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Technical Issues Wreak Havoc On Crude Futures

One gets very accustomed to good things and it is certainly true for daring presidential tweets, impossible to discern whether it is a genuine emotional outburst or an irregular thought-out rebuke. The latest “please relax and take it easy” tweet aimed at OPEC will certainly become a classic gem for energy bugs, yet in the meantime, it has managed to cause some trouble. Oil prices declined some 3.5 percent on Monday after the tweet went out, however on Tuesday already they bounced back partially following OPEC’s assurances that it would stick to the charted production cut commitments.

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Despite a global glitch at CME Group on Wednesday that halted trading for three hours, WTI traded at end of business hours on Wednesday at 57 USD per barrel, whilst Brent Dated moved within the 66.5-67 USD per barrel interval.

1. Five Weeks of Consecutive Growth for US Crude Commercial Stocks

• US commercial crude stocks rose 3.7MMbbl to 454.5MMbbl during the week ended February 15, bringing them more than 25 MMbbl above the 5-year average.
• As for preliminary results on the week ended February 22, there were so far diverging indicators as API reported an upcoming stock draw of 4.2MMbbl, whilst a Platts survey anticipated a 4MMbbl buildup.
• US crude exports have jumped significantly week-on-week, by 1.2mbpd to a whopping 3.6mbpd, however, they were counteracted by an even higher increase in crude imports, standing at 1.3mbpd over week (to 7.5mbpd).

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• Gasoline stocks have declined by 1.5MMbbl to 258.3MMbbl, edging it closer to the 5-year statistical range which it had surpassed in December 2018.
• Similarly to gasoline, distillate stocks dropped 1.5MMbbl to 138.7MMbbl (roughly the same level it was exactly a year ago), some 1.8MMbbl below the 5-year average.

2. Oman Feels the Urge to Merge

• Oman has announced it would merge its national oil company OOC with the state-owned refiner Orpic, streamlining the two into 2 main business lines – upstream and downstream.
• The merger has been raised in 2017 already, with the main appointments now emerging out of the haze.
• The Omani national oil firm will be headed by Musab al-Mahruqi, former head of Orpic in 2010-2016, whilst the current OOC head Isam al-Zadjali will take charge of the upstream division.
• The upcoming…




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