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Speculators Bullish Despite Bearish Fundamentals

Friday, May 6, 2016

In the latest edition of the Numbers Report, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting figures put out this week in the energy sector. Each week we’ll dig into some data and provide a bit of explanation on what drives the numbers.

Let’s take a look.

1. Crude oil inventories continue to rise through first quarter

- Crude oil storage levels continued to climb despite the fact that prices for WTI and Brent are up about 70 percent since February.
- Inventories are above 3 billion barrels in OECD countries, sharply above the five-year average. In the United States, storage levels continue to break records. In the last week of April, inventories rose to 543 million barrels, once again setting a new record high.
- These data points show a dramatic disconnect between the run up in prices and the fundamentals. The IEA said recently that the bottom for oil prices is probably over. But with stocks this high, prices will bump up against a ceiling until inventories begin drawing down in earnest.

2. Chevron cash flow negative

- Several of the oil majors reported earnings over the past week. Chevron revealed a loss of $725 million in the first quarter, down from a $2.6 billion net profit in the first quarter of 2015.
- The result was not as bad as many had feared, given that oil prices are so low. But looking at Chevron’s cash flows is a bit more worrying.
- In the first quarter,…




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