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Latest Post June 27, 2017

Oil prices posted modest gains for second straight session

Recap:  After trading on both sides of unchanged on Monday, oil prices posted modest gains for the second straight session. Trading was quiet. August Brent settled at $45.83 a barrel, up 29 cents, or 0.64%, while August WTI finished up 37 cents, or 0.86%, to settle at $43.38 a barrel.

Focus once again will be on this week’s U.S. inventory numbers, with analysts estimating a 2.3 million barrel decline in crude oil stocks due to last week’s tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico. The halt in production was temporary and U.S. producers have returned to production. This, combined with production increases from Libya and Nigeria are making it difficult for OPEC to prop up prices. However, if OPEC had not voted to decrease output, we might have been looking at even lower prices.

July gasoline rose half a cent to $1.439 a gallon, while July heating oil added less than a penny to settle at $1.380 a gallon.

Fundamental NewsIran’s Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said the country’s crude oil production surpassed 3.8 million bpd and added that Iran expects output to reach 4 million bpd by March 2018.

Libya’s Laheeb field resumed production after eight months.  The country’s production is now running at 950,000 bpd. 

Brazil’s increasing oil production combined with declining domestic demand has increased the country’s exports, undermining OPEC’s efforts to reverse falling prices through output cuts.  Brazil produced a record 1.5 million bpd earlier this year, 26% more than the previous record set in 2010.  Average exports increased by 39% in the first four months of 2017 from the previous year.

VLCC and Suezmax spot chartering in the Middle East increased last week to the highest level since early March.  According to Morgan Stanley, Mideast tanker charters have cast doubt on OPEC cuts.  Charters increased by 5 million bpd to 10.9 million bpd in the week ending June 23rd, up 85% week on week, with the four-week average levels also showing a gain. 

According to Bloomberg, more than nine million barrels of Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk crude have accumulated in tankers in the North Sea.  Two VLCCs and nine Aframaxes have been floating off the coast of the UK for as long as three months. 

Mexico’s Pemex is looking for an extra 3.5 million barrels of gasoline to make up for the shut down of its Salina Cruz refinery due to a fire and flooding on June 15th.  Salina Cruz produced between 20-30% of total Pemex gasoline production over the past year. 

Colonial Pipeline Co. said shipping nominations on its main distillate pipeline have fallen below capacity.  It said it will not be calling allocation on Cycle 38 for Line 2, which runs from Houston, Texas to Greensboro, North Carolina. Colonial Pipeline Co said shipping demand on its main distillate line fell below capacity for the first time in nearly six years as the East Coast remained awash in fuel. 

Enterprise Products Partners LP said its Seaway crude pipeline resumed service on Sunday morning following a shutdown due to a leak last week.  The company reported a pipeline incident in Jones Creek, Texas through the National Response Center on Thursday.

IIR reported that US oil refiners are expected to shut in 75,000 bpd of capacity in the week ending June 30th, increasing available refining capacity by 93,000 bpd from the previous week. 


Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Aug $43.89, upo 51 cents

RBOB - July $1.4600 , up 2.13 cents

HO - July $1.4011, up 2.07 cents


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