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OPEC Stalemate Could Spark A New Oil Price War – OilPrice.com

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OPEC Stalemate Could Spark A New Oil Price War | OilPrice.com


Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Nearly a week of formal and side talks and behind-the-scenes negotiations failed to resolve a dispute over baseline production levels at OPEC+. The discord threw the group in its most serious crisis since March 2020, when the alliance’s leaders Saudi Arabia and Russia disagreed on oil supply management with global demand crumbling in the pandemic.  

Now the dispute is between two Arab Gulf allies in OPEC—the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia—in what analysts see as the UAE looking to step out of the Saudi shadow in global political affairs. 

The UAE is digging in its heels, making its approval of OPEC+ adding more supply to the market contingent on the group acknowledging that the UAE’s baseline for the cuts was too low and “unfair.”

The disagreement, which OPEC+ has been unable to overcome for five consecutive days, is bringing back the specter of last year’s oil price war when the alliance abandoned all deals for a month. Traders and analysts have already started to ask themselves: is this the dispute that will dissolve the production pact again? And will OPEC+ let its firm grip on oil market management slip, after being in such a favorable position this year with U.S. shale keeping production flat and not unraveling the alliance’s efforts to keep markets tight?  

Third Time’s Not a Charm

Despite mediation, consultations, and side talks in the weekend – after two days of ‘no deal’ outcome of meetings – OPEC+ failed a third time on Monday, called off the OPEC+ meeting, and said it hadn’t decided yet when the next meeting would be held.  

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The lack of agreement overproduction for next month likely means that OPEC+ will keep, for now, their production in August flat compared with July. This immediately sent oil prices jumping to the highest in three years, considering that global oil demand is bouncing back and the market was initially expecting at least a 500,000-bpd increase from the alliance in August. 

“The market began factoring in the prospect of no additional supply hike from the OPEC/non-OPEC alliance in August,” Vanda Insights said in a daily note on Tuesday.

$90 Oil?  No additional supply at a time when inventories are drawing down and demand is roaring back will likely send oil prices higher in the near term, at least until the group reaches some sort of a deal. 

Oil at $85 to $90 a barrel is on the cards if OPEC+ doesn’t raise supply next month, Fereidun Fesharaki, chairman of industry consultant FGE, told Bloomberg TV in an interview. Fesharaki expects the group to reach some sort of compromise over the next one to three weeks, during which oil prices will continue to rise. 

“No additional oil in August, at a time when the physical market is incredibly tight, can easily lead to prices overshooting above US$90 a barrel,” Amrita Sen, Director of Research at Energy Aspects, told Bloomberg.  

New Price War? 

The UAE-OPEC+ rift, however, now appears wider than initially thought on Thursday last week, when the first OPEC+ meeting failed to reach a consensus on oil policy going forward. 

 But at least for now, few analysts believe that there will be a repeat of the brief oil price war from the spring of 2020, when the OPEC+ producers pumped at will for a month and contributed to the crash in oil prices, the effects of which are still being felt in most OPEC+ economies. 

Related: Natural Gas Prices Fall Despite Bullish Outlook

Credit Suisse, in a note late on Monday, said the current impasse about raising supply in August had the ability to push Brent Crude to $80 a barrel in the near term. Early on Tuesday, Brent was trading above $77 and WTI was up above $76 a barrel.  

“If Saudi and UAE are unable to resolve their differences, then it could lead to each man for himself approach and back to price wars, which is a draconian scenario for energy investors,” Credit Suisse analysts said. 

OPEC+ Has Much More at Stake Than Quota Baselines 

 This ‘draconian scenario’, however, is one of the most unlikely outcomes of the current deadlock, according to chief investment officers of energy funds who joined a live chat on Bloomberg on Monday with Lawrence McDonald, founder of The Bear Traps Report. 

“[T]here is a low probability of a destructive breakdown with a large boost in production, that’s not happening,” an energy fund CIO in Canada said. 

“We see strong demand (India, Europe) with real supply risk, it is not in OPEC’s interest to blow this opportunity,” a CIO in London said, noting that oil has a shot at $90 to $100 a barrel in the next six months.

Institutional investors, therefore, don’t see the OPEC+ pact breaking up, as it would be very unwise for the alliance to be sidelined as the key oil market mover again, after working for more than a year to show it is calling the shots (and burning the shorts) in the oil market.  

“We do not believe that a price-destructive “non-deal” is in the cards at this time. This is the strongest period OPEC+ has had in the market in decades and they don’t want to give that all up,” The Bear Traps Report’s McDonald notes.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Your Cover Letter’s Third Paragraph — Getting the Reader to Act

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If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

 

In the 1992 movie Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin’s character, Blake, gives a shape-up or ship-out speech to a group of real estate salesmen. He turns over a blackboard on which two sets of letters are written. One set of letters is “ABC.” Blake then shouts, “A-B-C. A, always; B, be; C, closing. Always be closing! Always be closing!”

