Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market Real Estate Crash The Next Shoe To Drop – Part II - Chris_Vermeulen
2.The Coronavirus Greatest Economic Depression in History? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.US Real Estate Housing Market Crash Is The Next Shoe To Drop - Chris_Vermeulen
4.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications and AI Mega-trend Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Are Coronavirus Death Statistics Exaggerated? Worse than Seasonal Flu or Not?- Nadeem_Walayat
6.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications, Global Recession and AI Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Fourth Turning Accelerating Towards Debt Climax - James_Quinn
8.Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Britain's FAKE Coronavirus Death Statistics Exposed - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Commodity Markets Crash Catastrophe Charts - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
Gold Stocks Autumn Rally - 4th Aug 20
“Government Sachs” Is Worried About the Federal Reserve Note - 4th Aug 20
Gold Miners Still Pushing That Cart of Rocks Up Hill - 4th Aug 20
UK Government to Cancel Christmas - Crazy Covid Eid 2020! - 4th Aug 20
Covid-19 Exposes NHS Institutional Racism Against Black and Asian Staff and Patients - 4th Aug 20
How Sony Is Fueling the Computer Vision Boom - 3rd Aug 20
Computer Gaming System Rig Top Tips For 6 Years Future Proofing Build Spec - 3rd Aug 20
Cornwwall Bude Caravan Park Holidays 2020 - Look Inside Holiday Resort Caravan - 3rd Aug 20
UK Caravan Park Holidays 2020 Review - Hoseasons Cayton Bay North East England - 3rd Aug 20
Best Travel Bags for 2020 Summer Holidays , Back Sling packs, water proof, money belt and tactical - 3rd Aug 20
Precious Metals Warn Of Increased Volatility Ahead - 2nd Aug 20
The Key USDX Sign for Gold and Silver - 2nd Aug 20
Corona Crisis Will Have Lasting Impact on Gold Market - 2nd Aug 20
Gold & Silver: Two Pictures - 1st Aug 20
The Bullish Case for Stocks Isn't Over Yet - 1st Aug 20
Is Gold Price Action Warning Of Imminent Monetary Collapse - Part 2? - 1st Aug 20
Will America Accept the World's Worst Pandemic Response Government - 1st Aug 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More – Part II - 1st Aug 20
Trump White House Accelerating Toward a US Dollar Crisis - 31st Jul 20
Why US Commercial Real Estate is Set to Get Slammed - 31st Jul 20
Gold Price Blows Through Upside Resistance - The Chase Is On - 31st Jul 20
Is Crude Oil Price Setting Up for a Waterfall Decline? - 31st Jul 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More - 30th Jul 20
Why Big Money Is Already Pouring Into Edge Computing Tech Stocks - 30th Jul 20
Economic and Geopolitical Worries Fuel Gold’s Rally - 30th Jul 20
How to Finance an Investment Property - 30th Jul 20
I Hate Banks - Including Goldman Sachs - 29th Jul 20
NASDAQ Stock Market Double Top & Price Channels Suggest Pending Price Correction - 29th Jul 20
Silver Price Surge Leaves Naysayers in the Dust - 29th Jul 20
UK Supermarket Covid-19 Shop - Few Masks, Lack of Social Distancing (Tesco) - 29th Jul 20
Budgie Clipped Wings, How Long Before it Can Fly Again? - 29th Jul 20
How To Take Advantage Of Tesla's 400% Stock Surge - 29th Jul 20
Gold Makes Record High and Targets $6,000 in New Bull Cycle - 28th Jul 20
Gold Strong Signal For A Secular Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Anatomy of a Gold and Silver Precious Metals Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Shopify Is Seizing an $80 Billion Pot of Gold - 28th Jul 20
Stock Market Minor Correction Underway - 28th Jul 20
Why College Is Never Coming Back - 27th Jul 20
Stocks Disconnect from Economy, Gold Responds - 27th Jul 20
Silver Begins Big Upside Rally Attempt - 27th Jul 20
The Gold and Silver Markets Have Changed… What About You? - 27th Jul 20
Google, Apple And Amazon Are Leading A $30 Trillion Assault On Wall Street - 27th Jul 20
This Stock Market Indicator Reaches "Lowest Level in Nearly 20 Years" - 26th Jul 20
New Wave of Economic Stimulus Lifts Gold Price - 26th Jul 20
Stock Market Slow Grind Higher Above the Early June Stock Highs - 26th Jul 20
How High Will Silver Go? - 25th Jul 20
If You Own Gold, Look Out Below - 25th Jul 20
Crude Oil and Energy Sets Up Near Major Resistance – Breakdown Pending - 25th Jul 20
FREE Access to Premium Market Forecasts by Elliott Wave International - 25th Jul 20
The Promise of Silver as August Approaches: Accumulation and Conversation - 25th Jul 20
The Silver Bull Gateway is at Hand - 24th Jul 20
The Prospects of S&P 500 Above the Early June Highs - 24th Jul 20
How Silver Could Surpass Its All-Time High - 24th Jul 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Get Rich Investing in Stocks by Riding the Electron Wave

Russia’s Unfazed by Falling Crude Oil Prices

Commodities / Crude Oil Dec 11, 2014 - 06:06 PM GMT

By: Marin_Katusa

Commodities

Oil is not quite as powerful a weapon against modern-day Russia as one might think.

