U.S. Crude Production Eased In December

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies - U.S. Crude Production

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that December U.S. crude production averaged 9.949 million barrels per day (mmbd) in December, off 108,000 b/d from November. The primary cause of the decline was unexpected seasonal factors, which caused production in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) to drop by 131,000 b/d and output in North Dakota to dip by 15,000 b/d. The EIA had expected a 30,000 b/d dip in GOM production. Meanwhile, production in Texas and New Mexico reached new historically-high levels of 3.933 mmbd and 556,000 b/d, rising 36,000 b/d and 26,000 b/d, respectively.

It is worth noting that EIA also revised its November estimate up by 19,000 b/d to 10.057 mmbd. As a result, November 2017 broke the November 1970 production record of 10.044 mmbd.

Even with December’s seasonal drop, the EIA-914 Petroleum Supply Monthly (PSM) figure was still 193,000 b/d higher than the week data reported by EIA in the Weekly Petroleum Supply Report (WPSR), averaged for the month, of 9.756 mmbd. EIA’s model failed to forecast the surge in production which began in August and totaled 846,000 b/d through November. Continue reading "U.S. Crude Production Eased In December"

Oil Market Waiting For A Catalyst

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies

On November 15th, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said, “We need to recognize that by the end of March we’re not going to be at the level we want to be which is the five-year average, that means an extension of some sort.”

He went on to say that Saudi Arabia favors making an extension decision at the OPEC meeting at the end of this month. “My preference is to give clarity to the market and announce on November 30 what we’re going to do.”

At the conclusion of the last OPEC meeting in May, the Saudi minister had stated that the current production quotas will “do the trick” of rebalancing stocks to normal levels within six months. Earlier this month, the DOE projected that global OECD stocks at end-2017 would be right where they were at end-2016. And it projected that 2018 inventories will be higher, not lower.

Russia’s continued participation seems to be a linchpin, and the Russian energy minister, Alexander Novak, reportedly met with Russian oil producers about their view of extending the production deal. According to TASS, everyone but Gazprom Neft agreed to a six-month extension, not the nine-month extension favored by Mr. Al-Falih. Gazprom Neft expects to launch new projects in 2018. Continue reading "Oil Market Waiting For A Catalyst"