Archive for the ‘oil’ Category

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.

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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New Frontiers: Price drops could reset African crude production expectations

With spending cutbacks already taking their toll on global upstream activity, oil companies are being forced to rethink their approach to Africa’s vulnerable high-risk, high-reward exploration frontiers.

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EIA analysis: Crude oil stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, climb toward record level

After rising yet again, US crude oil stocks totaled 425.6 million barrels for the week ended February 13, according to the most recent data from the US Energy Information Administration. The release of the data was delayed due to Presidents Day.

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No demand response to crude price crash? ‘Show us the money’ say motorists in India and China

Crude oversupply is a well-known story by now. Let’s talk about demand growth – or the absence of it. Why has the near-60% crash in crude as measured between the high of mid-June 2014 and the trough of January this year ($115.06 and $46.59/b respectively for front-month Brent) not produced a demand response from Asia?

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The price of oil reaffirms the lesson of a legendary wager

John Kingston is President of the McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute and Director of Global Market Insights. He continues to observe energy markets after his many years with Platts.

When you look at a chart of the price of oil during the last six months, it says a lot of things. One of them is that Julian Simon has won again.

I’d long known about the legendary Julian Simon-Paul Ehrlich bet, made in the early 1980’s at the tail end of a commodity boom. What I didn’t know, until I recently stumbled upon an academic paper written by Yale professor Paul Sabin from 2013 that was turned into a book called The Bet, was how much the two of them truly despised each other. Why I thought the bet was sort of friendly is a mystery; it was actually part of a long-standing open hostility.

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Will crude prices weigh on the US export debate?

There’s relatively widespread consensus among analysts and academics that the White House is unlikely to do anything on crude exports in the near term, and many believe President Obama may not touch the issue before he leaves office in January 2017.

What’s less clear is how the newly-Republican controlled Congress will deal with the issue and how crude prices will influence the possible debate.

Will the recent plunge in crude oil prices bolster the case for an end to restrictions on US exports or could relatively low prices deflate the argument for loosening the long-standing US crude export regime?

On the other hand, will crude prices have little to no impact on domestic export policy?

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