The Energy Report Wednesday January 11th 2012

What Is The Most Dangerous Job in Iran? Well these days it is probably being a nuclear scientist. Once again an Iranian Nuclear scientist was blown to smithereens. Now despite what you might think this had nothing to do a nuclear experiment gone bad, no it really has a lot to do with a bomb mysteriously placed below a Peugeot 405. It seems that nuclear scientists in Iran have some pretty cool cars. Reports that a nuclear scientist that worked at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan province near Tehran met with this unfortunate and timely demise. Natanz of course is said to have 8,000 centrifuges in operation and according to reports is one of two facilities that are enriching uranium in the country. The other is the underground facility of Qom that Iran denied ever existed until of course it had been discovered. Opps where did that come from?

And this is not the first time this has happened. In January of 2010 an Iranian university professor and nuclear scientist Massoud Ali Mohammadi was killed when his car blew up . Then in November 2010, nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari was killed in a similar fashion. Kind of make you think of changing professions now does it not. Iran is blaming Israel and the US. They are also blaming them for a series of cyber attacks on the computers in their nuclear facilities. Maybe it is an attack or maybe they just have Windows Vista.

This news gave oil a boost where already Iran is looking to try to hang onto their customers and ensure customer loyalty. According to Bloomberg News Iran cut the price of crude supplies loading in February to Asia relative to benchmark levels, quoting an official at National Iranian Oil Co. NIOC lowered Iranian Light exports to a premium of $2.26 a barrel above the average of Dubai and Oman oil, said the official, who asked not to be named, citing company policy. That compares with $4.36 for January. Iran Heavy, Forozan, Norooz and Soroosh were also lowered.

And in Nigeria supply could be cut as Nigeria's two oil workers' unions said that they might totally shut down Nigerian crude production as a nationwide strike over the removal of fuel subsidies in that country are causing allot of pain. Nigeria exports more than 2 million barrels of light sweet crude oil per day and might be hard to replace if Iran oil is lost. Keep an eye on this!

Still oil is subject to the massive mood swings surrounding the progress or the lack there of coming out of Europe! Yesterday all seemed well on the European front as the Euro soared and the dollar fell. Of course that seemed to change as if someone asked if anything was really accomplished.

Today Fitch warned that Italy may get a credit downgrade and one Italian political party is now supported leaving the Euro all together. The Wall Street Journal reported that "Fitch Ratings on Tuesday pointed to Italy as the euro-zone member that poses the greatest threat to the currency bloc's future, as the lack of a region wide plan to prevent the sovereign-debt crisis from spreading has coupled with the country's large debt burden and high borrowing costs. Those factors are a major reason Italy's credit rating is likely to be downgraded by the end of January, said David Riley, head of global sovereign ratings at Fitch, speaking at a conference in London. "Italy is the front line of this crisis," Mr. Riley said, adding that the country's elevated government-bond yields have "marked a profound intensification of the crisis."

MY Buddy Trilby Lundberg says that another Reason why gas prices rose was the end of the ethanol tax credit. Trilby told Bloomberg News that Wholesale prices were up 19.5 cents and at least part of the wholesale price increase came from the cancellation of the ethanol subsidy," Lundberg said yesterday. "It looks as though if crude oil prices didn't reverse themselves, we would see an additional five to 7 cents" a gallon for gasoline."

The EIA reports is today! The API showed an increase in crude supply of 397,000 barrels Gas stocks up 1.9 distillates up 846,000 barrels.

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Phil Flynn

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

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