. He respects Duarte’s decision to work for the Saudi university but questions the Spanish scientist’s calculus.

“You know, that’s a judgment that we all have to make,” he said of Duarte. “There’s always a tradeoff. It’s a cost-benefit analysis. Perhaps you have an opportunity to influence and change their view. At the same time, they’re purchasing some moral license from you that you are legitimizing them to some extent.”

“In my judgment, Saudi Arabia is one of the villains,” Mann said. “And I would be uncomfortable cozying up with them. But we each have to make that judgment ourselves. And I’m sure that it’s an honest assessment on his part that he thinks that he can play a constructive role here.”

Where Mann sees the Saudi position as clear-cut, Duarte sees shades of gray. The nations of the Arabian Peninsula had no choice but to rely on petroleum, in his view. It’s their only asset. “Oil was the resource that lifted them from challenging livelihoods, largely as bedouins, into modernity, and allowed population growth, as even drinking water is sourced from oil, through energy-expensive desalination.”

What’s more, he argues, the United States and other major nations produce and profit from oil and gas, too. But they escape the glare cast on the Saudis. It’s a “double standard,” he says.

Questions about the morality of working with the Saudis extend beyond the country’s oil addiction. The government has been assailed in the West for the involvement by Saudi officials in Khashoggi’s killing and for its role in the brutal Yemeni civil war.

When I asked about working with the Saudis, given those issues, his eyes flashed anger. Before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, he said, President George W. Bush claimed the Iraqis were developing nuclear and chemical weapons and were a threat to the entire region.

“Yet, the evidence for weapons of mass destruction was fabricated,” Duarte said. “And I think the tally accounts for about 1.5 million people dead.”

Notwithstanding that the actual number of civilian casualties is disputed, he questions how Western scientists can criticize anyone for working with the Saudis when they routinely take money from Western governments that participated in the Iraq war.

“No one asks them about that,” he said.

And with that, his anger passed, and he smiled.

FRANCISCO FRANCO, THE SAVIOR

Saudi Arabia isn’t the first unlikely sponsor for Duarte. When he was a teenager, a scholarship named after Spanish dictator Francisco Franco rescued him from reform school.

Duarte was born in Lisbon to a Portuguese father and a Spanish mother. When he was 3, he was sent to Calamonte, a small village in Spain, to live with his aunt and uncle. It was about 200 miles southwest of Madrid, where his parents had moved.

Eventually, he joined his father and mother in the Spanish capital and started school. It wasn’t easy for him. His Spanish was poor and he spoke with a guttural Portuguese accent. “There was a lot of bullying and teasing because of the way I spoke.”

At one point, the words turned to violence and a boy attacked him. Duarte picked up a brick and threw it. “It hit him in the head and opened up a wound,” he recalled.

He was 9 and the monks who ran the school sent him to their reformatory. “There, I was physically abused,” Duarte said. “They used geometric devices to hit us, rulers and large wooden compasses. Once, they hit me with the compass hinge and I had five stitches.”

At that point, he was on his way to becoming a thief and a delinquent. He wasn’t doing well in school, in part because he struggled with the rote memorization favored by the monks. At 13, however, he received a “Franco scholarship” for children from poor families at a high school in A Coruña, about 375 miles northwest of his home. It liberated him from the monks and paid for his education.

Franco ruled Spain from the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 until his death in 1975.

“It’s funny, because it was all paid for by Franco, but the teachers in the high school were all communists and anarchists,” Duarte said. “That’s where I learned to think. That when I learned that I didn’t need to memorize but understand concepts.”

The Franco scholarships ended in the late 1970s, shortly after the dictator’s death. Duarte still had to pay for three more years at the University of Madrid. Fortunately, he was working as a professional volleyball player, which financed the remaining years of his undergraduate studies. In 1982, he graduated with a biology degree. In 1987, he earned a Ph.D. in limnology, the study of inland water ecosystems, from McGill University in Montreal.

A HEAVILY GUARDED CAMPUS

The 14-square-mile KAUST campus is in the dusty town of Thuwal, on the Red Sea coast. The Saudi capital, Riyadh, is 600 miles east across the Arabian Desert.

A towering concrete wall, a security road and a chain-link fence surround the glittering campus, separating it from the townspeople, many of them poor immigrant workers from Yemen. All visitors need permission to enter. There is one main road in and out of KAUST with two armed checkpoints. A machine-gun turret looms over the first.

