Oil Market Outlook Deteriorating With OPEC's Production Rise

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


According to OPEC, global OECD oil inventories fell 22 million barrels in June to end at 3.033 billion. But that figure is 252 million barrels above its five-year average. OPEC has targeted reducing those inventories to the average level, but its own supply-demand projections imply that goal will not be met through 2018, assuming it maintains production at the July 2018 level. In fact, there will be a 45 million barrel build in 2017, and an additional 162 million barrel build in 2018, even if production does not rise after the extension ends in March 2018. This implies that oil prices will need to be below marginal production costs for some time in order to limit production growth.

July Production

OPEC reported that production rose by 173,000 b/d in July to average 32.869 million barrels per day (mmbd). OPEC’s 32.5 mmbd ceiling included Indonesia but did not in Equatorial Guinea, and so the adjusted July figure was 33.449. This implies that OPEC produced 949,000 b/d above its ceiling, a large failure, especially considering that it had been claiming to be 100% (or more) compliant with its quotas. Continue reading "Oil Market Outlook Deteriorating With OPEC's Production Rise"

Analysis Of Saudi Export Reduction For August

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


On July 24th, Saudi energy minister, Khalid Al-Falih, announced that Saudi Arabia would limit its exports to 6.6 million barrels a day (mmbd) in August. He noted that other producers were still exporting larger volumes of oil than their production cuts imply.

“We are not doing this to allow other countries to free ride and undercut the agreement by overproducing,” said Mr. Al-Falih, reflecting a high level of frustration. Observers described Mr. Al-Fahil as “very nervous” over the weekend.

Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih. PHOTO: IGOR RUSSAK/ZUMA PRESS

I believe he sensed or was advised that oil prices may drop precipitously if OPEC only reported continued-high compliance. Last Friday, John Kilduff had said this was a “make or break” meeting, and “that if nothing comes out of this meeting, the cartel and Russia will be punished mightily.” Continue reading "Analysis Of Saudi Export Reduction For August"

Where Will OPEC's Cuts Affect Imports, Inventories?

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


OPEC agreed to cut oil production by 1.164 million barrels per day beginning in January. Non-OPEC producers agreed to cut production around 560,000 b/d. The agreements were silent on exports.

Thus far, U.S. crude oil imports have been rising, despite the OPEC-non-OPEC cuts. In the year-to-date, net crude imports averaged 7.583 million barrels per day, up 2.7% v. the same period last year.

U.S. Net Crude Imports

U.S. crude imports from OPEC, in total, and Saudi Arabia, in particular, remain at high levels seven weeks into the cut. Crude imports from OPEC countries averaged 3.248 mmbd over the past 4 weeks, 14% higher than the same weeks last year. Continue reading "Where Will OPEC's Cuts Affect Imports, Inventories?"

Why U.S. Crude Imports Might Not Drop Despite OPEC's Cuts

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


U.S. oil inventories have increased by 20 million barrels since OPEC’s cut went into effect. Preliminary estimates of imports from OPEC members reveal an increase in the four-week trend of 77,000 b/d thus far in January from end-December. The largest increase, 148,000 b/d, was from Saudi Arabia.

U.S. Crude and Petroleum Product Stocks

I also observed that Saudi Arabia and Russia have masqueraded seasonal declines as their cuts. The Saudi cut of 486,000 b/d is a typical decline from production in the summer, when its domestic demand peaks. This year, instead of reducing its production after the summer, as it normally does, it waited until the OPEC meeting. (The graph below shows the seasonal decline in production from summer peak to the autumn in each year.) Continue reading "Why U.S. Crude Imports Might Not Drop Despite OPEC's Cuts"

OPEC's Claim To Eliminate The Oil Glut By June Unsupported By Data

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


OPEC reported in its January Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) that OECD commercial stocks fell to 2.993 billion barrels, around 271 million barrels above the latest five-year average. Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Khalid Al-Falih, stated last week that production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC countries may reduce global oil inventories to the five-year average by June thereby rendering a continuation of the cuts unnecessary.

But three closely-watched sources of energy data do not support such a drop in global oil inventories. The Energy Information Administration (EIA), the International Energy Agency (IEA) and OPEC itself published their monthly reports in January, attempting to include impacts of the production cuts. Two of the sources, EIA and OPEC, provide data that show (or imply) stock builds over the first half, and the IEA data show a drawdown but not of the magnitude suggested by Mr. Al-Fahil. Continue reading "OPEC's Claim To Eliminate The Oil Glut By June Unsupported By Data"