Posts Tagged ‘crude oil’

IEA again looks to OPEC to balance 2014 market

The International Energy Agency on Tuesday cut its oil demand growth forecast for 2014 for a number of reasons, not the least of which is a weaker global economic outlook than previously thought and lower oil supplies in the second quarter.

But even though the world won’t need as much oil this year as IEA earlier thought, that doesn’t mean it won’t need more crude from OPEC.

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The Oil Big Five: Unleash the Kalavrvta!

It can often feel as though many of the big issues or trends in the oil industry are happening on a level unseen by the general public. July, though, brought some big news stories straight to the mainstream media and a wider audience, and these were developments our oil editors and analysts at Platts were watching closely.

Welcome to the latest iteration of The Oil Big Five, when we ask our Platts oil insiders what they believe are the biggest trends or issues in the global oil industry. These are topics we spent a lot of time researching, writing about and analyzing in July, as well as issues we’re keeping an eye on for August.

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On US oil exports, offshore safety, crude-by-rail, how long will the government delay?

It has become a routine in Washington to explain the government’s inability to react to changes in the marketplace by blaming the swift pace of technological change. The latest such admission came last week when Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker spoke about US crude exports.

“Technology is advancing faster than existing regulations,” Pritzker said during an appearance at the Aspen Ideas Festival. She said there was a “serious conversation” going on within the administration on crude export policy. “The question is what [are] the right exports and what is the right amount of exports.”

Similar admissions have come from other officials on the topic of transporting crude by rail and ensuring the safety of offshore drilling. In all three cases, industry has wisely not waited for Washington to act. Innovation marches on and companies put huge amounts of capital at risk to advance new ways to produce and move energy resources.

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EIA analysis: US crude oil stocks decline 3.2 million barrels

US crude oil stocks fell a larger-than-expected 3.2 million barrels the week ended June 27, as refiners increased run rates and imports declined, US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed Wednesday. Read the Platts analysis from Alison Ciaccio here.

Are you reading weekly EIA stats correctly? Check this out to make sure

When it comes to weekly oil inventory statistics from the US Energy Information Administration, the market looks at it with intent, ready to react.

Quite often, market experts, analysts and reporters alike comb through the data and attempt to explain the moves in weekly stockpiles and its impact on the ever-changing futures market.

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Iraqi turmoil casts cloud over crude oil and steel trade

The spreading crisis in northern Iraq over the past three days has cast additional uncertainty on a time frame for the return of the country’s troubled Kirkuk export crude oil grade — and the regional tension is also clouding the outlook for the country’s steel trade with Turkey.

Turkish steel rebar exports, already under pressure from increasingly competitive China-origin shipments to the Middle East and Africa, may lose Iraq as a market following the takeover this week of the country’s second city of Mosul by Islamist insurgents.

And earlier this week, market sources said that pumping of the oil grade, which is loaded out of the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast, is now not expected to resume until August at the very earliest, and the ever-strengthening position of the jihadists in the region has only added to the grade’s uncertain future.

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OPEC meeting provides some expected, and some unexpected, events

(This blog post is based on the reporting of the Platts OPEC team in Vienna: Margaret McQuaile, Stuart Elliott, Geoff King, James Leech and Jacinta Moran).

The latest meeting Wednesday of OPEC ministers in Vienna was uneventful — at least in terms of what the group decided to do, or not to do, about its current crude production policy.

A rollover of its 30 million b/d production ceiling had been widely expected following suggestions from ministers in the weeks running up to the meeting that the status quo would be maintained.

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Low volatility is translating into less liquid energy commodity markets

There has been considerable discussion of late about the lack of volatility in some key trading markets, and the impact that is having on trading groups, their profitability, and thus their interest in remaining engaged in certain markets.

The argument has been that low or relatively flat prices have driven some key trading firms — a fair number of which are big banks — from a number of commodity markets, including energy commodities. Some believe the liquidity of some of these markets has taken a hit as counterparties have left, both because of reduced profitability but also as a result of regulatory pressures.

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Do clues, new data point to shift in US crude export policy?

No one seems to know if the White House will ease crude oil export restrictions for the first time in decades, but key Obama administration officials are dropping clues and the government’s energy statistics agency appears to be compiling a trove of data which may be used to justify a policy shift.

The administration appears to be paying particular attention to the dramatic growth of domestic light crude production and the potential mismatch with US refining capacity.

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EIA analysis: Gulf Coast crude oil stocks slide

The big news in this week’s Energy Information Administration statistical report was on the US Gulf Coast, where crude stocks plummeted. You can read our analysis here.