Duarte and his wife, Susana Agusti, live inside the wall, in a six-bedroom, seven-bath house overlooking the turquoise Red Sea. The neighborhood looks as if it were lifted from a gated community in the American sunbelt. Duarte and Agusti, a biologist at KAUST, often bike or walk to work.

The scientist likes his view of the Red Sea, but the sameness of the campus housing bothers him. Years after moving in, many of the rooms in their home are unfurnished and most are undecorated. Everything on campus is new – offices, labs, lab equipment, boats, the buildings inspired by traditional Arabian architecture. Even the underground parking lots are spotless, free of any tire marks on the painted floors.

When Duarte arrived at KAUST, it was the only university in Saudi Arabia that allowed male and female students to work side by side and male teachers to be in the same room with female students, many of whom are from the world over.

In the rest of Saudi Arabia, it was only in 2019 that women were permitted to eat in open areas of restaurants in mixed company – a reform under the crown prince. KAUST operates under a different set of rules. About half the students and many of the staff are women, and it’s been that way for years.

“The first Saudi Ph.D. in marine biology at KAUST was a Saudi woman,” Duarte said, recalling his early days here.

At a regular meeting of the 14 students and postdoctoral scientists studying under him in late 2019, two were Saudi women, two were men from India and Malaysia and the rest were women from Yemen, Australia, Germany, Italy, Pakistan and the United States. It was their last gathering before they scattered for the winter break, and he wanted to congratulate them on their year. Their work ranged from studying Red Sea giant clams to the effect of anthropogenic ocean noise on marine ecosystems. The marine noise project – a collaboration between Duarte, one of his students and many other scientists – made headlines worldwide when it was published in February.

In the academic world, success is usually measured by how many papers are published in scholarly publications. “Inshallah, next year will bring a lot more papers, but this year we’ve done well,” Duarte told his team members at their 2019 end-of-year meeting. “We’ve published 79 papers, which is a very good crop.”

That crop included 62 papers he coauthored, in many cases with KAUST staff and students. In 2020, he coauthored 99 published papers. His spinning mind snags ideas – often far outside his area of expertise – like insects in a spider web and then turns them into publishable papers.

Recently, he teamed up with Mariusz and Lukasz Jaremko, scientist twins from KAUST’s biological, environmental and engineering department, to see if rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere pose a threat to human health. The paper concluded that rising carbon-dioxide levels may well exacerbate chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, attention-deficit disorder, osteoporosis and cancer.

Later, Duarte went down to a small building near the university’s docks. Standing next to a tank filled with small green and blue and purple corals, he reached in and grabbed a 2-inch-high purple coral that had been half that size a few months earlier.

“Imagine this tank, three meters wide, 200 meters long, meandering all around a resort,” he said. “This is a new technology that we are developing to be able to restore coral globally.”

He calls it coral gardening. The idea is to place hundreds of similar tanks in public places, such as airports and resorts, that will allow tiny corals to grow until they’re large enough to be transplanted into the wild.

If KAUST’s experiment succeeds, it may allow coral from Saudi Arabia to be transplanted to other parts of the world. The Red Sea is warmer than almost any other large body of water in the world, Duarte explained, and the coral here has adapted, over hundreds of thousands of years, to the higher temperatures.

That adaptation is crucial: As the world’s oceans warm because of climate change, contributing to the collapse of reefs worldwide, Red Sea coral could seed their restoration. Next up, KAUST scientists are developing techniques that will grow reefs in a few years rather than hundreds of years. Duarte hopes to test his coral garden concept at two planned tourism developments a few hundred miles north of KAUST.

Duarte and his colleagues are essentially trying to develop a gentle form of geoengineering – manipulation of the environment to undo the damage humankind has wrought.

His vision goes well beyond coral and began long before Duarte’s time in Saudi Arabia. In the early 1990s, working in waters around his adopted home of Mallorca, he had an epiphany while studying seagrass: When the grasses died, they settled in deeper waters around the island, taking with them the carbon locked in their cells – a natural way of sequestering carbon that’s emitted by burning fuels and absorbed by seawater.

Since then, he’s expanded from seagrass and published numerous papers on how the restoration of marine habitats – from coral reefs to coastal and inland marshes and mangrove swamps – could be an effective way of removing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Duarte says mangrove swamps and seagrass beds, for example, are 15 times more efficient at removing and sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than forests, which also take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis.

