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Wednesday, Sep 03rd

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The dark secrets of the trillion-dollar oil trade

The phenomenon of "floating storage", which has been brought about by a huge over-supply of global tanker capacity and unusual market conditions, is just one example of the multitude of ways in which a small group of private, mostly Swiss-based companies have become adept at turning vast profits from the closed and often murky world of independent oil trading.

The resulting profit can be anything between 15 and 20 per cent – tens of millions of dollars – even after the cost of hiring a tanker is deducted.

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Renewable Nuclear? Nuclear boosters disguise their product behind green verbiage.

Boosters of nuclear power plants usually depend on the fact that the facilities emit no greenhouse gases for their rationale, and a powerful one it is. They generally ignore problems of proliferation, terrorist vulnerability, the need to isolate and store waste products essentially forever, the expense of building the plants (once they're built they're relatively cheap to operate, but building them is very expensive), and the lack of capacity to enrich and manufacture their fuel.

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Secrets of Alleged Oil Price Manipulation Exposed

Transcripts and taped conversations of actions that took place in 2007, included in the commission’s case, reveal the secretive workings of high-frequency trading, a fast-growing Wall Street business that is suddenly drawing scrutiny in Washington. Critics say this high-speed form of computerized trading, which is used in a wide range of financial markets, enables its practitioners to profit at other investors’ expense.

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Exxon may face hearings over oil well sabotage allegations in Texas

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson called on the state's powerful oil regulatory agency Tuesday to open hearings into allegations that Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp. improperly plugged and sabotaged oil wells in a South Texas county after failed negotiations to reduce royalty payments.

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Warning: Oil supplies are running out fast

The world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production, a leading energy economist has warned.

Higher oil prices brought on by a rapid increase in demand and a stagnation, or even decline, in supply could blow any recovery off course, said Dr Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the respected International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, which is charged with the task of assessing future energy supplies by OECD countries.

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In break with Bush, speculators blamed for oil price spikes

The chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission signaled Tuesday that his agency is likely to limit financial speculators' ability to drive up prices for oil and other fuels.

Excessive speculation, suggested CFTC chief Gary Gensler, drove the price of oil to a record $147 a barrel a year ago, making it unnecessarily more expensive for Americans to heat their homes and fuel their cars.

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Toyota's first fuel cell vehicle will be priced "shockingly" low

According to an article in Ward's Auto (subs req'd), when Toyota puts its first production hydrogen fuel cell vehicle up for sale in 2015, the price will be so low it will "shock" the U.S. auto industry. Justin Ward, advanced powertrain program manager-Toyota Technical Center, said that economies of scale will be in place to drop the price down to something that is surprisingly low.

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