The last grandchild of Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller died in his sleep yesterday at the age of 101. Billon-heir, banker, globalist, philanthropist, direct lineage from the progenitor of the original oil empire accorded him access to political theatres and actors not usually held by heads of state.
In a grand departure from the industry that made his grandfather the richest man in modern human history, David Rockefeller founded and funded a number of organisations dedicated to environmental preservation.
In 2016, The $130 million Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF) announced that it would be divesting its interests in hydrocarbons holdings, including its shares in ExxonMobil, one of the extant parts of John D.’s smashed Standard Oil monopoly.
With the United Kingdom’s triggering of Article 50 to leave the European Union (EU) imminent, the Northern quarter of the Union is once again voicing its disquiet with the status quo.
In the breakdown of voting for the EU referendum in 2016, 62 per cent of the Scottish electorate chose to “remain” in the EU, in direct contravention to the 52 per cent of the total British electorate that opted to “leave”.
The disparity has given Scotland’s majority Scottish National Party (SNP) the impetus to put the ball in motion for a second independence referendum to be held between Q3 2018 and Q1 2019.
After 24 months of swingeing cuts to budgets and large-scale employee attrition, the commanding heights of the oil and gas industry are making positive noises.
According to market and financial analysts, the world’s seven largest oil producing corporations are gearing up to add another three million barrels of oil equivalent to the mix over the next five years. Projected growth will see Anglo-Dutch giant, Royal Dutch Shell, supplant ExxonMobil as the world’s largest producer by 2021.
As it stands today, if Exxon were a country, it would be the fifth largest producing nation on Earth, ahead of the likes of China, Iran and Canada.
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” - Helen Keller (1880 – 1968)
Oil prices jumped on the global markets as members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) largely kept to their promised production cuts for the first two months of 2016. January’s output from the world’s most powerful energy cartel hit a record 90 per cent compliance with the deal drafted in November 2016.
The production slashing accord was slated to take place until the end of H1 2017, in which time it is projected that brimming world oil storage will drop by 600,000 barrels per day (bpd), equalising a glut that has been building by increments for the past three years.
In Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore, the government has proposed a carbon emissions tax that could shake up the nation’s oil industry.
As part of the 2017 budget, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, announced that a tax of between S$10-S$20 per tonne of greenhouse gas will be meted out to the largest emitters from 2019 onwards. The tax will be applicable to companies that emit the equivalent of 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, which will encompass some 40 companies, including power stations, utilities and refineries.
“I’m very good at this, it’s called construction.” - President Donald J. Trump (1946 - )
Now in the third week of the Trump presidency, the Commander-in-Chief of the world's only superpower is flexing his statutory instruments.
Since taking office on January 20th, President Trump has used 22 legislative devices - including executive orders, presidential memoranda and proclamations - to enact policy changes at a rate of more than one a day. To put this in perspective, his predecessor, Barack Obama, issued 277 in his eight years in office.
It didn't even take 48 hours for the Trump presidency to cause its first controversy.
After a prickly first convocation of the world’s media delivered by new White House Press Secretary and Communications Director, Sean Spicer, President Trump’s first public meeting with the intelligence community in Langley, Virginia, was less spiky but even more contentious.
Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, last week sparked a furious backlash after claiming Alberta’s oil sands industry needed to be “phased out”.
His comments, made at a town hall meeting in Ontario, echo the sentiment of an administration that is pledged a lower carbon economy, phasing out subsidies for the hydrocarbons industries and investing $200 million a year in clean technologies.
In April 2016, Trudeau signed on to the Paris Agreement on climate change “to pursue efforts to limit the [global] temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognising that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change”.
On January 6th, adherents of the Christian faith celebrated Epiphany, the observance of the visit of the gift-bearing Magi, three kings from the East, to the newborn Christ child in Judea in the 15th year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar.
As the festive season drew to a close, the oil and gas world welcomed the price of a barrel “comfortably” over $50 for the first time in a long time, the gift from kings in the East this time manifesting not as gold, frankincense and myrrh but a production cut by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
After a month of deliberation and conjecture, the president-elect of the United States has chosen arch oilman, the chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, to be his Secretary of State.
The long-time head honcho of the world’s most powerful energy company will now become the world’s most powerful diplomat, a post occupied by six former presidents including three of the Founding Fathers.
The 64-year old Tillerson was set to retire from his post at ExxonMobil on reaching his 65th birthday in March 2017, as company policy dictates. He will now be swapping his office in Irving, Texas, for one on Capitol Hill.