• 1 hour Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 2 hours Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 20 hours Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 21 hours Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 21 hours China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 22 hours UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 23 hours Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 23 hours VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 1 day Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 1 day Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 1 day OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 2 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 2 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 2 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 2 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 2 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 2 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 5 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 5 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 5 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 5 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 5 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 5 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 6 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 6 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 6 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 6 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 6 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
  • 6 days India Needs Help To Boost Oil Production
  • 6 days Shell Buys One Of Europe’s Largest EV Charging Networks
  • 6 days Oil Throwback: BP Is Bringing Back The Amoco Brand
  • 6 days Libyan Oil Output Covers 25% Of 2017 Budget Needs
  • 6 days District Judge Rules Dakota Access Can Continue Operating
  • 7 days Surprise Oil Inventory Build Shocks Markets
  • 7 days France’s Biggest Listed Bank To Stop Funding Shale, Oil Sands Projects
  • 7 days Syria’s Kurds Aim To Control Oil-Rich Areas
  • 7 days Chinese Teapots Create $5B JV To Compete With State Firms
  • 7 days Oil M&A Deals Set To Rise
  • 7 days South Sudan Tightens Oil Industry Security
  • 8 days Over 1 Million Bpd Remain Offline In Gulf Of Mexico
Alt Text

Aggressive OPEC Pushes Oil Prices Up

Oil prices are once again…

Alt Text

3 Stocks To Play Today’s Hottest Market

Big automakers have jumped on…

Alt Text

With A World Awash In Oil, Kazakhstan Faces Fuel Crisis

Kazakhstan is struggling with a…

Crude Holding Around $40 On Bullish EIA Data

Gas Pump

Crude is rebounding today after the EIA reported a moderate build to crude inventories, but a quite unexpected and significant draw to gasoline inventories, pushing aside oversupply fears for now… Hark, here are five things to consider in energy markets today:

There’s quite a war of rhetoric raging at the moment betwixt bulls and bears as to whether the current price drop below $40 is going to continue. In the bear corner we have the compounding

1) bearish influence of high global crude stocks combined with high product inventories, in addition to lesser disruptions. While in the bull corner, we have expectations that non-OPEC production is going to continue to drop, bringing the market into balance.

While it is a compelling argument that fundamentals will tighten next year, given the ongoing lack of investment in the oil patch across the globe, and the dearth of projects coming online as we shuffle into 2018, what is less persuasive is that we will experience a significant rebound as we exit summer.

The gruesome twosome of lower product demand and refinery maintenance look set to keep a lid on crude prices in the near-term. All the while we have U.S. dollar gyrations in the background, leaving bulls and bears more like a push-me-pull-you.

2) Two examples of the current bull-bear pull are being played out in regard to Libya and Nigeria. While Libyan production has been mired at ~350,000 bpd so far this year, expectations for rising production have been stoked by a merging of the country’s two national oil companies, recent U.S. airstrikes on the IS stronghold of Sirte, and the potential re-opening of ports. But similar to the tale of the boy crying wolf, much of the market is skeptical about return of Libyan barrels given too many false starts in recent years.

The second example comes in the form of Nigerian crude production and exports. After sabotage to various oil pipelines and facilities earlier in the year, hopes have been intermittently stoked in recent months of an end to violence via talk of truces, only for further sabotage to quash these expectations.

In recent days, Nigeria has resumed payments to former militants in an effort to curry favor and curb further attacks. The government is trying to engage militants in a ceasefire after agreeing to pay 65,000 naira (or $206) per month to each of 30,000 ex-militants in the Niger Delta, who are now subsequently paid to oversee security in the region.

While skepticism surrounds a ceasefire, force majeure is in place for two key crude streams – Qua Iboe and Forcados. As our ClipperData illustrate below, loadings of these grades have dropped off considerably this year – now down to a new low:

(Click to enlarge)

3) The chart below shows how the January 2017 contract for natural gas is trading at a premium to October 2016 – especially in the context of the previous year – as concerns increase of a cold winter, and its detrimental impact on storage. Related: Are Companies Like SolarCity Wasting Taxpayer Money?

(Click to enlarge)

After an El Niño-inspired mild winter boosted natural gas storage to lofty heights, a hot summer has led to a significant narrowing in the storage surpluses. At a current level of 3,294 Bcf, storage has narrowed to a 15 percent surplus to last year, after being as wide as 69 percent back in spring. The five-year average has narrowed to 19 percent, after being as wide as 54 percent. Related: End of Driving Season Could Send Oil Back to February Lows

As the prospect of a cold winter emerges, the ‘widowmaker’ – the premium on the March 2017 contract to April – is on the move. Although the premium is nowhere near what we have seen in previous years (oddly, I wrote about this back in 2014, nearly two years ago to the day), it is an indication of trepidation about colder times ahead, and shrinking storage levels.

(Click to enlarge)

p.s. it is called the ‘widowmaker’ given its propensity to see extreme volatility – leaving some traders in desolation.

4) Delta’s Trainer refinery has made a choice between a rock and a hard place – written about in a company memo – by sacrificing profits and choosing to produce as much jet fuel as possible to save the airline money. While jet fuel margins are hurting the refinery’s bottom line, it is a sacrificial act to lower fuel costs for Delta – the airline’s top operating expense.

5) Finally, last week we discussed how coal prices are on the rise, and specifically in Asia. As China has cut back on production, it has not only been importing more, but it is also drawing down its inventories. The chart below illustrates this drop rather well. Lest we forget, China relies on coal for ~65 percent of its energy needs, accounting for nearly half of all global consumption.

(Click to enlarge)

By Matt Smith

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

 




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • RJE on August 03 2016 said:
    This constant daily hype causing prices to jump up and down must be making a certain group of people very rich. Soon the truth of the world's energy situation will come to light and reality will set in. Market manipulation is not the reality.
  • Knave Dave on August 03 2016 said:
    While gasoline stocks dipped, that's not as much good news for oil as it sounds. Gasoline stocks are dipping because refineries have already stopped making gasoline. They've stopped making gasoline because they have enough in storage to carry them all the way through the summer season and STILL have a surplus.

    So, the downside is that this is when the surplus shifts back from a surplus of refined product to a greater surplus of crude. They won't be buying as much now that they are downshifting a month early from their summer runs.

    The throughput of crude was maintained while lots of gasoline was being made. That mostly ends now, and crude gets clogged up in the back channels once again.

    --Knave Dave
    http://thegreatrecession.info/blog/slippery-oil-prices-continue-slide/

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News