EIA analysis: Crude build smashes analysts’ expectations

Analysts must be getting tired of inadvertently shooting too low with their estimates, but every week is a new week to get it right. Analysts surveyed by Platts on Monday expected crude oil stocks to increase 3.7 million barrels week over week, but the latest data from the US Energy Information Administration shows a build of 10.4 million barrels during the week ended February 27.

To read the full Platts analysis of the data, click here.

Petrodollars: Chinese investors second-guess Canadian oil projects

The trans-Pacific partnership of China and Canada promises to diversify product access for one of the biggest oil consumers in the world, but it also comes with problems, as Ashok Dutta explains in this week’s Oilgram News column, Petrodollars.

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US biofuels: A tale of two conferences

Only 23 miles of State Highway 121 separates Fort Worth, where the National Biodiesel Board held its annual conference in January, and Grapevine, where the National Ethanol Conference set up shop last week. But the two industries couldn’t be further apart when it comes to their perspectives for the immediate future.

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Oil demand, prices and decelerating US supply

Global oil supply and demand forecasts for 2015 have changed significantly recently, but these changes have largely cancelled each other out: the outlook is still one of a market roughly in balance. However, this ignores the tectonic shifts taking place under the surface. US output growth is decelerating. If futures markets pre-empt this, as they did in February, they risk reversing it, which could produce another drop in prices, as Ross McCracken, managing editor of Platts Energy Economist, explains.

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Infographic: Platts Light Houston Sweet

Much has been made of the domestic light sweet crude flooding US markets, and we attempted to capture some key points about some of that oil in this infographic centered on one of Platts key price assessments: Light Houston Sweet. For a limited time, we’ll be sharing weekly LHS wraps in the Light Houston Sweet Analysis feature, and we’re also sharing the daily price assessment of Light Houston Sweet and how much it rose/fell on Twitter with the hashtag #PlattsLHS. Click on the infographic to see a larger version.

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If breaking up is hard to do, try not growing oil

Someone had to do it, and it might as well have been one of the biggest names in US shale.

Having whittled its 2015 capital budget down to $5 billion, 40% lower than last year, US producer EOG Resources last week made the tough call of forfeiting production growth this year, saying it would drill but not complete wells in a low oil price environment.

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EIA analysis: Production, lower crude oil runs boost US stocks

US refineries scaled back for the week ended February 20 as part of the ongoing maintenance season, contributing to US commercial crude oil stocks building to a record 434.1 million barrels, according to the latest data from the US Energy Information Administration.

The stocks increased 8.4 million barrels, more than double the amount expected by analysts surveyed by Platts on Monday. Production also rose, and more details of the latest EIA data can be found in the Platts analysis here.

US steel filing unfair trade cases is a dangerous proposition

Filing unfair trade cases is like chemotherapy. Both remedies are intended to protect the host from a serious threat, but there are side effects that are nearly as dangerous as the ailment itself.

Maybe that explains why US steelmakers have held off on filing dumping and subsidy cases against sheet steel imports for so long.

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US EPA pleads for some RFS understanding

Attendees of the National Ethanol Conference in suburban Dallas last week who were hoping to hear, at long last, what biofuels volumes the US Environmental Protection Agency would require in the overdue 2014 and 2015 Renewable Fuel Standards likely left disappointed.

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Desperate times call for inventive measures in Japanese crude buying

Huge inventory losses brought on by the plunge in oil prices in the second half of last year prompted Japanese refiners, desperate to eke out margins, to switch away from some of their staple heavy crude imports from the Middle East in favor of spot barrels from Russia and even far-away Mexico.

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