Filter Archive Listings

ALL
  • SHOW BY POST TYPE

ALL
  • Product

  • POPULAR TAGS

  • Shipping
  • Winter
  • market
  • prices
  • basis
  • nymex
  • market watch
  • basis price
  • sell-off
  • estimates
  • terminal
  • CT
  • gas
  • cash price
  • cash
  • futures market
  • september
  • october contract
  • October
  • buying
  • selling
  • weather
  • rally
  • market update
  • storage
  • new england
  • price bounce
  • forecasts
  • bull
  • bears
  • bulls
  • hurricane
  • storage report
  • bearish
  • supply availability
  • EIA
  • traders
  • optimistic
  • prices falling
  • futures
  • refined products
  • ULSD
  • gasoline
  • volatility
  • oil
  • iran
  • syria
  • november
  • positive
  • storms
  • government shutdown
  • decrease in demand
  • heating degree days table
  • debt ceiling
  • diesel
  • forecast
  • crude oil
  • trading
  • price
  • energy prices
  • gas prices down
  • crude
  • flat
  • down
  • market report
  • sprague
  • Globex
  • prices down
  • lowest
  • price decline
  • market down
  • futures contract
  • volatile
  • gas up
  • inventory report
  • DOE
  • PADD
  • december
  • settlement price
  • low price
  • rbob
  • prices up
  • gains
  • oil markets
  • doe inventory report
  • markets down
  • cold weather
  • heating oil
  • new england weather
  • markets up
  • demand
  • temperature
  • cold
  • oil market
  • iran deal
  • settlement
  • eia storage report
  • January
  • January 2014
  • ice brent
  • wti
  • heating degree day
  • recap
  • brent
  • keystone xl pipeline
  • transcanada
  • exports
  • up
  • china
  • industrial output
  • news
  • New York
  • chart
  • brent-wti spread
  • tapering
  • lfp
  • unemployment
  • interest rates
  • market movers
  • bullish
  • higher
  • eia report
  • january thaw
  • graph
  • Polar Vortex
  • vortex
  • refined
  • products
  • blog
  • data
  • DOE expectations
  • DOE inventory
  • distillates
  • tight supply
  • HDD
  • inventory
  • backwardation
  • contract expiration
  • moves
  • pricing
  • Ukraine
  • SPR
  • Strategic Petroleum Reserve
  • Venezuela
  • Russia
  • Houston Shipping Channel
  • Sour Crude
  • PMI
  • Houston Ship channel
  • NATO
  • API
  • American Petroleum Institute
  • Crimea
  • Refinery runs
  • HDD planning
  • low sulfur
  • sulfur content
  • MA
  • VT
  • NJ
  • RI
  • sulfur maximum
  • war
  • DOE inventory estimates
  • regular gasoline prices
  • gasoline demand
  • gasoline stocks
  • pent-up demand
  • driving season
  • libya
  • short term energy outlook
  • energy outlook
  • speculative
  • economic sanctions
  • quantitative easing
  • GDP
  • rail safety
  • canada
  • refinery
  • crudemovements
  • regulations
  • Northeast gasoline reserve
  • G-7
  • dependency arc
  • Yellen
  • Fed Chair
  • Nigeria
  • pop and drop
  • The South China Sea
  • oil rig
  • Vietnam
  • crude export ban
  • HO
  • market retreating
  • AAA
  • Memorial Day gas prices
  • travel
  • price movements
  • DOE inventory data
  • gasoline up
  • g-8
  • Putin
  • Cushing
  • Iraq
  • al-qaeda
  • ISIS
  • barrels
  • gallons
  • Islamic
  • Jordan
  • Turkey
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait
  • condensate
  • lease
  • stabilization unit
  • crude exports
  • net length
  • israel
  • Colombia
  • basis protection
  • imports
  • Bahrain
  • Yemen
  • Egypt
  • Soviet
  • Europe
  • MENA
  • Middle East
  • North Africa
  • geopolitical
  • hot spots
  • geopolitical hot spots
  • Risk
  • spec watch
  • islamic state
  • International Energy Agency
  • Energy Information Administration
  • drilling
  • Bakken
  • Permian
  • Eagle Ford
  • ISIL
  • OPEC
  • PADD 1
  • lower
  • Sweden
  • Ebola
  • US crude oil production
  • Crude oil producers
  • crude oil production
  • oil markets down
  • slide
  • contango
  • carry
  • trading range
  • Swiss Franc
  • Switzerland
  • European Central Bank
  • ECB
  • Euro
  • QE
  • USW
  • United Steel Workers
  • Strike
  • Greece
  • jobs
  • oil prices
  • jobs report
  • VIEW ALL TAGS

Market Intel Archives

Spot month WTI fell to lowest level in 5 months

March 22, 2017

Recap:  Overnight gains in oil futures gave way to an early morning sell-off ahead of expiration for April WTI and the release of U.S. inventory numbers. Spot month WTI fell to its lowest level in 5 months, with the April contract reaching a low of $47.23 before severing losses for a settlement at $47.34, down 88 cents or 1.82%. May Brent settled at $50.96, down 66 cents, or 1.28%.

April RBOB slipped 0.4% to $1.605 a gallon, while April heating oil fell 0.7% to $1.503 a gallon.

Fundamental News:  According to Bloomberg, crude oil inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage terminal are estimated to have increased by 1.9 million barrels to 68.4 million barrels in the week ending March 17th.

According to Goldman Sachs, new production projects and a new shale boom could increase oil production by 1 million bpd and result in an oversupply in the next couple of years.  It said OPEC will have to extend its oil output cuts in order to sustain a recovery in prices, as a revival in crude production outside the group may hinder its efforts to erode an overhang of unused inventory.  

