Category Archives: Oil Pricing

Oil Markets Rebalance On Strong Demand

 Issue 106 – Oil Demand Strong

Introduction…World oil demand will grow more than expected this year, helping to ease a global glut despite rising production from North America and weak OPEC compliance with output cuts, the International Energy Agency said on Friday.

The 2017 demand growth forecast to 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) from previous month report of 1.4 million bpd.  The report said it expected demand to expand further next year.

OPEC is cutting output by 1.2 million bpd. while Russia and other non-OPEC producers are cutting production by 600,000 bpd until Mach 2018.

Compliance by OPEC cuts in July fell by 75%, the lowest level since cuts began in January according to the IEA.

The net result is the overall oil supply in July rose by 520,000 bpd which is 500,000 bpd abovet last year’s levels.

The strain on oil producers to support oil prices as the non-OPEC output is expected to expand by 0.7 million bpd in 2017 and by 1.4 million bpd in 2018.  There are strong gains in U.S. production as we are not participating in the output caps.

In conclusion…Strong oil demand growth is helping to clear the excess oil inventories in industrialized nations in both June and July.

Source: Dmitry Zhdannikov, “IEA Says strong oil demand growth helping market rebalance,” Reuters, 11 Aug 2017.

Oil Shortage, Price Spike Predicted

Oil Price Spike Predicted

Introduction — Rising Canadian and U.S. production will not be enough to make up for tepid global investment, leading to a supply shortage in oil markets in a few years, a International Energy Admisitration report published last Monday said.

In its annual five-year forecast released in Houston Monday, energy watchdog Paris-based International Energy Agency said “it is far from clear that enough projects will enter the pipeline in the next few years to avoid a potentially tight market by 2020 and with it, the possibility of a price spike.”

The report comes as major oil and gas producers continue to slash their exploration budgets amid lower oil prices. Years of sharply growing oil supply have put the market into a state of oversupply in recent years, depressing prices. That led to widespread retrenchment on the part of debt-laden major oil producers. Late in 2016, OPEC and its non-OPEC allies agreed to curb supplies in an attempt to put oil markets closer into balance.

In Summary…$25 trillion investment in new oil-producing capacity over the next 25 years needed to meet the growing demand as reported here in this newsletter.

Source: “IEA predicts oil supply shortage and price spike within three years,” Financial Post, Jesse Snyder, 6 Mar 2017; “$25 Trillion Investment Needed, Oil And Gas Insider, Bill Moist, 22 Jan 2017

Oil Sold Out Of Asia Tanker Storage As Market Tightens

Oil Tankers Stationed Eastern Coast Of Singapore 

Introduction…Traders are selling oil held in tankers anchored off Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia in a sign that the production cut led by OPEC is starting to have the desired effect of drawing down bloated inventories.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers outside the group, including Russia, announced late last year that they would cut output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of 2017, looking to drain a glut that pulled down prices from over $100 per barrel in 2014 to around $56.50 currently LCOc1.

“OPEC’s strategy is targeting inventories – given the scale of the overhang, the market won’t rebalance in six months – we expect an extension into (the second half of 2017),” said Energy Aspects analyst Virendra Chauhan.

As OPEC’s cuts start to leave some demand unmet, a hefty 6.8 million barrels of crude has been taken out of tanker storage from Linggi, off Malaysia’s west coast, in February, shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon shows.

An additional 4.1 million barrels and another 1.2 million barrels have been taken out of storage on tankers in Singaporean and Indonesian waters, the data shows

In the short-term, the flood of crude from floating storage will add to supplies coming into Asia from as far away as the Americas and Europe.

In the longer-term, however, clearing oil out of inventories like tankers is part of OPEC’s goal to rebalance markets.

In conclusion…”Inventories will continue to decline driven by the combination of production cuts and the strong demand growth,” U.S. bank Goldman Sachs said this week in a note to clients, adding that it expected Brent prices to rise slightly in the second quarter, to $59 per barrel.

Source: Mark Tay | Singapore, “Oil sold out of tanker storage in Asia as merkt slowly tightens,” Retuers Commodities, 23 Feb 2017

Recovery For Texas Energy

740_energy_oil_and_gas_image_7914 West Texas Oil Boom

In the midst of the shale boom in 2013, Texas added more than 19,000 new jobs in the oil and gas production sector, leading the U.S. job increase in the industry by a wide margin. But back then, global oil prices were stable all year around at US$100 and slightly more.

Crude prices have crashed since 2014—now barely clinging on to above US$50—effectively stagnating drilling activity and oil jobs growth.

Texas, for its part, has shed over 91,000 jobs in oil and gas industry since the end of 2014, with the Houston area economy on the cusp of a recession, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.

The Dallas Fed has said that signs of recovery have emerged in the U.S. oil market, most notably in the Permian. The Dallas Fed also noted that Texas’s oil and gas employment increased in August—a first since 2014—suggesting that the worst of the energy crisis may be over.

“Increased activity in the Permian Basin and elsewhere has affected employment in the Texas mining sector, which rose slightly in August—its first increase since late 2014,” the Fed statement said.

