Monthly Archives: March 2006

A dodge and a pitch

Nigeria’s Daukoru faced questioning about the rebel violence in his country that has recently shut down a sizable portion of oil production. So what is the country doing to foil further kidnappings, pipeline explosions and export terminal attacks, which continue to wreak havoc in the Niger Delta region? “Of course, we guarantee, we assure, our […]  More »

What goes up…

Access to OPEC ministers on meeting day isn’t just for journalists. Analysts turn out in force, too. Crude oil is hanging around the $60 a barrel level, but there’s a cresting wave of oil built up in inventory and many analysts are wringing their hands that it could come crashing down very soon, pushing prices […]  More »

Roadmaps and refineries

Looking for somebody to blame for the high price of oil? Energy analyst Johannes Benigni, managing director of PVM Vienna, says don’t look at OPEC. He fingers the refining industry for not investing enough in infrastructure, creating bottlenecks which have helped jack up the price. Now Saudi Arabia and a Houston company are helping fill […]  More »

Get set. Go!

Today’s press session is over. Thank goodness Donna Karen makes a fashionable sneaker a woman can wear with slacks. The last time I stood around for hours waiting to sprint up three flights of stairs to the gathering. I did it Carrie Bradshaw-style. Dress. Three-inch heels. I’ll never do that again. Qatar oil minister Al […]  More »

Different lobby, same fear and loathing.

One writer told me that there is a moment on the day of every OPEC meeting when many journalists think to themselves, “This has got to be my career low point.” I feel his pain, literally. It usually happens in the early afternoon as scores of reporters start corralling themselves into a tiny space behind […]  More »

Health nuts and poets and Aggies, oh my!

Time to meet the oil ministers. They’re in conclave on the third floor of OPEC headquarters, situated along the Danube River. They’re talking about very important things, of course. But they’re not just powerful oilmen. They’re people, too. OPEC publishes the resumes of the ministers and, towards the bottom of each, there’s some puffery that’s […]  More »

The politics of oil

OPEC President Edmund Daukoru has said OPEC cannot cut production at today’s meeting because of the geopolitical situation in the world. In other words, cutting production wouldn’t help bring prices down because the market knows just one bad incident has the potential to disrupt oil supplies and drain the crude that is currently building up […]  More »

The story beneath the story

OPEC members are almost all on the same page today as they prep to meet tomorrow. It’s a vast change from a just a few short years ago when so many countries came to the table with different ideas about where oil production and prices should be. Only Venezuela’s oil minister, Rafael Ramirez, continues to […]  More »

Fear and loathing in the lobby

The subhead to Hunter S. Thompson’s book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is ”A savage journey to the heart of the American Dream.” If the real American Dream is to live a life of comfort and mobility, then oil has to be at the center of it. For journalists who travel to Vienna several […]  More »

Triple threat

So far, OPEC looks unlikely to slash oil output at Wednesday’s meeting. The Saudis are against a production cut and, generally speaking, what they say goes. It’s not surprising given that crude oil’s benchmark price is hanging around an expensive $62 a barrel. Cutting production would send prices soaring even higher in the short term, […]  More »

The prize

Across America, today’s headlines will blare who got to take home an Oscar – that little gold guy who brings fame and fortune to those who win. But for decades longer than Hollywood has existed, another kind of prize – black gold, otherwise known as oil – has been enriching those whose search for it […]  More »