 

To shorten your job search, envision you’re looking for your next client. Finding your next client is a sales process; therefore, you need to A-B-C. When you’re in A-B-C mode, you move through an employer’s hiring process much faster than passive job seekers.

 

A-B-C isn’t only for when you’re at the interview stage, intending to close the deal (obtaining a job offer). To get your network to inform you of job opportunities, get past gatekeepers, and especially to get that covenant interview, you need to A-B-C, which is why your cover letter’s last paragraph needs to be a call to action.

 

Here are 3 examples:

 

With my 15+ years of sales management experience, I know I can quickly get up to speed as ACME Inc.’s next Sales Director. I’d welcome the opportunity to speak with you regarding my qualifications. Next Wednesday, I’ll reach out to schedule a call to discuss my thoughts on who to raise ACME Inc.’s ROI by 25% before year-end. I look forward to speaking with you.

 

I’m inspired by Callister Inc’s success in supporting homegrown businesses. I have several ideas for marketing strategies to increase profitability among your customer base and how I can grow your reach. I look forward to the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.

 

I’m looking forward to discussing my skills and my 10+ years of international hotel management experience. I’ve several suggestions I’d like to pass by you on how Grand Budapest Hotel can increase its occupancy rate, a challenge all hotels face during the current pandemic. Please contact me at (555) 916-225-5887 or mary.smitters@hotel.com any time. I’ll be in touch next Friday to follow up.

 

Your closing paragraph needs to:

 

  • Be decisive. Decisiveness projects confidence, which is not to be confused with arrogance. Confidence is a massive turn-on with employers.Before the hiring manager can feel (hiring comes down to gut feel) you can do the job, they need to feel that you feel you can do the job.
  • Write to what you can do for the employer, not what they can do for you.
  • Offer a teaser. To use another movie analogy, think of Marlon Brando’s words in The Godfather, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” This sets the foundation for what’ll be discussed and therefore puts you in the driver’s seat.
  • Mention you’ll follow up. (Then DO IT!)

 

The last point is a job search game-changer. Many career experts claim following up is overly aggressive. The way I see it, not following up makes you passive, which is a form of being lazy. I’m repeating myself; employers don’t hire lazy.

 

There’s been a few instances where I’ve been overwhelmed with resumes. Those who called me almost always got an interview. I can recall three times where I hired the person based on a “follow-up” phone conversation.

 

A few weeks back, a Regional Sales Director for a large pharmaceutical company told me when hiring a sales representative, he only grants interviews to those who follow up. This makes sense since sales success requires being comfortable making calls.

 

Bottom-line: Following up by phone will set you apart from your competition.

 

Of course, if the job posting says “No phone calls please.”, which is uncommon, you need to respect such instruction.

 

Regarding signing off, use any of the following:

 

  • Sincerely
  • Best regards
  • Sincere regards
  • Yours truly
  • Respectfully

 

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier column, there’s no universal hiring methodology. Don’t stress over small details, such as how to sign off. Throughout your search, focus on communicating how you’re able to bring results (value). Such focus will have you A-B-C.

 

If you’re wondering what the other set of letters Blake had written on the blackboard, they were AIDA — Attention, Interest, Decision, Action. This is what your cover letter needs to do.

 

______________________________________________________________

 

Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send him your questions at artoffindingwork@gmail.com.

 

 

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Israel to offer COVID booster shots for over 60s: PM – Al Jazeera English

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Those eligible will be able to get the booster shot as long as they received their second dose more than five months ago.

Israel will begin offering a third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to people aged over 60 who have already been vaccinated, the country’s prime minister announced on Thursday, becoming the first country to offer a third booster dose to its citizens.

“I’m announcing this evening the beginning of the campaign to receive the booster vaccine, the third vaccine,” Naftali Bennett said in a nationally televised address.

“Reality proves the vaccines are safe. Reality also proves the vaccines protect from severe morbidity and death. And like the flu vaccine that needs to be renewed from time to time, it is the same in this case.”

Those eligible will be able to get the booster shot as long as they received their second dose more than five months ago, Channel 13 TV and Kan public radio reported.

Israel was a world leader in the vaccination rollout, with many seniors getting their jabs in December, January and February as they were regarded as the most vulnerable section of the population.

About 57 percent of Israel’s 9.3 million population has been vaccinated.

The country was accused of vaccine apartheid after Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, who live under varying degrees of Israeli control, were denied vaccines as it launched one of the fastest inoculation campaigns in the world.

Increase in cases

But since the emergence of the Delta variant, the health ministry has twice reported a drop in the vaccine’s effectiveness against infection and a slight decrease in its protection against severe disease.

About 160 people are hospitalised with severe symptoms and daily infections have spiked to more than 2,000, up from just a handful of cases per day a few months ago.