By arguing that the slump in oil prices will finish off Russia just like it did the Soviet Union, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, writing in the Daily Telegraph, is forgetting how far Russia has come since those dark days.


It is true that the USSR couldn’t cope with falling oil revenues and that Saudi Arabia is credited with helping to break up the former empire by dramatically increasing oil production from 2 million to 10 million barrels per day in 1985.

And sanctions could make it harder for Russian firms to access Western know-how, and ultimately affect Russia’s oil output.

But that’s only if they drag on for years—which is doubtful, given the price the EU is already paying. A cut in global oil supply—and stronger global growth—will likely rebalance the oil market in the meantime.

A measure of Russia’s improved prospects is that the population is growing again for the first time since 1992. In fact, sanctions notwithstanding, Russia’s finances look pretty stable for now.

Russia has only about $678 billion in foreign debt, which it’s been vigorously paying down from the high of $732 billion reached at the end of 2013. (The US debt to foreigners has passed $6 trillion, and it’s growing.) It’s running a record-high budget surplus and a positive balance of payments. And it’s circumventing the dollar through trade deals. Even after spending $60 billion propping up companies starved of dollar liquidity, Russia has nearly $375 billion of foreign reserves.

Although GDP growth has slowed from 2012’s torrid 4.25% pace, it’s still projected to come in at 1%, no worse than 2013.

Furious about being locked out of SWIFT—the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which helps facilitate international financial transactions—Putin has also ordered the Russian central bank to proceed with building its own national payment settlement system as an alternative.

Then there’s “Project Double Eagle,” which will enable trade partners to price oil in gold. That will allow users to move away from the dollar (and the euro), and conduct their business in something physical and more substantial than fiat money—and Russia’s fellow BRICS nations (Brazil, India, China and South Africa) are cheering it on.

So, perhaps there’s method in Putin’s madness. Russia has not only substantially increased gold production but is stockpiling the stuff, doubling its reserves between 2008 and 2014.

It’s true that the country’s budget was based on oil prices of $96 per barrel. With oil sinking below $70, that hurts for certain. But Russia will survive. It will do some belt-tightening. And it gets a boost from the falling ruble—which is down 25% against the dollar just since the end of September—because that helps to offset losses from cheaper oil.

Russian oil companies earn dollars abroad for their exports, but spend rubles domestically. That means that their extraction budgets remain unaffected and, additionally, it ensures that government tax receipts won’t drop precipitously. Production actually rose to 10.6 million barrels per day in September, close to the highest monthly figure since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia’s 8 million barrels of daily export account for 15% of the total oil moving in world markets.

Ironically, Obama’s sanctions could have worse consequences for the US. If Russia ramps up production in order to raise revenues, that will lead to an even bigger fall in oil prices. And one of the primary victims will be US shale production. US fracking operations—which are more costly than conventional Russian (or Saudi) drilling—begin to get uneconomical below $70 per barrel. If the price drops to $60, many US unconventional wells will have to shut down and imports will rise once again.

Thus, the slide in oil prices threatens American energy independence and emboldens rather than weakens Russia.

Meanwhile, Russia forges ahead with exploration and infrastructure development. Putin just inked a 25-year oil deal with China that includes the construction of a brand new 3,000-mile pipeline. And he’s sending fleets of nuclear-powered icebreakers into the Arctic to stake out more reserves, along with troops to protect them.

While Americans are counting the few dollars they’ll save on gasoline now and spend on gifts this Christmas, Putin is counting all the billions he’ll make when oil rebounds.

Russia may or may not be losing the current battle. But no matter what Evans-Pritchard may think, Putin has no intention of losing the war—in fact, he’s the only one who really understands what the ultimate prize for winning it is.

As my new book, The Colder War, makes clear, the geopolitics of energy—especially the struggle between Russia and the US—is the single most important force in the world today.

Putin’s not going to spare any effort to come out on top, and the smart money isn’t betting against him. This would not mark the first time he has been wounded and come back stronger.

To discover all the ways you can invest with Putin and make a bundle in the process, sign up for Marin Katusa’s just-launched advisory, The Colder War Letter.

You’ll discover how Marin is uniquely positioned, as Putin is, to profit from this slump in oil prices. And you’ll receive monthly updates on the latest geopolitical moves in this struggle to control the energy sector and what it means for your personal wealth.Plus, you’ll get a free hardback copy of Marin’s New York Times best-selling book, The Colder War, just for signing up today. Click here for all the details.

The article Russia’s Unfazed by Falling Oil Prices was originally published at caseyresearch.com.
Casey Research Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules