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OPEC countries to reduce oil production up to 700,000 barrels a day

Last Wednesday, members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to reduce their daily production levels from an average of 33.2 million barrels in August to between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels later in the year. Each OPEC member's production limits will be decided after a meeting on November 30. Oil prices saw a rise of more than 6% on the news before tumbling again to $50 as of Brent trading Friday. Many experts see the cut in production as not enough to arrest the decline in oil's price caused by a global supply gut and competition with natural gas producers. Most also do not see a rebalancing of supply and demand until the middle of 2017. Nigeria, Libya and Iran will still be allowed to produce at maximum levels while Russia may not intend to cut its production.

Key Takeaway: 

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) say it will cut its production of oil between 200,000 to 700,000 barrels a day at the end of 2016, though the decision may not be enough to affect the price of oil in the long term due to oversupply and competition with natural gas producers.

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Publication Date: 
October 3, 2016

Yahoo hack brings to light insufficiency of SEC cyber disclosure rules

Yahoo recently announced that at least 500 million accounts were breached by hackers in 2014 blaming it on a state-sponsored actor. The company did not provide details on when the hack was discovered nor did it mention it during the sale of its core Internet business to Verizon. This announcement brings to light that existing SEC rules remain unclear as to what hacking incidents considered to have "materially adverse effects on businesses" need disclosure and the need to enforce them more aggressively to make companies comply. It also calls into question whether the current set of SEC rules is adequate to address disclosure of hacking incidents. According to a Reuters report, less than 100 of 9,000 public companies have disclosed a material data breach since 2010. There is currently no national requirement for companies to inform the public of data breaches.

Key Takeaway: 

The recent announcement of the hack on Yahoo in 2014 involving stolen data from more than 500 million accounts challenges SEC's existing set of rules on cyberattack disclosure, and highlights the need for it to be defined more clearly and enforced aggressively.

Market Disruptions: 
Transforming Business Models: 
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Publication Date: 
September 30, 2016

Man-made reservoirs emit a gigaton of carbon dioxide annually

Researchers found that man-made reservoirs emit a gigaton of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere a year, almost the same quantity a nation like Brazil emits. Brazil is the seventh largest emitter of greenhouse gas next to China, Europe and the US. Reservoirs also produce methane, gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, much faster than other systems due to large deposits of organic matter in the soil or those passed along from upstream. They can also emit another greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide. The review which will be published next week in BioScience is based on 200 earlier studies on the subject matter.

Key Takeaway: 

Scientists have concluded that man-made reservoirs cause a gigaton of carbon dioxide emissions to be released in the atmosphere per year, almost the same quantity as Brazil, and is also a significant source of methane, another potent greenhouse gas.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
September 29, 2016

UN will buy spaceship to help poor nations launch orbital experiments

The UN is planning to buy a spaceship from a US company to enable developing countries to launch their own scientific discoveries in space. The spaceship called Dream Chaser is a one of a kind orbital space plane made by a company called Sierra Nevada Space Systems. With the spacecraft, 14 nations will be able to conduct experiments in orbit over a two-week mission in 2021. It builds on a program that will let developing countries launch a cubesat satellite every year from Japan's module on the International Space Station. The UN may be looking to large non-profits to fund the mission as well as participating developing nations. Satellites which are getting cheaper with innovation and competition can be used to track the weather, monitor crops, provide telecommunications services and mitigate disasters, according to a Quartz report.

Key Takeaway: 

The United Nations is going to buy a US-made spacecraft to open access for space experiments to developing countries which could benefit from data collected by satellites in space.

Market Disruptions: 
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Publication Date: 
September 29, 2016

Report: More oil firms are investing in Industrial IoT

According to a Cisco report, more oil and gas companies are making investments in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), collecting terabytes of data a day while having yet to realize the potential of their data. Digitization in the industry could provide real-time access to data coming from cameras, sensors or satellites and enable faster and richer insights which can improve decision making, safety and production, while at the same time preventing potential disasters and reducing losses. Other benefits include decreased errors, cybersecurity and agile development. Cisco also says IIoT can increase profits by 11% and GDP by 8%. In a down market when companies are tempted to slash costs and resources, making the most efficient use of current oil rigs, for example, and raising the productivity of people and information at every stage of the operation can make a difference in the long term.

Key Takeaway: 

Cisco's new report found that more companies in the oil and gas industry are invested in the Industrial Internet of Things where data from assets can be used to improve decision-making, enhance safety and increase efficiency, productivity and profits.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
September 29, 2016

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