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The Morning Briefing: Oil prices and politics

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about prices and politics.
charlie-osborne
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer on

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about prices and politics.

1.) Greece concerns counter U.S. economy; oil falls. Signs of economic recovery in the U.S. have been hindered by the issue of European debt. It is believed that the Eurozone debt crisis will worsen, curbing global commodity demand. Due to this, oil has fallen from the highest level in three weeks.

2.) OPEC slashes global 2012 oil demand forecast. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has cut its global oil demand growth forecast due to economic weaknesses in both Europe and the United States. As such, the organisation is taking the opposite view to the U.S. government's energy predictions.

3.) Canada loses in oil discounts? Discounts that are lowering the price of Canadian oil, according to the author, 'are providing a glimpse at what the future looks like if new pipelines like Keystone XL aren't built'. The discounts for a Canadian oil sands barrel currently add up to about $30 to $40, and are the outcome of rising production, too little pipeline to shift oil to refineries, and therefore an oil backup.

4.) Commodities at Close: Oil, Natural Gas, Gold Rise; Cocoa Falls. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose 0.8 percent to 680.37 in New York at close -- as crude oil, natural gas, heating oil and gold climbed.

5.) France enjoys oil price profit boost. French oil company Total SA have revealed that higher oil prices helped it achieve a 12.8 percent rise in fourth quarter profits despite a drop in output. France's largest company by market value reported fourth quarter profit of $3.0 billion.

Image credit: Nick Taylor

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