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Zoltan Ban

 
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  • 2014 Climate Change Deals Point To Bright Long-Term Future For Silver [View article]
    Thanks for the information charles. These are very interesting experiments. I would caution however from automatically assuming that a lab experiment will also have economic applications. Sometimes the experiment can be successfully replicated on industrial scale, leading to a technological breakthrough, but on many occasions the leap from the lab to the real world fails for many possible reasons.
    Dec 18, 2014. 11:12 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 2014 Climate Change Deals Point To Bright Long-Term Future For Silver [View article]
    Thanks for your comment In sinc. I do not expect a grand agreement.

    What I do expect is Europe to continue on its unilateral quest to save the earth from climate change, the Chinese to embrace more renewable energy due to the fact that their people are choking on their own smog and the US to attempt to look good by using as much natural gas as possible. The Arab states are also looking at solar as a way to use less of their own oil.

    I have written a whole book about why a grand deal as envisioned by the idealistic greens and others will never come to pass.
    Dec 18, 2014. 09:43 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Noble Energy: Big Potential Win From South Stream Cancellation [View article]
    Thanks for your comment freeman. I assume you meant Delek drilling (DGRLY), in which case, yes, they should benefit from this as well. It has a 22% stake in Leviathan as well as a stake in Tamar.
    Dec 11, 2014. 09:14 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • South Stream Pipeline Cancelled; E.U. Economy Under Severe Long-Term Threat [View article]
    I am not sure whether you were entirely serious about your last sentence there Aricool. The US is a great place in comparison with many other countries, but the best to live and thrive in?

    On the HDI index the US is number 5 in the world, which is very impressive, but not the best.

    On social mobility the US is falling way behind, with An OECD study on inter-generational mobility showing it to be third last in a group of 12.

    http://bit.ly/1w0PEkd

    This essentially means that you are more likely to thrive if your parents did, and more likely not to if your parents did not.

    I lived in Europe, Canada and now the US and I can say that there are advantages and disadvantages to all, but I honestly cannot say that the US somehow stands above the rest.

    One thing that I can say is that the US is able to make good use of capable people from all over the world, which it attracts, while other countries are not as good at it.
    Dec 6, 2014. 01:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canadian Oil Sands Will Receive A Double Boost By The Time Oil Prices Start To Recover [View article]
    Thanks for your comments David. The official announcement of the filing for the project claims that of the 1.1 mb/d that will flow through the pipeline, 700,000 barrels will stay in Canada. I assume that the oil sent through will be upgraded to meet the requirements of Canadian refineries.

    The spread between WCS and WTI is indeed partly due to quality, but also partly due to transport issues, so resolution to this issue should give an extra boost to the price.

    As far as the oil sand/ tar sand debate, I want to avoid it, because in this case I do not want to discuss the ideological aspect of it. Personally I think it is sad in many ways that we are increasingly resorting to such resources for our energy needs. But at the same time, I do not want ideology to get in the way of acknowledging that a company such as Suncor could be a decent investment.
    Dec 4, 2014. 05:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • South Stream Pipeline Cancelled; E.U. Economy Under Severe Long-Term Threat [View article]
    Thanks for your comment gtiger. We should keep in mind that not building South Stream also comes with costs attached. Russia has to pay Ukraine about $3.5 billion per year in transit fees. South Stream would have cost $29 billion according to official estimates. Personally, I think it would have made perfect economic sense.
    Dec 4, 2014. 04:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • South Stream Pipeline Cancelled; E.U. Economy Under Severe Long-Term Threat [View article]
    Thanks for your comment James. Most indications are that Russia wants to complete that 30 bcm China pipeline before 2020. It remains to be seen if it will happen. In addition, it pledged 17 bcm to Turkey same day Putin announced the end of South Stream. When these two projects will be completed, I doubt Russia will continue to use the Ukraine transit route. it has been working hard for two decades now to end that relationship and I think it will.

    The Turkey proposal comes with the idea of also turning Turkey's border with Greece into a hub, from where other pipelines can enter Europe. It may end up being just one more pipeline finding its way to Albania, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro in my opinion, especially if the EU does not decide to compromise. It would be a solution that is not ideal from Russia's point of view, but very painful for many EU member states such as Hungary, Bulgaria and Austria. If Hungary for instance will get stuck with LNG which will be significantly more expensive than Russian supplies to Serbia for instance, and Hungary will lose much manufacturing to its neighbor as a result, it would lead to extreme resentment of the EU in all countries affected.
    Dec 4, 2014. 02:20 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canadian Oil Sands Will Receive A Double Boost By The Time Oil Prices Start To Recover [View article]
    Thanks for your comment Pedro. Given the level of political support, I think the East route is pretty much certain. I don't think native opposition will be as big a problem as it was in the case of the West pipeline either, because British Columbia native tribes tend to be more activist than the tribes to the East in my opinion. There will be environmentalist protests, but that can be overcome.

