Friday, May 30, 2008

Oil market shenanigans again

The CFTC has expanded an investigation, disclosed previously by The Wall Street Journal, into alleged short-term manipulation of crude-oil prices via a widely used price-reporting system run by Platts, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos. One suspicion is that energy companies and traders have at times issued a flood of orders during a time window used by Platts to determine its reported prices for physical oil transactions, then used the potentially distorted prices to make profits in other markets. Platts has said its system has safeguards to protect against manipulation. Subpoenas on the matter have gone out in several stages, people familiar with the cases say.

Boy it wouldn't be the first time that someone put something over McGraw-Hill would it? Didn't S&P totally miss the boat on credit ratings?

But a "majority" of oil executives still see prices in the $100 level. Goldman wants prices higher so these "executives" get it, along with the consumer, and that they should deal with higher prices. But the consumer is changing his driving and energy habits because he "gets it."

The question is-If "they" get it-Isn't that the start of the curative, corrective process?

A majority of oil and gas executives surveyed by the KPMG consulting firm expect oil prices to fall below $100/barrel by the end of this year because fundamentals do not support prices at current levels, according to Bill Kimble, executive director of KPMG's Global Energy Initiative.

"We don't ask respondents for insights on their opinions but I can offer mine," said Kimble, elaborating on the results released May 9 from this year's KPMG survey of 372 financial executives from oil and gas companies.

Of that group, 55% predicted oil prices below $100 by the end of the year while 21% projected prices in the range of $101 to $110.

KPMG said 44% of the group expect an oil price peak by the end of this year while 39% predicted 2010.

No comments: