Oil

Updated at 10:52 p.m. ET

Oil prices and stock indexes were in freefall Sunday after Saudi Arabia announced a stunning discount in oil prices — of $6 to $8 per barrel — to its customers in Asia, the United States and Europe.

Fernando Llano / AP

It’s no secret Venezuela’s once robust oil industry is wrecked, which is why its economy is wrecked too. Even Venezuela’s authoritarian socialist president is now admitting it.

Venezuela’s Business Elite Face Scrutiny In $1.2 Billion Money Laundering Case

Nov 4, 2019
PEDRO PORTAL / MIAMI HERALD

As Venezuela’s oil-based economy continues to crumble, a politically connected class of businessmen with financial ties to Miami has grown fabulously wealthy from energy deals with the socialist government. Among the Venezuelan upper crust who have made fortunes during the Bolivarian revolution: Alejandro Betancourt.

The world's most profitable company will make its first public stock offering next month, in what could be the biggest IPO ever.

Saudi Aramco, the oil giant owned by the Saudi government, said on Sunday it will sell an unspecified number of shares, thought to be between 1% and 3% of the company. It did not specify a price range.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says his country will not succumb to economic pressure by the Trump administration.

"We are resisting an unprovoked aggression by the United States," Zarif told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview in New York City on Sunday. "I can assure you that the United States will not be able to bring us to our knees through pressure."

On Sept. 14, a major Saudi oil processing plant was rocked by a series of explosions. The facility, and another oil field to the south, had been attacked from the air. Here's what we know — at this time — about the attacks based on physical evidence.

The strike was large and sophisticated

American military and intelligence officials say they are accumulating a growing mound of evidence that Iran launched the airstrikes that idled about half of Saudi Arabia's oil production capacity over the weekend. But the Trump administration has been slow to respond to those attacks.

Paul Sakuma / Orlando Sentinel

Fill up your gas tank now because prices are going up.

The drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil fields that the United States is blaming on Iran caused a sharp increase in the global price of oil — and that will almost certainly be followed by an uptick in what we’ll pay at the gas pump.

The attacks targeted two huge Saudi processing plants and knocked out half the kingdom’s oil capacity, which accounts for nearly six percent of global daily consumption.

Updated at 5:22 p.m. ET

The price of oil saw a massive price spike Monday following what are believed to be drone strikes on Saudi oil facilities over the weekend that has shut off more than half of the kingdom's daily exports, or about 5% of the world's crude production.

Benchmark Brent crude briefly surged almost 20% in early trading before settling closer to 10%, up $6 to $66.28 per barrel. It rose again in the early afternoon, topping $70 for an increase of some 15%. The U.S. benchmark West Texas crude rose more than 10%.

Updated at 11:30 p.m. ET

Iran says it is not behind Saturday's attacks on oil plants in Saudi Arabia, denying accusations from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Tehran was responsible for "an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply."

Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, said in a tweet on Sunday that Pompeo was turning from "max pressure" to "max deceit."

Ana Maria Otero / AP

Earlier this year the U.S. all but cut off oil imports from Venezuela to put more pressure on the country’s authoritarian regime. Now another major importer looks like it’s turning its back on Venezuela.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

On Friday, President Trump will meet with leaders from five Caribbean island nations at his Mar-a-Lago resort here in Florida. A big question is: what will Trump do for them in return for what they’ve recently done for him?

More Oil Drilling Proposed For Southern Florida

Feb 3, 2019
Courtesy Sun Sentinel

The boom in U.S. oil production may one day extend to southern Florida, where several companies have proposed operations to extract the valuable black liquid from some of the most sensitive habitats in the state.

No drilling is imminent, since these projects require extensive permitting and preparation. And the plans come as the state looks more likely to pass a ban on fracking, a technique that has unlocked vast oil deposits at what many environmentalists see as an unacceptable cost to water supplies.

Ariana Cubillos / AP via Miami Herald

On Thursday Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro will be sworn in after his unconstitutional re-election. Much of the world considers his socialist regime a dictatorship – and a disastrous one: Venezuela is suffering the worst economic collapse in the world right now.

But is it also a dangerous one? Lately the U.S. and much of Latin America are calling Venezuela an erratic security threat. It's escalating tensions with its neighbors – and last month welcomed Russian bomber planes into the country.

To understand what's going on with Venezuela, WLRN’s Tim Padgett spoke with Bruce Bagley, a University of Miami international studies professor and an expert on South American security issues.

Ignoring pressure from President Trump to keep the oil flowing, OPEC, Russia and other producers have agreed to cut production. They pledged to pare output by 1.2 million barrels a day, hoping to stem a sharp drop in oil prices.

The price of crude jumped nearly 4.5 percent Friday morning, to $53.75 per barrel, on word of the agreement, which called for a bigger reduction than analysts had expected.

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