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Refined Products

Recap: In stark contrast to Friday’s activity, oil prices fell on Monday, giving back most of the previous session’s gains. The sell-off came in light of concern that compliance from within OPEC has been declining, while at the same time its production has been rising. OPEC’s compliance in July fell to 75%, its lowest so far this year. The soon to expire September WTI fell $1.14, or 2.35%, to settle at $47.37 a barrel, while October Brent settled at $51.66 a barrel, down $1.06, or 2.01%.       

September RBOB fell 2.5% to $1.584 a gallon, while September heating oil lost 3% to $1.571 a gallon.

Fundamental NewsRoyal Dutch Shell Plc loaded its first crude from Libya in five years over the weekend.  The cargo loaded on August 19th is for 600,000 barrels of crude from the Zueitina port. 

A force majeure was declared on Saturday on shipments from Libya’s Sharara oil field, made through the Zawiya export terminal.  A local armed group seeking that one of its members be released from Tripoli prison closed the pipeline linking the port to Sharara.

Kuwait’s Oil Minister, Essam al-Marzouq, said US crude oil stocks are declining more than expected in a sign of the success of OPEC and non-OPEC production cuts.  US crude inventories have fallen for a seventh consecutive week in their largest drawdown in nearly a year, according to the EIA.  Crude stocks fell by 8.95 million barrels in the week ending August 11th. 

Petrologistics reported that OPEC oil production is expected to fall by 419,000 bpd in August to 32.8 million bpd. 

Colonial Pipeline Co is allocating space for Cycle 49 shipments on Line 20, which carries distillates from Atlanta, Georgia to Nashville, Tennessee. 

According to Bloomberg, total US waterborne LPG exports from Houston, Port Arthur, Philadelphia and Seattle fell by 26.3% on the week to 826,596 bpd in the week ending August 17th.

A 28,000 bpd hydrocracker unit at Exxon’s 584,000 bpd Baytown, Texas refinery resumed operations on Saturday.  The unit was shut on August 18th after initially being restarted on August 17th.  Prior to the initial restart, the hydrocracker was shut on June 12th for planned work.  Separately, Exxon reported a sulfuric acid spill due to a leak in the line at its 502,500 bpd Baton Rouge, Louisiana refinery on August 20th.   

Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Sep  $47.22, down 11 cents

RBOB - Sep $1.5878, up 36 points

HO -Sep $1.5690, down 26 points

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Natural Gas

Monday, August 21st, saw the front-month NYMEX Natural Gas Futures Contracts open at $2.880, a penny below Friday’s closing price of $2.893.  Rallying from the intraday low of $2.867 as market’s opened, news of above-average temperatures in the short-term quickly propelled prices higher.  Scaling upward through the low $2.90’s, the contract posted a near 4% jump to mark the intraday high of $2.980 by 11:00AM.  Fluctuating along $2.965 for the balance of the day, September closed higher on Monday at $2.962.

This morning in Globex, WTI Crude was down one cent; Natural Gas was up three cents; Heating Oil was down slightly; and, Gasoline was up one cent.

New York basis values were higher for all seasons, whereas New England basis values were unchanged for all seasons.  Additionally, cash prices were higher in both regions.

Natural Gas Glossary

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