Category Archives: oil

Hedge Funds Bet on Fuels Over Crude as Storm Trade Persists – Bloomberg

The post-Harvey buzz over fuels is making U.S. crude look like the poor stepchild of hedge funds.Since the storm battered the heart of America’s refining industry last month, bets on rising gasoline and diesel prices have surged for three straight weeks to the most bullish in years. But when it comes to West Texas Intermediate crude, skepticism is prevailing.It all boils down to where the supply glut is. While U.S. fuel stockpiles have plummeted — with a record draw from gasoline storage tanks — oil inventories rose as crude-processing plants in Texas struggled to get back on their feet. That’s prevented WTI from closing above $50 a barrel even though last week was the best for the U.S. benchmark since July.“The numbers are an assertion that they view the fundamentals for those markets as the strongest in years,” Tim Evans, a Citigroup Global Markets analyst in New York, said of the enthusiasm over fuels. “And that may be appropriate, given all that’s happened with the hurricane.”

Source: Hedge Funds Bet on Fuels Over Crude as Storm Trade Persists – Bloomberg

Bakken oil in demand after Hurricane Harvey | North Dakota News | bismarcktribune.com

Bakken crude and other light, sweet crude oils are in demand in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a North Dakota official said Friday.After the hurricane, analysts are seeing a $4 to $5 premium for each barrel of Bakken crude over West Texas Intermediate oil at Clearbrook, Minn., said Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority.“The refiners are finding value in running these light, sweet crude barrels,” Kringstad said. “They’re easier to process and they have a higher yield of the products that have been in demand since the storm, gasolines and diesel fuels.”Kringstad said he’ll continue to monitor whether the price shifts will affect the state’s oil transportation trends. The price for a barrel of WTI was $49.90 on Friday afternoon, according to Bloomberg.North Dakota oil production increased 1.4 percent in July to an average of nearly 1.05 million barrels per day, the Department of Mineral Resources said Friday.Natural gas production increased 1.35 percent to an average of nearly 1.88 billion cubic feet per day, according to the preliminary figures.“Not huge jumps, but very positive,” said Director Lynn Helms.Seventy-six percent of oil was transported by pipeline in July and 10 percent transported by rail, Kringstad said. Oil production and transportation figures are released two months later.With more barrels being transported by pipeline with the addition of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Kringstad estimates about 100,000 barrels to 130,000 barrels a day leave the state by rail. That’s equivalent to a little more than one train a day on average, Kringstad said.

Source: Bakken oil in demand after Hurricane Harvey | North Dakota News | bismarcktribune.com

New pipeline capacity and other infrastructure changes can accommodate increasing Permian crude oil production

Increasing crude oil production in the Permian basin of western Texas and eastern New Mexico is filling available pipeline capacity, putting modest downward pressure on West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil priced at Midland, Texas compared with WTI at Cushing, Oklahoma. However, the Midland versus Cushing discount, which recently widened to more than $1 per barrel (b), is unlikely to be either as large or as persistent in 2017 as it was following the rapid increase in Permian production over 2010-14. Pipeline capacity expansions and other market changes now underway appear poised to facilitate the efficient disposition of higher volumes of Permian crude oil.Compared with other oil producing regions, the Permian has a large number of productive geological formations stacked in the same area, including the Wolfcamp, Bonespring, Spraberry, and Yeso-Glorieta formations. The Permian’s other favorable characteristics are in-region refining capacity, close proximity to large refining centers on the Gulf Coast, and existing pipeline infrastructure.Crude oil production in the Permian grew by 593,000 barrels per day (b/d) between January 2010 and January 2014, more than could be accommodated by in-region refinery capacity and pipeline capacity. This situation resulted in large price discounts at the crude gathering and transportation hub in Midland, Texas compared with Cushing, Oklahoma, indicating that the marginal barrel of crude oil was moving out of the region via a mode of transport more expensive than by pipeline. In 2014, WTI-Midland averaged a $6.94/b discount to WTI-Cushing, compared with a $1.68/b average discount the prior year. However, as new and expanded pipeline capacity was added in 2014 and 2015, WTI-Midland’s discount to WTI-Cushing narrowed, falling to an average of only $0.07/b in 2016 (Figure 1).

Source: This Week In Petroleum Summary Printer-Friendly Version

2020s To Be A Decade of Disorder For Oil | OilPrice.com

The 2020s could be a “decade of disorder” for the oil markets as the lack of drilling today leads to a shortfall of supply. Demand will continue to grow, year after year, and shale will not be able to keep up.It may be hard to envision today, with an oil market suffering from low prices and a glut of supply. Falling breakeven prices have drillers still churning out huge volumes of shale oil, with production in the U.S. already rebounding and rising on a weekly basis.The tidal wave of shale, however, is the direct result of extreme market tightness a decade ago, which pushed oil prices up into triple-digit territory. The rapid rise of China and other developing Asian countries in the early 2000s put the squeeze on the market, as conventional production struggled to keep up with demand. High prices sparked new shale drilling in the 2010-2014 period, which, as we now know, brought a lot of supply online. That, subsequently, led to a price meltdown.“I think that what you might take away from this historical review, is that oil is volatile. We go through periods of stability, followed by huge increases, followed by the almost inevitable downturn coming off the big spike,” The former administrator of the EIA, Adam Sieminski, said on the Platts Capitol Crude podcast on April 10. But busts in the oil market tend to sow the seeds of the next upcycle.“And we’re in that downturn kind of age now. And everybody is kind of sitting around saying ‘well, maybe shale is going to make it different. Maybe we are going to be less volatile now because shale can feed into rising demand.’ I’m thinking that the decade of the ‘20s is going to be one of difficulties,” Sieminski said. “That’s why I call it the decade of disorder. We’re not getting enough capital investment now, I don’t know that shale is going to be able to do it all.”

