Analysis Of Hurricane Harvey Impacts On The U.S. Oil Industry

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


Information from the Gulf of Mexico is developing each day, and the extent of damage from Harvey to the energy industry’s infrastructure is still largely unknown as of September 5th. I detail below the potential impacts on supply and demand for crude and petroleum products. I have also contrasted them to supply/demand responses to Hurricane Katrina (2005) followed by Hurricane Rita.

Crude Production

The best data show that about 324,000 b/d is shut down in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Also, up to 300,000 b/d of inland production may be affected in Eagle Ford.

Hurricane Katrina made its landfall on August 29, 2005, in Southeast Louisiana, not Texas, as a Category 3 hurricane. It caused significant damage to oil and gas industry infrastructure. It was followed by Hurricane Rita, which made landfall on September 24th, also as a Category 3 hurricane.

The initial impact on crude production was about 1.2 million barrels per day (mmbd). GOM production at that time was about 400,000 b/d lower than the most recent estimates.

U.S. Crude Production
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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"

Government Sells Low

Adam Feik - INO.com Contributor - Energies


What will oil prices be when the U.S. government begins selling tens of millions of barrels of oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in 2018?

The House passed a federal budget on Wednesday – which is reportedly on its way to likely Senate passage and Presidential signature – calling for the government to sell at least 58 million barrels of oil from the SPR over an 8-year period beginning in 2018. The SPR currently holds about 695 million barrels in 4 sites along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Per the budget bill, the U.S. may sell up to an additional $2 billion dollars’ worth of oil from the reserve to build new pipelines and otherwise modernize infrastructure. That program would represent an incremental 43.5 million barrels based on today’s prices, bringing the total number of barrels to be sold up to a possible 101.5 million. At today’s rates, that could add about $4.7 billion into the US Treasury.

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