“This is innovative science that opens up new opportunities for us to think about nature and the management of our marine environment,” said William Austin, a marine ecologist at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews.

Austin, who presented Duarte with an achievement medal from the European Geosciences Union in 2016, said Duarte is “opening up a new conversation about the wider marine environment and its potential to be managed effectively for carbon. As we do so, none of us would deny that we need to focus on emission reductions and other changes in consumption, but the nature-based solutions argument is compelling.”

The Saudis’ Red Sea Project was pitched as part of the solution and is part of a bold wager that the kingdom can shift its economy away from oil in the coming decade before the market for fossil fuels collapses. Hundreds of billions of dollars are on the line, not to mention the country’s economic stability and, by implication, the fate of the monarchy.

The two Red Sea resorts will cover 11,000 square miles of land and sea, and employ thousands while adding an estimated $6 billion to the Saudi economy. The Saudis call it a giga-project. Another is the planned fossil-fuel-free Neom City on the Red Sea near Egypt and Israel, and bordering Jordan. It is supposed to operate independently of the Saudi government and is owned by the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

The Saudis hope these embryonic projects will spur tourism and put the country at the fore of renewable-energy generation, carbon-sequestration technology and solar-powered production of hydrogen gas, a fuel that emits only water vapor and warm air when burned, rather than carbon dioxide.

But at this point, the projects remain largely promises, like so many of the commitments to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels made by countless other countries.

FINDING A NICHE

At the end of my trip to KAUST, Duarte invited me to join him in Riyadh at a meeting to discuss business, tourism and environmental projects. He had helped organize a gathering of the “stakeholders,” including a few royal family members and representatives of some newly minted agencies integral to the developments.

Abdulaziz Al Suwailem, a former marine ecologist researcher at KAUST and one of Duarte’s early Saudi confidants, was there. He marveled at how his friend avoids slights and conflicts by balancing the Saudi social hierarchy and protocols. Duarte has found a niche, Al Suwailem says, bridging the gap between science, the state bureaucracy and business interests.

“He has this skill of reaching a middle ground between the idealism of the academic people, which obviously doesn’t work outside of academia, and the more tick-the-box objectives of the outside world,” Al Suwailem said.

No ministry is more important to the projects than the Energy Ministry. Before September 2019, it was known as the Oil Ministry. That’s when the crown prince appointed Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, his older half-brother, as the head of the newly named ministry.

Duarte said the name change, from oil to energy, reflects a shift in priorities. After the Red Sea meeting, he rushed off to meet Prince Abdulaziz.

Later in the day, the minister agreed to a short interview in his Riyadh office. Prince Abdulaziz sat at the head of a conference table. Duarte sat to his left. Across from Duarte sat a veteran Saudi IPCC board member, Taha Zatari.

Prince Abdulaziz began by making it clear that he doesn’t dispute climate change is real and that the burning of fossil fuels is the root of the problem. He ticked off how the problem should be solved, generally mirroring the international 2016 Paris Agreement on Climate Change: by reducing the use of fossil fuels and restoring natural habitats, while developing man-made systems that remove carbon from the atmosphere. He said the Saudi government is committed to making substantial cuts in the domestic use of fossil fuels by 2030.

But, he said, Saudi Arabia won’t agree to cuts in oil production or fees on carbon emissions, which it perceives as unfair. Saudi Arabia will protect its interests and make sure the industrial nations that have contributed the vast majority of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere bear the brunt of cleaning up the climate-change mess, he said. They began using fossil fuels first, and have burned vastly more.

“The Western nations, the U.S. and Europe in particular, have tremendous responsibility for the current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, and it is unfair to not account for that,” he said.

Saudi Arabia is diversifying its economy and will become significantly less dependent on oil exports in the coming years, the prince said. “Sustainability and environmental protection should work together,” he said.

He turned toward Duarte. “We can’t afford to not listen to people like Carlos. We can work boldly together and lead the whole world.”

He said Saudi Arabia will continue to sell oil – while it still has value – to finance the country’s transition to a new, green economy.

When asked if he would drive an electric car, the prince paused.

Not yet, he said. First, he would get a hybrid. “I would drive a Prius.”

Duarte, the realist, smiled at this nod to incrementalism.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Huge Oil Is a Huge Loser (of Cash, However Additionally Life)

The Fearless Girl statue stands in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York's financial district.The Fearless Girl statue stands in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York’s financial district. Photo: Mary Altaffer (AP)

If you’re looking to build an investment portfolio, stay away from fossil fuels. A report The report released Tuesday by Carbon Tracker, a financial think tank, shows oil stocks are mounting losses.

