Energy Recap: Saudi Arabia 'Going Nuclear'?

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By SA Editor Michelle Carini :

Welcome to the latest edition of the Energy Recap. This week, we wanted to draw your attention to Saudi Arabia's recent statement that it is considering investing in nuclear energy in order to lessen the country's dependence on oil. According to CNBC , "Saudi Arabia plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 to 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion ... and is not interested in diverting nuclear technology to military use."

In March, Saudi Arabia plans to announce who will be awarded the multibillion-dollar contract for the construction of the nuclear reactors; one of the possible contenders is U.S.-based Westinghouse (which is owned by Toshiba). According to The Washington Post , this "poses a thorny choice between promoting U.S. companies and fighting nuclear proliferation. If the administration wants to boost the chances of a U.S. consortium led by Westinghouse, it may need to bend rules designed to limit nuclear proliferation in an unstable part of the world. That could heighten security risks and encourage other Middle Eastern countries to follow suit." Some are arguing against the weakening of these standards, saying that it's not worth it to trade the safety risks associated with nuclear material for possible short-term economic gains.

So, what's your take on this news from Saudi Arabia? What impact do you think the move toward nuclear power will have on oil prices and/or production? And do you think it's a good idea for the U.S. to "bend the rules" in this situation? Please leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Energy Articles of Note

" Eagle Energy: This Deep Value Is Ripe For A Strong Buy " By Laurentian Research

" Borr Drilling Buys Paragon Offshore " By Vladimir Zernov

" Transocean And Ensco, 2 World-Class OSDs At Fire Sale Prices " By Fluidsdoc

Energy Sector Bankruptcies for the Week Ended Feb. 23, 2018

Here's a list of the most recent bankruptcy announcements in the energy sector:

- None.

We should add that privately held Fieldwood Energy filed for Chapter 11 on Thursday, Feb. 22, the same day it said it would acquire Noble Energy's ( NE ) Gulf of Mexico assets in a deal worth about $700 million. Also, something we missed last week (on Feb. 6) was the Aubrey McClendon-founded shale driller Ascent Resources Marcellus having filed for Chapter 11. (Hat tip goes to Seeing Alpha author Raw Energy for this one, who also pointed out that the debt involved was approximately $1 billion.)

Feel free to add anything that we might have missed in the comments section below.

U.S. Oil Rig Count

As per Baker Hughes , the number of active U.S. oil drilling rigs rose for the fifth straight week.

Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report and Summary

Natural Gas Rig Count

Oil Production

As always, we encourage you to submit your own article by clicking here , if you haven't already done so.

See also MannKind: Scripts Still Flat, But Binary Events On The Horizon on seekingalpha.com

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: RIG , USO , UNG , ESV , NE

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