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"

Global Seasonal Oil Stock Draw In Jeopardy

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


OPEC has set as its goal to reduce global OECD oil inventories to their five-year average. In his opening address to the 172nd meeting of the OPEC conference, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Khalid A. Al-Falih, remarked, "The market is now well on its way toward rebalancing."

After the meeting, Mr. Al-Falih said in a press conference that the current production quotas will "do the trick" of rebalancing stocks to normal levels within six months. But they extended the cuts to nine months because of the seasonal decline in demand expected in the first quarter of 2018.

OPEC Khalid A. Al-Falih

In May, OPEC reported that OECD global inventories are 276 million above the 5-year average. OPEC estimated its production in the first quarter to be 31.944 million barrels per day (mmbd). Assuming April's production of 31.7 holds for the remainder of 2017, there will be a total global stock draw of just 29 million in 2017: Continue reading "Global Seasonal Oil Stock Draw In Jeopardy"

OPEC Lost Hedge Fund Long Oil Traders' Support

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo

The drop in crude oil prices in the international market after the decision by OPEC to extend its production cut through March 2018 is not a major concern for now, the Secretary General of the group, Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo said. He's not worried about lower prices.

He explained that OPEC is only concerned with the fundamentals of supply, demand and inventories. He is not concerned about other market conditions. Presumably, he means the sentiment of oil traders. Continue reading "OPEC Lost Hedge Fund Long Oil Traders' Support"

OPEC Caught a Tiger By The Tail

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


Oil prices peaked in this latest cycle at about $107/b in June 2014. Prices had dropped below $80/b by the OPEC meeting in November 2014, and OPEC had had enough of America's shale oil taking away their market share and declared a market share battle.

Prices dropped for more than a year before bottoming January 2015, and retesting that bottom again February. On Friday, February 12th, the March crude futures contract spiked 12.2% based on speculation of a possible OPEC agreement to cut oil production. Even though the four oil producers announced that they had tentatively agreed to "freeze" their production, the subsequent price increases have added a total of about $4 per barrel to the OPEC Basket Price.

Although OPEC has not cut one barrel of production, the market has altered its distribution of potential future oil prices, raising its probability-weighted expected value. The fact that OPEC and Russian producers are talking and have agreed to something has led the market to think there could be movement toward shoring up prices from their disastrously low levels.

OPEC seems to be learning this lesson. Venezuela oil minister Eulogio Del Pino Tweeted on Tuesday that "an expanded meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC producing countries that support production freeze will be held in mid-March." Such an announcement may ensure the price gains hold.

I had written on February 29th, 2016, ("OPEC Freeze Talk Is A Free Lunch"): Continue reading "OPEC Caught a Tiger By The Tail"