Recap: Oil prices bounced on Thursday, after recent price declines had caused many technical indicators to reach oversold levels. This combined with oil rig and platform closures in the Gulf of Mexico, due to Tropical Storm Cindy, propped up prices. Oil prices have fallen over 16% since the end of May, as production continues to rise out of the U.S., and Nigeria and Libya counteracts OPEC and some non-OPEC output cuts.
Both WTI and Brent fell 0.64% on the day before rebounding, and settling into a sideways pattern during the AM session. News reports of Saudi Arabia wanting to see $60 oil pushed prices out of this pattern to achieve new highs on the day. August Brent peaked at $45.79 a barrel before paring gains for a settlement of $45.22 a barrel, up 40 cents, or 0.89%, while August WTI tacked on 21 cents, or 0.49%, to settle at $42.74 a barrel.
July RBOB gained 2.4 cents, or 1.7%, to $1.435 a gallon, while July heating oil added under a cent, or 0.5%, to $1.372 a gallon.
Fundamental News: Talks this week between OPEC and non-OPEC producers focused on how to deal with rising Libyan and Nigerian crude output, rather than deepening output cuts by other members. Delegates said there was no serious discussion of making further production cuts at a meeting of the Joint Technical Committee, comprised of representatives from Algeria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russia and Oman. Libya is producing the most since 2013, with output currently above 900,000 bpd. The country was producing just 580,000 bpd in November, when OPEC agreed on its cuts. In Nigeria, the Forcados export terminal restarted after a 15-month halt caused by sabotage and is scheduled to ship about 250,000 bpd this month.
Kuwait’s Oil Minister, Essam al-Marzouq, said he was optimistic that oil markets will gradually return to balance supported by the record compliance with the OPEC and non-OPEC output cut agreement. He confirmed earlier reports suggesting that compliance with the output cut agreement was running at 106%.
The US National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Cindy moved inland near the Louisiana-Texas border and weakened into a tropical depression later on Thursday morning. The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port suspended vessel offloadings but expected no interruptions to deliveries from its hub in Clovelly, Louisiana. Offloading operations are expected to resume on Friday evening. Energy companies with operations in the Gulf of Mexico reported little impact on production. Shell suspended some well operations and Anadarko Petroleum and Enbridge said they had evacuated non-essential personnel. The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement stated that energy companies had shut about 16% of US Gulf of Mexico oil output as of midday Thursday, representing 288,186 bpd of the region’s production. A total of 39 or about 5% of platforms in the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated.
Colonial Pipeline Co is allocating space for Cycle 37 shipments on Line 20, which carries distillates from Atlanta, Georgia to Nashville, Tennessee. Colonial Pipeline also stated that shipping nominations on its gasoline line had declined below capacity for the first time in nearly six years, driving Gulf Coast cash gasoline prices lower. Colonial will not allocate space on Cycle 37 shipments on Line 1.
Gasoline stocks held in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp terminal in the week ending June 22nd fell by 2.36% on the week and by 14.72% on the year to 869,000 tons. Gasoil stocks increased by 2.65% on the week but fell by 6.79% on the year to 2.867 million tons.
Genscape reported that crude oil stocks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub increased 3% to 64.2 million barrels in the week ending June 16th.
Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT
WTI - Aug $42.84, up 10 cents
RBOB - July $1.4384, up 46 points
HO - July $1.3682, down 35 points
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