The booster campaign, expected to be announced formally soon, will effectively turn Israel into a testing ground for a third dose before approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

On July 11, the government started offering a third dose to adults with weak immune systems.

“We are administering as of now a third shot to people suffering from immunodeficiency,” Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said.

A woman presents a vaccination book with three doses of COVID-19 vaccine recorded at Sheba Medical Center on July 14 [File: Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Pfizer said on Wednesday it believes people need the additional dose to keep protection against the coronavirus high. The company says it could apply for US emergency authorisation for booster shots as early as August.

Media reports said the head of Israel’s health ministry gave health maintenance organisations the go-ahead to administer the third shot after Israeli experts approved the campaign late on Wednesday.

Last week, the health ministry estimated the vaccine was only 41 percent effective at halting symptomatic infections over the past month. Protection against severe disease remained strong at 91 percent.

Some experts have criticised the ministry’s analysis because of possible bias that could be skewing the data. Others said Israel should wait a little longer to receive more information about the safety and effectiveness of a third shot.

The cabinet is hoping that the vaccines will allow it to avoid costly lockdowns by protecting those most vulnerable to severe disease, even as infections climb.

Israel has registered a total of 6,463 deaths and 868,045 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University.

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Israel to offer COVID-19 booster shot to fully vaccinated people 60 and older – The Globe and Mail

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Israel’s prime minister on Thursday announced that the country would offer a coronavirus booster to people over 60 who have already been vaccinated.

The announcement by Naftali Bennett makes Israel, which launched one of the world’s most successful vaccination drives earlier this year, the first country to offer a third dose of a Western vaccine to its citizens on a wide scale.

“I’m announcing this evening the beginning of the campaign to receive the booster vaccine, the third vaccine,” Bennett said in a nationally televised address. “Reality proves the vaccines are safe. Reality also proves the vaccines protect against severe morbidity and death. And like the flu vaccine that needs to be renewed from time to time, it is the same in this case.”

The decision comes at a time of rising infections and signs that the vaccine’s efficacy dwindles over time.

Anyone over 60 who was vaccinated more than five months ago will be eligible. Bennett said the country’s new president, Isaac Herzog, would be the first to get the booster on Friday. It will be offered to the general public on Sunday.

Bennett, who is 49, said his first call after the news conference would be to his mother to encourage her to get her booster shot.

Neither the U.S. nor the EU have approved coronavirus booster shots. It’s not yet proven if a third dose helps and, if so, who needs one and when.

But Bennett said that a team of expert advisers had agreed overwhelmingly, by a 56-1 margin, that it made sense to launch the booster campaign. He said the recommendation was made after “considerable research and analysis” and that its information would be shared around the world. Preliminary studies in Israel have indicated the vaccine’s protection against serious illness dropped among those vaccinated in January.

“The findings show that there is a decline in the body’s immunity over time, and the purpose of the booster is to restrengthen it, thus significantly reducing the chances of infection and serious illness,” Bennett said.

Israel has used the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine on its population. Previously, boosters were used in some countries with the Chinese and Russian vaccines.

Early this year, Israel carried out one of the world’s most aggressive and successful vaccination campaigns, reaching a deal with Pfizer to purchase enough vaccines for its population in exchange for sharing its data with the drug maker.

Over 57 per cent of the country’s 9.3 million citizens have received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and over 80 per cent of the population over 40 is vaccinated.

The vaccination program allowed Israel to reopen its economy ahead of other countries. But Israel has seen a spike in cases of the new delta variant, even among people who are vaccinated. Bennett urged unvaccinated Israelis, especially younger people who have been hesitant, to get vaccinated immediately.

Earlier this month, Israel started giving individuals with weakened immune systems a third shot to increase their resilience against COVID-19.

Pfizer said Wednesday that the effectiveness of the vaccine drops slightly six months after the second dose. Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have said they plan to seek authorization for boosters in August.

The World Health Organization said earlier this month that there is not enough evidence to show that a third dose is needed.

The agency’s officials have appealed for wealthier countries to share vaccines with poorer nations that have yet to immunize their people, instead of using them as boosters. Israel itself has come under criticism for not sharing more of its vaccines with the Palestinians.

The Israeli Health Ministry recorded at least 2,165 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, following an accelerating rise in infections over the past month. Serious cases of COVID-19 have grown from 19 a day in mid-June to 159 as the highly infectious delta variant has spread.

Thanks to its successful vaccination campaign, Israel lifted almost all of its coronavirus restrictions this spring. But with new cases back on the rise, the country has tried to halt the spread of the highly infectious delta variant by reimposing limitations on gatherings, restoring a “green pass” system for vaccinated people to enter certain enclosed spaces, and an indoor mask mandate.

Facebook’s new video series, Let Me Explain, discusses various topics related to safety and integrity on its platforms. Supplied by Facebook

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

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