The Energy Information Administration updated its global supply/demand oil outlook for June. It shows total OECD oil inventories rising through November, ending the year about where they were last December.
This is in contrast to the rapid decline in stocks over the second half of 2017, and that enabled oil prices to rise. If this forecast is realized, it should have a moderating impact on prices, taking away some of the risk premium embedded in futures prices.
"Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea. Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!"
When asked to comment on Trump's tweet, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told CNBC, "Markets should determine price."
Perhaps Trump later made the kind of call he talked about a decade ago. In 2008, President Trump was interviewed by Jim Cramer about OPEC. In this video (starting 5:38), Trump stated:
"The biggest problem I never hear anybody talk about. I told you about it once. Every time they lower interest rates, the cartel, because I call it a cartel-- the illegal monopoly-- raises oil prices. So the monopoly, because that's what it is, a total illegal monopoly. If businesses ever formed OPEC, everybody would be put in jail. Every time a country hits oil, they are invited into the cartel. It's a disgrace. Now you have oil prices that are going to be over $100, and nobody in this country calls and says. 'Get that goddamn oil price down. You get it down. And you get it down fast.'"
Oil futures prices have broken above the trading range where they have been since February when the market was expecting supply and demand would balance quickly as a result of the OPEC/non-OPEC deals. But those hopes were dashed because the global demand was in a seasonal decline, and inventories remained stubbornly high.
Prices managed to break higher due to a combination of circumstances:
U.S. and Global Inventories
Hurricane Harvey in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM) disrupted refinery operations, causing product stocks to draw rapidly. It was followed by Hurricane Nate, which disrupted crude oil production in the GOM.
In addition, U.S. crude exports reached record levels recently, averaging 1.744 million barrels per day (mmbd) over the past four weeks, a gain of 293 % from the same weeks a year ago. Petroleum product exports have also been strong, averaging 5.125 mmbd in the same period, up 23% v. a year ago.
Together, these trends have reduced U.S. inventories by 40 million barrels since the week ending September 8th. Global OECD stocks have dropped about 51 million barrels from May through September, though this is largely due to normal seasonal trends. Continue reading "Oil Prices Break-Out of Trading Range"→