Source: 2020s To Be A Decade of Disorder For Oil | OilPrice.com

U.S. companies claim largest onshore oil discovery in 30 years – UPI.com

Energy enterprises Repsol and Armstrong Energy say they made the largest U.S. onshore oil discovery in three decades in Alaska.The conventional hydrocarbon oil was found in the Horseshoe-1 and 1A wells initially drilled during the 2016 to 2017 winter campaign in the Nanushuk, an area located in Alaska’s North Slope.

Source: U.S. companies claim largest onshore oil discovery in 30 years – UPI.com

Oil output cuts past June must include non-OPEC members: OPEC Secretary General | Reuters

Any decision to extend OPEC production cuts past June would have to include the continued participation by the non-OPEC members of the November accord, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said on Tuesday.The group held talks in recent days with shale oil producers and hedge fund executives, he said during a media conference at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston. This is the first time OPEC held bilateral meetings with shale producers and investment funds, Barkindo said.”I think we have broken the ice between ourselves and the industry, particularly the tight oil producers and the hedge funds who have become major players in the oil market,” he said in remarks on the sidelines of the energy conference.OPEC plans to hold an event to consider the impact of oil futures on physical crude markets, he said, without providing details.

Source: Oil output cuts past June must include non-OPEC members: OPEC Secretary General | Reuters

Exxon Will Remake Shale Or Shale Will Remake Exxon – Bloomberg Gadfly

From the moment it began, you could tell something was missing from Exxon Mobil Corp.’s first strategy presentation under its new CEO: Texan Rex Tillerson’s usual jab at New York City, where the event is held.His successor at the helm, Darren Woods, kept many other things the same. There was the usual emphasis on superior performance and the benefits of integration and a relatively humdrum Q&A session.For all the continuity, though, Woods signaled some big shifts in where this supertanker is going.First, although capital expenditure is set to increase this year, Exxon appears to have partly embraced the idea that big budget projections are taboo with investors these days, aiming to hold spending at around $25 billion a year through 2020. That’s up from 2016’s $19.3 billion — which was very low — but still notably below the $30 billion-plus levels of 2011 to 2014, which eroded Exxon’s return on capital and dimmed its reputation for discipline.

Source: Exxon Will Remake Shale Or Shale Will Remake Exxon – Bloomberg Gadfly

Beware The Bakken | Zero Hedge

The decline in Bakken oil production that started in January 2015 is probably not reversible. New well performance has deteriorated, gas-oil ratios have increased and water cuts are rising. Much of the reservoir energy from gas expansion is depleted and decline rates should accelerate. More drilling may increase daily output for awhile but won’t resolve the underlying problem of poorer well performance and declining per-well reserves.

Source: Beware The Bakken | Zero Hedge

U.S. Crude Exports Surge to a Record – Bloomberg

Another week, another record for U.S. crude exports.Producers and traders shipped out 1.21 million barrels a day of U.S. crude in the week that ended February 17, the most in Energy Information Administration data going back to 1993. Domestic output increased to 9 million barrels per day last week, the fastest pace since April, while U.S. refiners used the least crude since October 2015.Shale output has surged and tankers loaded in the Middle East during the last days of all-out production by OPEC nations arrived this month in the U.S., swelling stockpiles to a record. Prices for West Texas Intermediate crude have averaged $2.24 a barrel below global marker Brent this year, making U.S. oil more attractive to refiners around the world.

Source: U.S. Crude Exports Surge to a Record – Bloomberg

Oil To $70? Or Down To $30? – The Energy Collective

Citi acknowledges the headwinds in the near-term. “Oil prices are not likely to stray far from their current $53-58 per barrel range in the near term as record investor net length and bearish inventory data will likely cap prices until more tangible evidence of a tighter market emerges,” Citi analysts wrote in a recent research note. However, they see oil prices posting much stronger gains in the second half of the year.But the bearish threats to oil prices on the downside seem to be a lot more visible right now than the bullish ones. Aside from rising shale production, a dagger looms over oil prices in the very near-term. Hedge funds and money managers have pushed bullish bets to a new record high, equivalent to over 1 billion barrels of oil. The massive one-sided bet leaves the oil market dangerously exposed. When the herd suddenly realizes that they are all making the same bet, there could be a stampede back in the other direction. The buildup in bullish bets is all the more remarkable because it occurred at a time when oil prices were stagnant, stuck in the mid- to low-$50s per barrel.

Source: Oil To $70? Or Down To $30? – The Energy Collective