World Oil Supply, Demand And Price Outlook, November 2018

The Energy Information Administration released its Short-Term Energy Outlook for November, and it shows that OECD oil inventories likely bottomed in June at 2.807 billion barrels. It estimated a large 20 million barrel gain for October. Though it forecasts that stocks will drop in December to 2.867 billion, that is 50 million barrels higher than in the October outlook.

Throughout 2019, OECD inventories are generally expected to rise, reaching 3.0 billion barrels in August. It projects ending the year with 138 million barrels more than at the end of 2018 in glut territory.

OECD Oil Inventories

The moment of truth has come, and it appears that the sanctions will cut less of Iran’s production and exports than has been added by OPEC+ producers and the U.S. That is why oil prices have been dropping for eight straight sessions.

Oil Price Implications

I performed a simple linear regression between OECD oil inventories and WTI crude oil prices for the period 2008 through 2017. 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 79 percent. Continue reading "World Oil Supply, Demand And Price Outlook, November 2018"

World Oil Supply, Demand And Price Outlook, October 2018

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its Short-Term Energy Outlook for October, and it shows that OECD oil inventories likely bottomed in July at 2.806 billion barrels. It shows inventories rising in the third quarter, contrary to the normal seasonal trend. However, it forecasts that stocks will drop in December to 2.817 billion after the Iranian sanctions are expected to go into effect.

Throughout 2019, OECD inventories are generally expected to rise, ending the year with 98 million barrels more than at the end of 2018. The expected drop in Iranian production, due to the U.S. sanctions, is forecast to be more-than-offset by increases from other producers, such as the U.S., Canada and the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.

oil inventories

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has recently stated that KSA can produce at least 12 million barrels per day. If it does increase output to that level, this would be a major “surprise” to world markets since its production has never exceeded 11 million. Continue reading "World Oil Supply, Demand And Price Outlook, October 2018"

Saudi Crown Prince Claims Lost Iranian Barrels Will Be Offset

Back in 1973, Saudi Arabia took a very aggressive move against the U.S. by starting the Arab oil embargo:

Saudi Crown Prince

But the Trump Administration has taken a strong position against Iran, Saudi Arabia’s nemesis. KSA also depends on the U.S. for its protection as well as its economic development. The current relationship between Washington and Riyadh could not be better:

"I love working with him (Trump)." - Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, October 5, 2018

Saudi Crown Prince
Photo Courtesy Of AFP)

Prior to announcing the U.S. pull-out of the Iranian nuclear deal in May, the White House had secured assurances from producers, namely Saudi Arabia, that any disruptions in Iran’s exports would be offset by higher production by countries with spare capacity, according to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. The Saudi energy minister confirmed it. Continue reading "Saudi Crown Prince Claims Lost Iranian Barrels Will Be Offset"

World Oil Supply, Demand And Price Outlook, September 2018

The Energy Information Administration released its Short-Term Energy Outlook for September, and it shows that OECD oil inventories likely bottomed in July at 2.804 billion barrels. It shows inventories rising in the third quarter, contrary to the usual seasonal trend. However, it forecasts that stocks will drop in December to 2.798 billion after the Iranian sanctions are expected to go into effect.

Throughout 2019, OECD inventories are generally expected to rise, ending the year with 72 million barrels more than at the end of 2017. The anticipated drop in Iranian production, due to the U.S. sanctions, is forecast to be offset by increases from other producers, such as the U.S., Canada and the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.

World Oil Supply

Saudi Arabia has recently stated that it can produce at least 12 million barrels per day. If it does increase output to that level, this would be a major “surprise” to world markets since its production has never exceeded 11 million. Continue reading "World Oil Supply, Demand And Price Outlook, September 2018"

Oil Market Scenarios And Risks: 4Q18

Major uncertainties loom toward the end of the year when sanctions are currently scheduled to go into effect by the U.S. regarding Iran. The range of potential outcomes is large, as it is possible that a deal may be reached with Iran which avoids sanctions (Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a speech Sunday did not rule out peace between the U.S. and Iran), or Iran increases its exports to China and India, offsetting decreases to European countries. But the base case should assume some loss, on the order of 600,000 b/d.

President Trump has a few policy options to manage the size of the loss:

  • Pressuring the Saudis and other Gulf producers to maximize their output
  • Granting waivers so that more exports can flow
  • Ordering drawdowns of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, potentially coordinated with the International Energy Agency

But Iran’s production is not the only risk. Venezuela’s production is in a meltdown and production may drop to just one million barrels per day by the end of the year. Whether it could stabilize at that level is an open question and is sure to provide a risk premium to oil futures prices.

I created three scenarios to develop a range of likely global inventory levels and future oil prices. The base case “demand for OPEC crude” is from OPEC’s own July Monthly Oil Market Report. In all three scenarios, I assume production in Venezuela drops to one million barrels per day (mmbd) by 1Q19 and stabilizes there. I also assume that Saudi production rises to 11 mmbd and remains at that level and production increases in the UAE and Kuwait. Continue reading "Oil Market Scenarios And Risks: 4Q18"