The Dallas Fed issued probably the most bullish comment on the Texas oil economy so far this year, when Fed economist Pia Orrenius said that encouraging employment growth in Texas suggests that “the worst of the energy crisis may be over”.

In summary...So the latest numbers show that Texas has been overcoming this energy downturn – as it has done with many other lows – to continue to be the mainstay for America’s superpower status.

Reference:  Tsvetama Paraskova, October 14, 2016, Texas Is Making An Energy Recover, OilPrice, OilPrice.com

New Shale Boom On Horizon?

w-texas-oil-boom Oil Shale Boom?

OPEC surprised the markets when for the first time in eight years’ oil production limits will be put in place at its November meeting. The September 29th announcement from OPEC sent markets up by almost $3 per barrel.   The rally continued with the WTI week closing at $48.24.

Hundreds of oil and gas bankruptcies are an ugly background for recent predictions for continued records inventory levels.

The projected changes would be caused by an unprecedented agreement between arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

In its announcement, OPEC stated:

“In the last two years, the global oil market has witnessed many challenges, originating mainly from the supply side. As a result, prices have more than halved, while volatility has increased. Oil-exporting countries’ and oil companies’ revenues have dramatically declined, putting strains on their fiscal position and hindering their economic growth. The oil industry faced deep cuts in investment and massive layoffs, leading to a potential risk that oil supply may not meet demand in the future, with a detrimental effect on security of supply.”

“The Conference opted for an OPEC-14 production target ranging between 32.5 and 33.0 mb/d, in order to accelerate the ongoing drawdown of the stock overhang and bring the rebalancing forward.”

“What we are looking at here at the very least is a freeze,” Paul Sankey host of the conference call said. “We were looking for more OPEC production growth but now we no longer think so.”

Why did OPEC do it?

“With weaker demand predicted through 2017 they could see a rough market coming,” the analyst theorized. “Being a cartel the economics were overpowering: a 10 percent cut could give as much as a 30 percent rise in oil prices.

In conclusion...If a 30% oil price rise is realized, then oil shale could boom again.

Reference:  September 30, 2016, Will The OPEC Deal Lead To A New Shale Boom? Oil & Gas 360, www.oilandgas360.com

Gigantic U.S. Crude Oil Inventory Plunge

cushingoilinventory

Cushing, OK Inventory 

Oil inventories plunge…more than 14.5 million barrels for week ended September 2nd.  This was the greatest weekly plunge in 17 years attributed to Tropical Storm Hermine.  The U.S. Energy Information Administration said expectations were for an increase of 225,000 barrels.

The price of oil jumped $1 to $47.25 a barrel from the news.  “I think you need to see more than one week of this to get worries about oversupply out of the market,” said Gene McGillian, senior analyst at Tradition Energy of Stamford, Connecticut.

Tropical Storm Hermine interrupted shipping routes and production last week, even though the storm eventually turned to the northeast and did not harm key facilities in the Gulf.

In conclusion…this report is a minor tremor in oil supply and pricing contrasted to the impact of oil inventory shortfall due to  the $1 trillion slash in new oil field investments from 2015 to 2026.  This was reported last week in the Oil And Gas Insider article Oil Price Spike Inescapable. Click here to read last weeks report.  

Reference: UPDATE 1: Biggest weekly U.S. Crude Inventory Drop, By David Gaffen, Reuters, September 8, 2016; Oil Price Spike Inescapable, By Bill Moist, Oil And Gas Insider, September 5, 2016

Oil Price Spike Inescapable

offshorerig

Bill’s note: We’ve been reporting in the oilandgasinsider.com since the beginning of 2016, that the massive cuts in new capital expenditiures for oil and gas exploration would lead to oil price hikes.  Now the results of those expenditiure cuts are appearing in new oil discoveries.

 CASUAL ATTIRE

Oil price spike inescapable and here’s the facts…

  • 2015 new oil discoveries are 1/10th annual average dating all the way back to 1947
  • 2015 Oil industry new discoveries are only 2.7 billion barrels
  • 2015 worldwide oil consumption at 35 billion barrels

Click here to watch the 3 minute video Oil Price Spike Inescapable.

Why do we have the largest oil consumption deficit in 69 years?

  1. Oil at less than $50 a barrel makes many fields around the world uneconomical to explore
  2. The oil industry has slashed $1 trillion in new investment from 2015 to 2026
  3. EIA expects oil demand to expand to 105 million barrels per day by 2026 up from the current demand of 94 mb/d
  4. Large scale high volume drilling like deepwater projects have been scraped
  5. Large scale projects take years to be productive

In conclusion…Supply could  fall 1.5 billion barrels short per year by 2018 to 2020.  If this does play out, then…

Oil Price Spike Is Inescapable

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References; Wood Mckeszie, Energy Information Agency, , Oil Price Spike Inevitable, By Nick Cunningham, OilPrice.com, August 30, 2016

Click here to watch the 3 minute video Oil Price Spike Inescapable.

