E Good News From The Oil Patch And South Africa

With car imports a key element of the Trump trade war the maker of robots for cars, Fanuc Corp. of Japan, is under pressure. FANUY.

However the robots for building railroads and power station made by Chinese Hollysys Automation, HOLI, are still going strong because of the belt and road initiative. It also builds nuclear power stations but so far only in China itself. I am waiting for a North Korean order.

Oil patch

OPEC's all-nighter which ended in the wee hours led to an agreement to boost oil output. Perversely, the accord led to a higher price for crude because the production boost was moderate rather than high. West Texas Intermediate prices gained 3.8% today to $68.02/bbl while Brent crude gained only 2.3% to $74.72. One reason may be that the dollar fell overnight while the oil price negotiations were going on. It will boost output of oil by 600,000 bbl/day but the cartel's way of counting this is not actually how many barrels are sold per day.

Schlumberger Ltd, incorporated in the Dutch Antilles, is up 4.1% on the US Supreme Court ruling that those violating patents outside the US can be fined within our country. This reversed a lower court ruling that SLB patents had only limited effect outside the country, and then reduced the damages SLB could bet by $93 million applied against ION Geophysical (IO) for infringing SLB technology to find subsea oil and gas. While not a US firm, SLB relies on US patents to protect its intellectual property outside the country because Curacao lacks a patent process and we are the nearest country which offers it. SLB was founded by two Alsatian brothers in the period during which Alsace-Lorraine was controlled by Germany (until 1918) and gains global reach by not being French or American. However it does apply US sanctions on Iran, worth a payback. It also may gain from the spike in oil prices post-OPEC. It rose even more in European trading before the Supremes ruled, up 4.7%.

BP plc is up 4.23% today on OPEC and a write-up by seekingalpha.com's Steven Fiorillo which is signed and another from the UK Motley Food site. Unfortunately Fiorillo grossly overstated BP reserves. I am not sure if he used the Motley Fool report which I haven't read, but it's possible. BP is also now providing data to Platt's on Asian LNG prices. (My first journalistic job was with what was then the McGraw-Hill publication Platt's Oilgram). 

BP may be better off without the supermarket business of Australian Woolworth's which the Oz trust-busters banned yesterday. Its stock hit $46.50 in London but is now only $44.16. The ADR is equal to 6 UK shares. The British company got the taxman there to drop the 1.5% fee on “scrip dividends” (dividends paid with shares rather than cash) and this means future non-cash dividends can also be offered to US investors. I dislike the DRIP system because of the paperwork.


Blockbuster sales of its new shingles jab, Shingrex, caused supply problems for GlaxoSmithKline in the US where the FDA recommends that even those who earlier got the Merck Zostavax jab get Shingrex—if their doctor can find it. GSK has now suspended its ads for the inoculation which also caused problems earlier when drug stores and nurses sometimes injected it subcutaneously like the Merck jab—but it is supposed to be injected into muscle and requires two doses. So far it has only been launched in the US. 

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Chee Hin Teh 2 years ago Member's comment

Thanks for sharing

Gary Anderson 2 years ago Contributor's comment

We hope gaslighting is just a hobby of POTUS and not a sign of a diabolical desire to be king.

Bill Myers 2 years ago Member's comment

Well said.