2018 U.S. Gasoline Season Outlook

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies - U.S. Gasoline


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"

Global Oil Stocks to Build in 2018

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


OPEC released its Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) for January, and its projections for 2018 imply a 29 million barrel global stock build, in contrast to 140 million barrel draw it estimated for 2017. As a result, it will not clear the glut, which OPEC estimates to be at 133 million barrels, at the end of November, based on the “latest five-year average.”

In 2017, OPEC production averaged about 32.5 million barrels per day (mbd), adjusting for the change in OPEC membership (i.e., with Indonesia’s 740,000 b/d).

global oil inventory 2017

In 2018, I have assumed OPEC production averages 33.2 mmbd, which is OPEC’s forecast (December) of its 2018 production. However, OPEC production averaged 32.416 mmbd in December.

global oil inventory 2018

OPEC projections imply that global stocks will build much more quickly in the first half of 2018 than they did during the same period in 2017. And the stock draws in the second half of 2018 are expected to be smaller than they were in 2017. Continue reading "Global Oil Stocks to Build in 2018"

Oil Market Outlook Deteriorating for OPEC

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


Arrogant OPEC members thought they could beat American shale oil producers into submission in a market share battle. But instead, they caught a tiger by the tail, and now the tiger is turning on them.

OPEC producers were bragging back in late 2014 that they had much lower costs of production than American shale oil producers and could easily win back market share by undercutting their prices. But they failed to take into account that they needed higher prices than shale oil producers because oil revenues largely support their national budgets.

Low oil prices caused huge national budget deficits in OPEC countries. They did hurt the smaller, leveraged shale producers; however, they were able to take advantage of the bankruptcy laws in the U.S., not a real option for the producing countries. Their best response is to devalue their currencies, but there are a host of economic issues associated with exercising that option.

Fresh data were reported by OPEC and the U.S. Energy Department recently. The data imply that global oil stocks will rise, instead of decline in 2017, even with the OPEC-non-OPEC production cutbacks. Continue reading "Oil Market Outlook Deteriorating for OPEC"