The EIA reported a 5.4 million barrel decrease in U.S. crude oil inventories

Recap: Oil prices rose on Wednesday, erasing early losses, as traders focused on rising tensions in the Middle East, despite the EIA reporting a 5.4 million barrel decrease in U.S. crude oil inventories. June WTI, which had fallen 1.5 percent to a session low of $60.85 prior to the release of the report, rose 0.9 percent, to a high of $62.34 by 11:30 EDT. July Brent gained 1.4 percent, reaching a session high of $72.25. Movement to the upside was contained, as the IEA has lowered its forecast for demand growth for 2019, while geopolitical forces remain supportive. Gains were pared, with June WTI settling at $62.02 a barrel, up 24 cents, or 0.38 percent and July Brent settling at $71.77 a barrel, up 53 cents, or 0.74 percent, its highest settlement in 2-weeks. June RBOB rose 3.6 cents, or 1.8%, to $2.013 a gallon, while June heating oil added 2.7 cents, or 1.3%, to $2.086 a gallon.

Technical Analysis: WTI continues to move in a sideways pattern, while working its way above near term technical indicators. A symmetrical triangle appears to have formed a on a spot continuation chart. This type of pattern is a continuation pattern, calling for prices to remain in a sideways formation until a breach of the upper or lower line occurs. With moving oscillators crossing to the upside, we would look for the June contract to work its way toward the top of this formation.  Resistance is set at $62.60 and above that at $63.35. Support is set at $59.50 and below that at $58.25. 

Fundamental News: In its monthly report, the IEA said the world will require very little extra oil from OPEC this year as increasing US oil output will offset declining exports from Iran and Venezuela.  The IEA said the US’ decision to end sanctions waivers that had allowed some importers to continue buying Iranian crude added to the “confusing supply outlook.”  It said there was a modest offset to supply worries from the demand side as it expected growth in global oil demand to be 1.3 million bpd in 2019 or 90,000 bpd less than previously forecast.  It said 2018 demand growth had been estimated at 1.2 million bpd.  It said global oil demand would average 100.4 million bpd in 2019, exceeding 100 million bpd for the first time.  It also said higher output from producers outside of OPEC, especially the US in the second quarter, would keep the market well supplied.  US production of oil and condensates was forecast to increase by 1.7 million bpd in 2019.  The IEA estimated that global oil supply fell by 300,000 bpd in April.  However, OPEC’s crude output increased by 60,000 bpd to 30.21 million bpd.  The call on OPEC crude would be 30.9 million bpd in the second quarter of 2019 and would fall to 30.2 million bpd in the second half of the year.  The IEA also stated that the impact on European refinery throughput in the second quarter of 2019 from contaminated crude on the Druzhba pipeline is seen at about 250,000 bpd. 

Equinor’s oil production is continuing as normal at the Statfjord field following an oil spill.  It said it is investigating the oil spill, which led to a halt in its loading operations at the field. 

Russia’s Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, said exports of clean Russian oil via the Druzhba pipeline, interrupted due to contamination, will be fully restored in late May or early June. 

IIR Energy reported that US oil refiners are expected to shut in about 563,000 bpd of capacity in the week ending May 17th, increasing the available refining capacity by 407,000 bpd on the week.  Offline capacity is expected to fall to 151,000 bpd in the week ending May 24th. 

The Houston Ship Channel reopened on Wednesday to two-way traffic after salvage crews removed two gasoline barges damaged in a weekend collision with a deep-draft vessel. 

Early Market Call – as of 9:20 AM EDT

WTI – June $62.81, up 79 cents

RBOB – June $2.0510, 3.83 cents

HO – June $2.1168, up 3.04 cents

View the Sprague Refined Products Market Watch Report in a downloadable pdf format by clicking below.

Click to view more online:
Heating Oil Supplier

Diesel Supplier
View market updates
View our refined products glossary
Go to SpraguePORT online

This market update is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as advice on any transaction nor is it a solicitation to buy or sell commodities. Sprague makes no representations or warranties with respect to the contents of such news, including, without limitation, its accuracy and completeness, and Sprague shall not be responsible for the consequence of reliance upon any opinions, statements, projections and analyses presented herein or for any omission or error in fact. The views expressed in this material are through the period as of the date of this report and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance or results and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied, or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without Sprague’s express written consent.