Quantitative easing hopes may be driving silver and gold higher but suddenly seems lost on the oil complex. While QE fever swept some parts of the commodity complex oil decompressed as it seems that the geo-political risk was unchanged. The fact that some refineries and off shore production is coming back on line and concerns about a weakening manufacturing sector helped reverse oil's fortunes yesterday.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) reported that offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico are making, personnel remain evacuated on a total of 21 production platforms, equivalent to 3.52 percent of the 596 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Production platforms are the structures located offshore from which oil and natural gas are produced. Unlike drilling rigs, which typically move from location to location, production facilities remain in the same location throughout a project's duration.

The BSEE says that personnel still remain evacuated from 2 rigs, equivalent to 2.63 percent of the 76 rigs currently operating in the Gulf. Rigs can include several types of self-contained offshore drilling facilities including jackup rigs, submersibles and semisubmersibles. Oil and gas operators continue to assess their facilities and are submitting damage reports to BSEE as required. Reports indicate mainly minor damage at this point.

From operator reports, it is estimated that approximately 51.51 percent of the current daily oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. It is also estimated that approximately 29 percent of the current daily natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in.

Refinery news also helped sink products that had been soaring on refinery come back disappointment. Gas prices seemed to revers when it was reported that Phillips 66 Belle Chase refinery is getting ready to restart after reports of oil leaks and power outages. Also reports that Venezuela's Amuay oil refinery may return to full capacity in days.

The EU is in a showdown with Russia's Gazprom over fair pricing. The European Union started an antitrust probe over its pricing for natural gas sales in central and Eastern Europe. The European Commission is investigating whether Gazprom imposed unfair prices by linking natural gas and oil prices, prevented gas from being traded between countries and hindered the diversification of supply. The EU Is saying that they have 30 days of supply in case Russia decides to cut them off but this could put more pressure on Gazprom who had hoped to have a never ending stranglehold over Europe with their monopoly on gas supply. Yet know with the US and other's finding more sources of Gas Europe can risk angering the monopolistic beast.

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Phil Flynn