Energy Prices Up Slightly

Market TalkThursday, Sep 5 2019
Energy Futures Weaken

Energy prices are up slightly this morning after a heavy wave of buying yesterday. A weaker dollar pushed energy prices some 4% higher Wednesday, making up for Tuesday’s losses and then some. RBOB prompt month futures were last seen just over $1.53 per gallon while HO looks like it may make a run at $1.90; crude oil jumped over $56 dollars per barrel, tempting monthly highs.

The Tanker Saga™ had a very interesting development yesterday: it wasn’t a Nigerian prince but a top ranking official in the US State Department that contacted the captain of the oil tanker heading to Syria, offering millions of dollars in cash to hand over the carrier. The rather unorthodox tactic is Washington’s latest bid in an effort to exert maximum pressure on Iran over its breach of the 2015 nuclear agreement which seems to have spiraled even more out of control.

Hurricane Dorian has left Florida and Georgia in its rearview as it progresses northward. Current forecasts has the storm potentially making landfall on the North Carolina coast, but hurricane warnings have nonetheless been issued comprehensively from South Carolina up through parts of Virginia.

Tropical storm Gabrielle still looks to be a non event for the American mainland: the 7th named storm of the season is projected to continue heading northwest over the weekend and fizzle out somewhere in the north Atlantic.

The API published a surprise small crude oil inventory build yesterday afternoon, tempering some of the day’s earlier gains. Eyes now turn to the DOE for confirmation of the Institute’s report, and futures seem content to hover above unchanged leading up to the publication, scheduled for release at 10am CDT.

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Pivotal Week For Price Action
Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkWednesday, Nov 29 2023

The API Reported Gasoline Inventories Dropped By 898,000 Barrels Last Week

Gasoline and oil prices are attempting to rally for a 2nd straight day, a day ahead of the delayed OPEC meeting, while diesel prices are slipping back into the red following Tuesday’s strong showing. 

The API reported gasoline inventories dropped by 898,000 barrels last week, crude inventories declined by 817,000 barrels while distillates saw an increase of 2.8 million barrels. Those inventory stats help explain the early increases for RBOB and WTI while ULSD is trading lower. The DOE’s weekly report is due out at its normal time this morning. 

A severe storm on the Black Sea is disrupting roughly 2% of the world’s daily oil output and is getting some credit for the bounce in futures, although early reports suggest that this will be a short-lived event. 

Chevron reported that its Richmond CA refinery was back online after a power outage Monday night. San Francisco spot diesel basis values rallied more than a dime Tuesday after a big drop on Monday following the news of that refinery being knocked offline.

Just a few days after Scotland’s only refinery announced it would close in 2025, Exxon touted its newest refinery expansion project in the UK Tuesday, with a video detailing how it was ramping up diesel production to reduce imports and possibly allow for SAF production down the road at its Fawley facility. 

Ethanol prices continue to slump this week, reaching a 2-year low despite the bounce in gasoline prices as corn values dropped to a 3-year low, and the White House appears to be delaying efforts to shift to E15 in an election year. 

Click here to download a PDF of today's TACenergy Market Talk.

Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkTuesday, Nov 28 2023

Values For Space On Colonial’s Main Gasoline Line Continue To Drop This Week

The petroleum complex continues to search for a price floor with relatively quiet price action this week suggesting some traders are going to wait and see what OPEC and Friends can decide on at their meeting Thursday. 

Values for space on Colonial’s main gasoline line continue to drop this week, with trades below 10 cents/gallon after reaching a high north of 18-cents earlier in the month. Softer gasoline prices in New York seems to be driving the slide as the 2 regional refiners who had been down for extended maintenance both return to service. Diesel linespace values continue to hold north of 17-cents/gallon as East Coast stocks are holding at the low end of their seasonal range while Gulf Coast inventories are holding at average levels.

Reversal coming?  Yesterday we saw basis values for San Francisco spot diesel plummet to the lowest levels of the year, but then overnight the Chevron refinery in Richmond was forced to shut several units due to a power outage which could cause those differentials to quickly find a bid if the supplier is forced to become a buyer to replace that output.

Money managers continued to reduce the net length held in crude oil contracts, with both Brent and WTI seeing long liquidation and new short positions added last week. Perhaps most notable from the weekly COT report data is that funds are continuing their counter-seasonal bets on higher gasoline prices. The net length held by large speculators for RBOB is now at its highest level since Labor Day, at a time of year when prices tend to drop due to seasonal demand weakness. 

Click here to download a PDF of today's TACenergy Market Talk.