Over the past 10 years, the stock value of fossil fuel companies and companies associated with their manufacturing has declined by $ 123 billion over the past 10 years. This isn’t just market volatility, the report said: this sector lagged a major global financial index by more than 50% compared to the MSCI All Country World Index, a major global financial index. In other words, if an investor had only bought fossil fuel stocks in the past decade, they would have had a 52% lower return than their peers with more diverse portfolios.

However, according to the report, investors can’t keep their gloves off fossil fuels, even though these companies are a lost investment. The fossil fuel industry sold around $ 640 billion to global investors during that time, including 2,360 stock market transactions managed by nearly 450 investment banks. That number dwarfs investments in renewable energy. During the same period, renewable energy emissions were only $ 56 billion – less than a tenth of fossil fuel investments.

Illustration for article titled Big Oil is a Big Loser (of money but also of life)

Why on earth do investors keep coming back to fossil fuel investments when they are so unprofitable? This is a “good question with no easy answer,” the report’s lead author, Henrik Jeppesen, told Earther in an email. Fossil fuel stocks have done very well in the past, Jeppesen said – they outperformed the market from 1995 to 2008 – and many investors are skeptical of missing out on another boom period. Financial FOMO is apparently real.

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“I still meet investors who use that argument, and many trustees have long memories,” said Jeppesen.

Some also believe that we may be using fossil fuels for a while – especially when it comes to plastics – so they “continue to see potential in this sector,” Jeppesen said.

The flip side of the coin is that investing in renewable energy makes bank. The report finds that renewable energy stocks outperformed the same world index by 54% over the same period, adding $ 77 billion in value. This position has strengthened over time.

“We have seen a lot [of] Major technological advances and breakthroughs in renewable energy and clean technologies in recent years, ”Jeppesen said, noting that renewable energy companies have become even more competitive in recent years compared to the earlier part of the decade. “In general, renewable energy companies tend to be smaller and younger companies that focus on technology development, which is much less capital intensive [than] Companies that use expensive raw material equipment to search [and] Produce oil, gas and coal. “

The world’s financial system seems to be realizing that the fossil fuel industry is a losing bet. Since 2016, according to the report, an “increasing number” of fossil fuel stake transactions have come from investors who already hold those stakes – and who are trying to reduce or sell their investments. “This could be a signal that insiders are less confident about the prospect for fossil fuels,” the report said.

The reform of our financial system is actually an integral part of the Paris Agreementwhich states that “funding flows” “should be compatible with a path to low greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilient development”. This goal is listed at the top of the agreement and keeps world temperatures “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). But until recently there was little discussion or attention given about how the global financial system can be reformed, especially when compared to how much we paid attention to the temperature target in the agreement.

The report comes as big banks, investment firms and other financial institutions make increasing noise about how they are working to solve the climate crisis. But just because financial players are suddenly concerned about the climate doesn’t mean they are willing to step away from fossil fuel gas. A separate report The company, published earlier this year by the Rainforest Action Network, found that global banks provided $ 750 billion in debt financing to fossil fuel companies in the last year alone. And how We talked about it last weekWith many of the most powerful financial institutions in the world promising to hit “net zero” or other types of climate commitments, many of these plans are actually quite toothless if you look closely.

The financial sector is a place where it becomes increasingly important to unravel the PR impact of climate on a company’s actions and investments, which the report underscores. For example, BlackRock made one concerted efforts to make a name for themselves as a leader in the “net zero economy”. According to the report, the company remains the world’s largest shareholder in fossil fuel stocks. These companies’ shares were $ 149 billion as of December. And Wells Fargo, which became the last big bank that month Make a net zero commitmentwas the largest fossil fuel transaction advisor over the past decade of the 10 major investment banks surveyed. By comparison, only 1% of transactions were in renewable companies.

Consumers who want to distinguish fact from fiction and hold financial players accountable would do well to “follow the money,” said Jeppesen.

Cheniere and Shell gas tankers change course to keep away from logjam as oil tankers divert routes

A dredger tries to free the stranded container ship Ever Given, one of the largest container ships in the world, after it ran aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal on March 26, 2021.