    As far as the prospects of a company like Suncor, I first of all have no doubt that it will survive the current period of weaker prices. There may be some more downside as oil prices may still weaken, but I believe this will be over by late next year. And as I pointed out in the article, further down the line, oil sands companies will bet a double price boost as global prices recover and the transport bottleneck will get solved. I generally like to take the longer view.
    Dec 4, 2014. 08:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • South Stream Pipeline Cancelled; E.U. Economy Under Severe Long-Term Threat [View article]
    I undertand Mongolia really hustled to try to get the transit. I personally do not understand why they did not take the offer. It is not as if it would dare to cause trouble, being stuck between Russia and China.
    Dec 3, 2014. 11:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canadian Oil Sands Will Receive A Double Boost By The Time Oil Prices Start To Recover [View article]
    I think there may be a case to be made here that people are getting rid of stocks that are not backed by a solid track record of decent returns. SU is perhaps not the most exciting in the field, but it is capable of generating profits. Same issue in shale oil where EOG has a proven track record, while other companies such as Sanchez or MHR are yet to prove that they can at the very least cover their drilling costs with revenue generated, and that was with oil at $100. It remains to be seen whether Pengrowth can deliver on profitability.
    Dec 3, 2014. 11:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • South Stream Pipeline Cancelled; E.U. Economy Under Severe Long-Term Threat [View article]
    Thanks for your comment darturtle. The most expensive estimate for the cost of South Stream that I have seen is $40 billion. On the other hand Russia pays Ukraine about $3.5 billion per year in transit fees. That means that pipeline would have essentially paid for itself in less than 15 years. I think Russia would have liked to maintain more or less same volume of gas exports to Europe, but...
    Dec 3, 2014. 06:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • South Stream Pipeline Cancelled; E.U. Economy Under Severe Long-Term Threat [View article]
    Thanks for the article prezzo giusto. I did not elaborate in much detail in regards to the South Stream alternative contemplated going through Turkey, where a gas hub could still meet the requirements of many of the customers who lost out due to South Stream cancellation. At this point, there is plenty of speculation and the EU is yet to comment on the idea as well. My guess is that there is a possibility for part of the gas to still go to the EU. As I pointed out in the article 14 bcm of it is earmarked for Turkey. It is also possible in my view that Russia may decide to also export large amounts of it to non-EU balkan members such as Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Montenegro, even if the EU were to continue to obstruct. It would in fact be a real blow to EU members as their neighbors could potentially use the cheaper gas to out compete them on investments in petrochemicals, as well as energy intensive manufacturing. It would also prevent those Balkan countries from pursuing EU membership. It could become a real source of resentment with EU policy among some countries such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia and Austria.
    Dec 3, 2014. 06:36 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • South Stream Pipeline Cancelled; E.U. Economy Under Severe Long-Term Threat [View article]
    Thanks for your comment asalonitis. There are indeed a few bright spots in the Black Sea, as well as Cyprus. But we have to put this into perspective. The Cyprus discoveries are important for Cyprus, but in an EU context 150 bcm that was discovered there is only four months worth of EU demand. Not nearly enough to make a significant difference.
    Dec 3, 2014. 05:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • South Stream Pipeline Cancelled; E.U. Economy Under Severe Long-Term Threat [View article]
    Thanks for your comment Aricool. The need for more LNG in Europe will drastically increase most likely once the China pipelines will become operational, coinciding with an accelerated decline in NG production in countries such as Netherlands. I personally doubt the price of oil will be this low at that point. My personal opinion is that in the absence of a major global economic slowdown, oil will start to rise late next year. But of course opinions are divided on that one to say the least.
    Dec 3, 2014. 03:20 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • South Stream Pipeline Cancelled; E.U. Economy Under Severe Long-Term Threat [View article]
    Thanks for the comment bilow. I think the real opportunity for LNG was Asia, where growth is relatively robust, which gives those economies the ability to cope with the higher LNG price. If we look at some of the potential LNG importers in the EU such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, I don't think they will be able to cope.

    It will likely give US companies such as DOW chemical a chance to export goods derived from NG to Europe as many EU chemical companies reliant on NG will move or fail to compete.
    Dec 3, 2014. 03:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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