Possible OPEC Production Freeze

OPEC Counries

Oil prices enjoyed a bump last week,…thanks in part to a weakened dollar and some geopolitical tensions in the Persian Gulf. But a large factor in the recent rally has been the return of a possible OPEC production freeze, a subject that was last tossed around before the organization’s much-publicized, and ultimately unproductive, meeting in Doha last April. The likelihood of a freeze sent markets up on Thursday, though some less-than-confident comments from the Saudi oil minister sent them dropping back on Friday.

Whether a freeze occurs or not is likely to be the trending gossip among speculators for the next month, at a time when such talk is exerting greater-than-average pull on the crude price. But a question worth asking is whether a freeze is even possible, given the state of OPEC and the increasingly divergent interests of its fourteen members.

This new attempt at a production freeze comes as Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer and de facto leader, reaches a new production record of 10.67 million barrels, more than 400,000 more than when the last freeze was discussed, while its oil revenues continue to plummet. OPEC profits have fallen 55 percent since 2014, according to the EIA. Ecuador, Kuwait and other Gulf producers want the price to recover past $50 a barrel. If a production freeze is on the cards, it will be discussed in late September during an informal meeting of the OPEC states at the International Energy Forum in Algeria.

Iraq and Iran, OPEC’s number two and three producers, respectively, have offered tacit acceptance of a production freeze, with important caveats. S

Conclusion…So, if there is a freeze, where will production be “frozen,” exactly?  What is possible, however, is that continued talk of a freeze will continue to exert influence over the market, which has see-sawed between bearish and bullish for weeks now.

Reference: Is An Oil Production Freeze Even Remotely Possible, Oil Price, by Gregory Brew, August 29, 2016

Saudi Arabia – A Kingdom In Retreat

SaudiKingdomKingdom Tower

The Kingdom is struggling with weak GDP growth, higher fees and taxes, and an economy that is unable to pay the dues to its workers, leaving thousands of workers from South Asia with an uncertain future.

When a nation is unable to provide food to its migrant workers, it says a lot about their financial condition.

The oil price crash has forced the oil-rich Kingdom to introduce austerity measures, and delay payments to already cash-strapped contractors.

“It looks like austerity has hit hard and more than we had anticipated, halting construction projects and stopping hiring,” said Jason Tuvey, Middle East economist at Capital Economics, reports the Financial Times.

Who is the Hardest Hit?…Construction laborers from India and Pakistan are most affected by the Kingdom’s hardships. This group of workers are left without a job, and without basic amenities such as insurance coverage, food, shelter and medical facilities—a situation that has improved after respective consulates stepped in to offer their own citizens aid.

Saudi’s Empty Pockets…Setting aside the Kingdom’s positive outlook, until the Saudi economy reduces its reliance on oil, the situation is likely to get worse before it gets any better. With oil prices reeling close to $42 a barrel, the Saudi economy is likely to run out of cash, according to the International Monetary Fund.

“All oil exporters will need to adjust to the new low oil price,” the IMF warned, reports the Independent. “All” in this case, includes, probably most importantly, Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia continues its record oil production, reaching 10.67 million barrels per day, up about 120,000 bpd on the prior month—with no signs of slowing. Although this will allow Saudi Arabia to hold onto its marketshare, which they can hardly be blamed for trying to cling to, it will no doubt add to the supply glut, and certainly will not bode well for oil prices in the short term.

In conclusion…And if oil prices continue to languish near today’s lows, it will be years before Saudi Arabia can regain its erstwhile glory.

 Source: Oil Price.com, Is Saudi Arabia About To Cry Uncle In the Oil Price War, By Rakesh Upadhyay – Aug 11, 2016

Serious Oil Field Worker Shortage…Soon?

oil-workers

Goldman Sachs believes the American oil industry is about to stage a big comeback from the painful downturn and big job losses caused by oversupply.  A projected 100,000 oil jobs could be coming back.

The estimate is based on Goldman’s forecast for U.S. oil production to resume growing next year after the recent drop to two-year lows. That growth would require some 700 oil rigs to be added — and each one supports an average of 120 to 150 employees.

As more oil fields come on line and America’s oil boom gets back on track, there simply won’t be enough people to do the required drilling, well completion and other logistical work. Cheap oil wiped out nearly 170,000 oil and gas jobs since late 2014 as desperate companies scrambled to cut costs and avoid bankruptcy. This downturn was far worse than the 87,000 jobs wiped out during the last downturn in the middle of the Great Recession.

Jeff Bush, president of oil and gas recruiting firm CSI Recruiting, agrees that a “worker shortage” is coming.

“When we get back to a reasonable level of activity, there’s going to be a supply crisis of experienced personnel. I just don’t see any way around that,” said Bush.

In conclusion…Last week in this publication we discussed  “U.S. Now The Largest Global Oil Reserve.”  Somehow the industry will need to take better care of those skilled workers if they want to keep them over the long-term. The drastic swing in oil prices has extremely painful for those workers who grow accustomed to the high salaries.  Every downturn flushes out a large number of highly skilled workers.