Suez Canal Authority | Reuters

Companies are trying to divert shipping ships to avoid congestion on the Suez Canal, including at least two U.S. ships carrying natural gas Cheniere and Bowl/ BG Group according to information from MarineTraffic and ClipperData.

At least ten tankers and container ships change course as Ever Given, one of the largest container ships in the world, continues to be stranded along the canal along Egypt, MarineTraffic spokesman Georgios Hatzimanolis told CNBC in an interview.

“We assume that this number will increase as the closure continues,” said Hatzimanolis.

The 1,300-foot ship ran aground on Tuesday en route from Malaysia to the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The stranded ship has caused other ships to return in the canal, holding goods worth around $ 400 million an hour, according to Lloyd’s List shipping journal. That has slowly increased in recent days after Egypt’s repeated efforts to get the 247,000-ton container ship afloat again failed. The officials there are digging sand around the earthed ship on the banks of the canal with eight large tugs and excavation equipment.

According to MarineTraffic, 97 ships are stuck in the upper part of the canal, 23 ships are waiting in the middle and 108 ships are waiting in the lower part. The traffic jam extends through the Red Sea, past the Gulf of Aden to the border between Yemen and Oman.

“Ships from Asia to Europe are being diverted in the Indian Ocean below the southern tip of Sri Lanka,” added Hatzimanolis. For Europe-bound ships from Asia, the journey through Africa instead of the canal can take up to seven days, he said.

The LNG tanker Maran Gas Andros took off from Ingleside, Texas on March 19, loaded with Cheniere fuel and a deadweight of 170,000 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas. Pan Americas’ LNG tanker carrying Shell / BG fuel left Sabine Pass on March 17 and can carry up to 174,000 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas. Matt Smith, Director of Commodity Research at ClipperData, confirmed which companies are using the ships.

Both tankers changed course in the middle of the North Atlantic before sailing around the cape.

ClipperData is also showing the Suezmax Marlin Santorini loaded with 700,000 barrels of Midland West Texas intermediate crude oil diverted away from the canal. Smith said the original route to Suez was an “unusual diversion”.

“The vast majority of US crude exports avoid the Suez Canal and instead head either to Europe or to Asia around the Cape of Good Hope,” said Smith. The Suezmax Marlin was at Magellan’s Seabrook Terminal in Houston, Texas on March 10, where it was replenished with 330,000 barrels of West Texas light crude before heading to the Galveston firing zone a day later.

The ship then left the United States, declaring itself for Port Said in northeastern Egypt, but turned south on Thursday after passing the Azores near Portugal. “The ship has yet to update its declared destination,” said Smith.

ClipperData shows the number of fully loaded fuel tankers waiting outside Port Said and on the US Gulf Coast. From Friday afternoon, two more tankers and a Suezmax, the largest tanker that can navigate the Suez Canal and transport vacuum gas oil from the USA, drove past Crete and anchored off the coast of Egypt.

Another ship, the container ship HMM Rotterdam, turned away from the canal shortly before entering the Strait of Gibraltar and changed course to circumnavigate Africa.

Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO, said the diversion pattern is similar for other ships.

“We see not only container ships diverting in both directions, but also LNG carriers and dry matter from the US Gulf of Mexico,” said Sand. “The ships turn sharply right in the middle of the Atlantic to head south to the Cape of Good Hope and avoid the traffic jam around Suez.”

Kevin Book, managing director of ClearView Energy Partners, says while a long Suez hiatus introduces latency into the utility system, the length of the delay depends on where the ship started, where it is going, and where it changed course in the voyage Has .

“For US golf exporters, circumnavigating the Horn means only three days or less at sea for the port of Tokyo,” Book said. “For cargoes from Doha to northwestern Europe, this route could take ten days.”

Cargo originating in the Gulf of Mexico and stuck in the Mediterranean Sea may face a ten-day diversion instead of three, he said.

At the time of publication, Cheniere and Shell / BG responded to CNBC’s request for comment.

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company said 11 of his ships were diverted, 19 ships were anchored on either side of the canal and two ships were turned back from Friday afternoon.

The blockade of the Suez Canal is one of the “biggest disruptions to world trade in recent years,” said Caroline Becquart, senior vice president of MSC, in an email on Saturday.

“We expect the second quarter of 2021 to be more disruptive than the first three months and maybe even more challenging than the end of last year,” she said. “Companies should expect the Suez blockade to reduce shipping capacity and equipment in the coming months, and thus to some deterioration in the reliability of the supply chain.”