Oil pulls back as Iraq’s army makes a stand in Tikrit battle hard to retake the city. Iraq’s army is having some success against the insurgents and a declaration by ISIS could splinter the rebels raising hopes that the oil exports in the South of Iraq will be untouched. Yet with a storm developing in the Atlantic will Gulf-of Mexico supply be untouched?
Reuters reports that a low-pressure area located about 210 miles east-southeast of St. Augustine, Florida has a 60 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Monday. “Environmental conditions are forecast to become more conducive for development during the next few days,” the Miami-based weather forecasters said. A tropical depression is likely to form by mid-week while the system moves slowly southwest ward, then north and northeast ward near the southeastern United States coast, the NHC added. The storm right now seems to be north of production area so the energy markets are not that worried yet.
In Iraq, Russia is sending help to the Iraqi government in the form of planes. Fox News is reporting that “the leaders of an Al Qaeda splinter group that has seized vast portions of northern and western Iraq have declared the establishment of an Islamic state and demanded allegiance from other Muslim groups.”
In an audio statement posted online that coincided with the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a spokesman for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), announced that the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was the “caliph,” or leader, of a state whose territory extended from the city of Aleppo in northwestern Syria, to Diyala province in northeastern Iraq.
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