Fears of potential shortages from the implosion of Venezuela’s production, and the imposition of sanctions on Iran, have catapulted the Brent oil price marker to $80. However, there are great uncertainties about how much oil supplies will be disrupted over the balance of 2018, and what the supply response will be from OPEC and other producers, such as Russia and the United States.
Venezuela’s production fell by 45,000 b/d in April from March, averaging 1.47 million barrels per day. The April decline was equal to the average monthly drop thus far in 2018. Whether the rate of decline will increase, or stay the same, is unknown, but what is known is that oil workers have been leaving the country, unpaid.
The May 20th presidential election has been called a sham. And President Trump is considering sanctioning Venezuela's oil or prohibiting the crude to be sold in the U.S. If he does, Venezuela’s economy is expected to collapse because it is totally dependent on oil revenues. Continue reading "Oil Market Risks For 2018: Upside Then Downside"
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that February crude oil production averaged 10.264 million barrels per day (mmbd), up 260,000 b/d from January, setting a new all-time record for the U.S. The large increase reflected a gain from a level that was constrained by weather issues.
The largest increases were recorded in Texas (106,000 b/d), the Gulf of Mexico (89,000 b/d) and New Mexico (46,000 b/d).
The EIA-914 Petroleum Supply Monthly (PSM) figure was 26,000 b/d lower than the weekly data reported by EIA in the Weekly Petroleum Supply Report (WPSR), averaged over the month, of 10.290 mmbd. EIA’s most recent weekly estimate for the week ending April 20th was 10.586 mmbd. Continue reading "US February Crude Production Shows Big Gain"
OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) for April featured an article on the summer petroleum products market. It observed that the U.S. is typically the key driver for products markets in the run-up to the summer driving season, and indicators are pointing to a positive and optimistic outlook.
It cites year-over-year January combined gasoline and diesel growth of 845,000 b/d. It states that the weekly data in February and March further supported this positive trend. And it concludes U.S. gasoline and distillates demand will grow by around a combined 992,000 b/d in 2018.
But a closer examination of gasoline demand and consumption estimates provide a different picture. Also, the MOMR totally ignored the supply side of the market, and last summer’s Hurricane Harvey and Mexico’s refinery problems contributed to support that is unlikely to be repeated this summer. Continue reading "2018 U.S. Gasoline Season Outlook"
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), world oil production will exceed demand for much of the balance of 2018, and therefore global OECD oil inventories are projected to rise. Specifically, the EIA estimates that OECD inventories bottomed at the end of March at 2.784 million barrels (mmb) and will rise by 80 mmb through year-end, up 26 mmb from December 2017. And its projections through 2019 show another net stock gain of 34 mmb to end the year at 2.898 mmb.
The DOE forecasts for 2018 and 2019 are based on dramatically different seasonal stock changes that occurred in 2017. OECD stocks fell by over 147 mmb from August through December, according to the latest estimates. But in 2018, it is predicting a net stock build over those same months.
In 2019, it is forecasting a build similar to 2018, but without a first-quarter draw. Continue reading "Updated World Oil Forecast For April"
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. petroleum inventories (excluding SPR) fell by 6.9 million barrels (mmb) last week. They stand about 52 mmb lower than the rising, rolling 5-year average and are about 149 mmb lower than a year ago. However, comparing total inventories to the pre-glut average (end-2014), stocks are 127 mmb above that average.
Commercial crude stocks fell by 2.6 mmb, and SPR stocks were unchanged last week. Gasoline stocks fell by 1.7 mmb, and distillate stocks fell 2.0 mmb. Primary demand dropped 256,000 b/d to average 20.675 million barrels per day (mmbd). Continue reading "Analysis Of The EIA Crude Oil Statistics"