Iran Sanctions And OPEC's Deliberations Have Failed To Lift Oil Prices

OPEC+ members met over the weekend to discuss the oil market and the possible actions they may take at the next OPEC meetings scheduled for June 25th and 26th. OPEC’s press release reported:

Following its 14th Meeting, which took place on 19 May 2019, in Jeddah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) has reaffirmed its commitment to achieving a balanced market and working towards oil market stability on a sustainable basis with solid fundamentals.”

After the meeting, ministers spoke with reporters. According to reporting by CNBC:

Saudi Arabia’s influential oil minister, Khalid al-Falih, warned that global crude stockpiles are rising, threatening to swamp the world in oil and cause prices to collapse. Overall, the market is in a delicate situation. On the one hand, there is a lot of concern — and we acknowledge it — about disruptions and sanctions and supply interruptions. But on the other hand, we see inventories rising. We see plentiful supply around the world, which means we think, all in all, we should be in a comfortable situation in the weeks and months to come.” Continue reading "Iran Sanctions And OPEC's Deliberations Have Failed To Lift Oil Prices"

World Oil Supply And Price Outlook, May 2019

The Energy Information Administration released its Short-Term Energy Outlook for May, and it shows that OECD oil inventories likely bottomed last June at 2.806 billion barrels. It estimated that stocks rose by 20 million barrels in April to 2.860 billion, 51 million barrels higher than a year ago.

Throughout the balance of 2019, OECD inventories are expected to rise modestly. At year-end, EIA projects stocks at 2.870 million barrels, 11 million more than at the end of 2018.

For 2020, EIA projects that stocks will build another 35 million barrels to end the year at 2.905 billion. The non-extension of waivers to Iran’s sanctions implies lower OPEC output for the period, and this factor has lowered the EIA’s stock forecast materially.

oecd oil inventories

Oil Price Implications

I updated my linear regression between OECD oil inventories and WTI crude oil prices for the period 2010 through 2018. As expected, there are periods where the price deviates greatly from the regression model. But overall, the model provides a reasonably high r-square result of 80 percent. Continue reading "World Oil Supply And Price Outlook, May 2019"

U.S. Crude Production In February Reflects Unscheduled GOM Maintenance

The Energy Information Administration reported that February crude oil production averaged a surprising 11.683 million barrels per day (mmbd), down 187,000 b/d from January. The drop was totally the result of unscheduled maintenance in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), which averaged 1.719 mmbd. Production had been over 1.9 mmbd in November through January.

Crude Production

Despite drops in January and February, crude production still rose by a spectacular 1.219 mmbd from June through February, a period when capacity takeaway constraints had been expected to slow down the growth in Texas.

Production in Texas rose by 69,000 b/d to a record 4.890 mmbd. That was nearly offset by a decline in North Dakota of 64,000 b/d due to seasonal factors. Continue reading "U.S. Crude Production In February Reflects Unscheduled GOM Maintenance"

Oil Market Readies For Iran Sanction Waivers, Round 2

Crude oil production in Iran had reached 3.84 million barrels per day (mmbd) in the period following the lifting of sanctions by the Obama Administration. But following President Trump’s announcement in May 2018 that the U.S. would re-impose sanctions in November, demand for Iranian crude dropped to 3.7 mmbd by October. In November, the Trump Administration allowed limited waivers to the sanctions to eight countries, but Iranian production dropped by another 700,000 b/d by March.

The waivers were designed to terminate on May 2nd, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced April 22nd that the waivers would not be extended. "This decision is intended to bring Iran's oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue," the White House said in a statement.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Iran’s exports of crude and condensates are running about 1.1 mmbd in April. President Trump tweeted Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC had assured him that they would make up the impact of any decline in Iran’s exports:

Iran

In the months leading up to last November, KSA had increased its output to 11.1 mmbd, at the request of the White House, to ensure that oil supplies would be adequate once the Iranian sanctions took effect in November. But Trump’s granting of the waivers immediately created an oversupply in the global oil market, and oil prices collapsed as a result. Continue reading "Oil Market Readies For Iran Sanction Waivers, Round 2"

World Oil Supply And Price Outlook, April 2019

The Energy Information Administration released its Short-Term Energy Outlook for April, and it shows that OECD oil inventories likely bottomed last June at 2.806 billion barrels. It estimated stocks fell by 18 million barrels In March to 2.829 billion, 23 million barrels higher than a year ago.

However, throughout 2019, OECD inventories are expected to rise rather quickly through November. At year-end, EIA projects 2091 to be with 2.915 million barrels, 53 million more than at the end of 2018.

For 2020, EIA projects that stocks will build another 70 million barrels to end the year at 2.985 billion. That would push stocks into glut territory.

oecd oil inventories

Oil Price Implications

I updated my linear regression between OECD oil inventories and WTI crude oil prices for the period 2010 through 2018. As expected, there are periods where the price deviates greatly from the regression model. But overall, the model provides a reasonably high r-square result of 80 percent. Continue reading "World Oil Supply And Price Outlook, April 2019"