At last, Saudi Arabia seems to be doing what it takes to reduce the world's most visible oil glut: the one in the U.S. Unfortunately, its renewed vigor comes as OPEC's deal to reduce excess crude stockpiles starts to show signs of unraveling elsewhere, a subject that will be wrestled with by the group's oil ministers as they and other producer nations meet in St Petersburg on Monday. Weekly U.S. crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia have fallen sharply since early June Data published last week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that imports from Saudi Arabia in the week to July 14 fell to their lowest for seven years: just 524,000 barrels a day. For sure, one week's number doesn't
Vietnam stopped a company from exploring for energy in contested waters of the South China Sea after taking threats from Beijing, the BBC reported early on Monday. Talisman-Vietnam, a subsidiary of Spanish energy firm Repsol , commenced gas-drilling operations in an area about 400 kilometers off Vietnam's coast earlier this month, but Hanoi has since ordered Repsol to leave the zone, the BBC said, citing an unnamed source. Last week, Beijing warned Hanoi that it would attack Vietnamese bases in the Spratly Islands if drilling continued, the BBC continued.
In global markets, all signs of sentiment are pointing up. First, private client cash levels have dropped to a record low as a percentage of total assets, according to data compiled by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Institutional investors are also holding the lowest levels of cash since the start of the eight-year bull market, survey data compiled by Citigroup show.