- Saudi Arabia is trying to pull out all the stops, so media reports say, citing anonymous sources, upping the ante for OPEC members by asking them to consider cutting not just 600,000 bpd more as earlier reported, but 1 million bpd more. The additional cuts, if members agree, would last through Q2. The rumor that OPEC is considering going even bigger with the cuts comes as oil prices are set today to finish out their worst week in over four years as the coronavirus continues to plague the oil markets.
- Short-selling of the US crude grade WTI has exploded since the beginning of the year - tripling to a level not seen in four months. Normally, a buying frenzy might ensue over these lower oil prices, but significant fears have taken hold as health officials issue new warnings that the world should no longer be worrying about if a coronavirus pandemic will hit, but rather when it will hit. Net long positions for WTI dropped 22%, while long-only bets fell 6.7%.
- The EIA is forecasting record nat gas inventories this year, estimating a 12% increase in nat gas in storage ending March 31 - the end of the heating season - above the five-year average. The increase is attributable not only to the black swan COVID-19 event that has decimated demand in the world’s largest oil importer, China, but a mild winter temperature-wise combined with production increases. The EIA says we should expect inventories to stay above the five-year average for the…