Васко Начев

He works as a consultant in exploration and production of oil and gas in various countries of the Middle East, Egypt, Kazakhstan and most recently in Indonesia. Author of numerous articles and analyzes relating to the oil and gas sector.

  If you ask most people, even those involved in commodities markets, what is the most political raw material that trades on the futures exchange, I bet most would answer that it is crude oil. More than half the world’s oil reserves are in the Middle East, which is the most politically turbulent region in the world. Crude oil is a ubiquitous raw material that provides energy around the globe.   Meanwhile, over past decades the international oil cartel, OPEC, has attempted to influence prices by controlling the amount of the energy commodity that flows from wells and is available to consumers all over the earth. We have seen examples of how the leading oil producers have banded together to cut back on output or flood the market impacting supplies


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  The two crude oil pricing benchmarks around the world are the Brent price and the West Texas Intermediate or WTI price. The two benchmark oil trade in the futures market and attract tremendous hedging, investment, and speculative interest. Brent crude oil is the preferred pricing mechanism for around two-thirds of the world’s crude oil while WTI is the benchmark for the other third. WTI is sweeter crude, meaning it has a lower sulfur level and is more appropriate for gasoline production in the refining process. Brent’s characteristics made it easier and cheaper as an input for the refining of diesel fuels and other distillates. Meanwhile, Brent and WTI are benchmarks, and while oil production all over the world may use them for pricing purposes, there are many discounts and


Oil prices got a modest lift last week on word OPEC may be upping the production cut ante, but gains were balanced by signs of Russian production growth.   A research from PVM (International oil brokers & consultants) suggests delegates at a May meeting of members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may consider deeper cuts than already implemented under a six-month deal that began in January.   Libya and Nigeria are exempt from the deal and Iran has room for production growth as it seeks to regain a market share lost to sanctions. Saudi Arabia, the largest producer and de facto head of OPEC, has cut its output more than any other and total group production is already below the 32.5 million barrels per day target.   PVM


Two months after setting the ball rolling in Algiers and eight years after it last cut output, OPEC agreed this time in Vienna to resume its efforts to prop up oil prices. The group announced cuts of 1.166m barrels a day, effective from the beginning of January, for six months. The deal may be renewed at the end of May.   The vast majority of market participants doubted the ability of the international oil cartel to agree on anything, much less and agreement to cut production. In the days leading up to the November 30 biannual meeting, it began to appear that the framework for a deal discussed in Algeria back in September was falling apart. The Saudis stated that they would not agree to any deal where all members


  On August 8th, OPEC published a press release stating that H.E. Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry and current OPEC president, had scheduled an informal meeting of OPEC member countries to take place on the sidelines of the 15th International Energy Forum which will take place in Algeria from 26 to 28 September 2016. This renewed rumors of another production “freeze.” But then prices began to fade until last Thursday, when the Saudi Press Agency reportedly emailed a statement to journalists quoting Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih as follows: “…We are going to have a ministerial meeting of IEF in Algeria next month, and there is an opportunity for OPEC and major exporting non-OPEC ministers to meet and discuss the market situation, including any


Have a chance new megaprojects in gas supplies to Europe?   Gas processing is an instrumental piece of the natural gas value chain. It is instrumental in ensuring that the natural gas intended for use is as clean and pure as possible, making it the clean burning and environmentally sound energy choice. Once the natural gas has been fully processed, and is ready to be consumed, it must be transported from those areas that produce natural gas, to those areas that require it. The efficient and effective movement of natural gas from producing regions to consumption regions requires an extensive and elaborate transportation system. In many instances, natural gas produced from a particular well will have to travel a great distance to reach its point of use. The transportation system

Mediterranean gas

The eastern Mediterranean was the cradle of three great religions, bureaucracies and market institutions. Alexander the Great was born here, the region was the center of the Roman Empire and its sea was known as Roma’s “mare nostrum.” Centuries later, the countries bordering the eastern Mediterranean became part  of the Byzantine Empire, and this is also the region where Islam reached its golden age. Cyprus, Greece, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Turkey and Egypt, the countries touched by this sea, were as alluring as they were unlucky. Recurrent droughts, famine, mass migrations, pirates and constant wars made the region dangerous and chronically unstable. In early modern times, between the 16th and 19th century, successive waves of European invaders regularly destabilized the region. Inevitably, the fragmentation and poverty that besieged them took a