Renewable fuel (D6) Renewable Identification Number credits increased as much as 57 cents each on Tuesday, extending Monday's rally as 2017 US biofuels requirements came into effect.

Libya's National Oil Corp hopes to raise its production at the southwestern Sharara field by 70,000 bpd from 221,000 bpd.  Sharara, which was reopened in December after the lifting of a pipeline blockade, has a potential capacity of about 330,000 bpd.

A tanker is expected to load about 1 million barrels of crude at Libya's Es Sider terminal around March 25-26.

S&P Global Platts trade flow software, cFlow, showed that about 1.06 million tons of distillates set sail from the US Gulf Coast for arrival in Europe in March.

Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron are planning to invest a combined $10 billion this year in American shale, up from next to nothing a few years ago.  Exxon said it plans to spend one-third of its drilling budget this year on shale, with a goal to lift output to nearly 800,000 bpd by 2025, up from less than 200,000 bpd currently.  Chevron said it estimates its shale output will increase as much as 30% per year for the next decade, with production expanding to 500,000 bpd by 2020 from the current level of 100,000 bpd.

Societe Generale reported that global crude inventories are forecast to fall by 600,000 bpd in 2017, compared with a build of 400,000 bpd in 2016.  It also reported that global oil demand growth is expected to increase by 1.4 million bpd this year following an increase of 1.6 million bpd in 2016.  

Bloomberg reported that preliminary US waterborne crude imports increased by 4,900 bpd to 3.6 million bpd in the week ending March 16th.  Total crude and product imports fell by 17,200 bpd to 4.9 million bpd.

IHS data showed that crude and refined product shipments from the US Gulf fell to 3.91 million metric tons on 100 ships in the week ending March 16th. 


Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Apr $47.72, down 52 cents

RBOB - Apr $1.6042, down 11 points

HO - Apr $1.4943, down 90 points 


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


Click to view more online:

View market updates

View our refined products glossary

Go to SpraguePORT online

Oil prices fell despite support from OPEC to extend output cuts

March 21, 2017

RecapDespite OPEC showing signs of support in favor of extending the recently agreed upon output cuts, oil prices fell, giving up gains made last week. WTI for May delivery fell 40 cents, or 0.81%, settling at $48.91. Brent for May delivery settled at $51.62, down 14 cents or 0.275.

Continued bias toward an oversupplied market is evident in the front month spread. The soon to expire, April WTI, settled at a 69 cent discount to May, its weakest settlement since the middle of January and close to its weakest level of -72 cents.  Since settling below the long standing trend line that can be depicted on a spot continuation chart, WTI has fallen into a $2.53 cent range, while remaining below this line. Slow stochastics have moved out of overbought territory and are pointing to the upside.

April RBOB rose 0.8% to $1.611 a gallon, while April heating oil finished up by 0.4% to $1.514 a gallon.

Fundamental NewsAccording to sources, OPEC producers increasingly support the extension of its oil supply cut into the second half of the year.  However, they stated that non-OPEC participation is needed.  An OPEC delegate said an extension is needed to balance the market and any extension of the agreement should be with non-OPEC producers.  OPEC is scheduled to meet on May 25th in Vienna to decide output policy.  There will also be a gathering in May of OPEC and non-OPEC producers.

The Joint Organization Data Initiative reported that Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports fell by 3.8% to 7.713 million bpd in January, while its crude production fell by 717,000 bpd to 9.748 million bpd.

Libya's oil ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf are resuming operations and preparing to export crude after a two-week halt in shipments due to military clashes.  Staff are returning to work at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf ports and exports are set to restart in a week to ten days.  Libya's National Oil Corp said the country's production increased to 646,000 bpd from a previous level of 620,000 bpd.  NOC's Chairman, Mustafa Sanalla, said it has been coordinating with military forces from eastern Libya and has no reason to believe it will not regain control of the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf oil ports.  NOC aims to increase national production to 800,000 bpd by the end of April.  

According to energy lender, Arab Petroleum Investment, a historic agreement between OPEC countries and non-OPEC producers to reduce their output will not be enough to increase crude prices above $60/barrel this year.  It believes the process of balancing the market will take at least until the second half of 2017.

JP Morgan cut its 2017 WTI forecast to $53.75/barrel and its 2018 estimate to $53.50/barrel. It also lowered its price forecasts for 2017 and 2018 to $55.75/barrel and $55.50/barrel for Brent crude, respectively.

Societe Generale forecast the price of WTI in 2017 and 2018 at $56.70/barrel and $62.50/barrel, respectively.  It also forecast the 2017 price of Brent at $58.90/barrel and the 2018 price at $65/barrel.

IIR reported that US oil refiners are expected to shut in 973,000 bpd of capacity in the week ending March 24th, raising available refining capacity by 719,000 bpd in the previous week.  IIR expects offline capacity to fall to 732,000 bpd in the week ending March 31st. 


Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Apr $48.40, up 15 cents

RBOB - Apr $1.6185, up 72 points

HO - Apr $1.5215, up 76 points 


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


Click to view more online:

View market updates

View our refined products glossary

Go to SpraguePORT online

Oil futures closed unchanged despite possible output cut extension

March 20, 2017

Recap: Oil futures finished close to unchanged, as they were unable to gain momentum on statements by the Saudi Oil Minister referencing a possible extension of the output cuts imposed by OPEC and non-OPEC members. The U.S. oil rig count, which rose by 14 to a total of 631, worked to keep a lid on prices. Activity was quiet, with both blends trading in a narrow range. April WTI settled up 3 cents to $48.78 a barrel, ending the week's trading about 0.6 percent higher. May Brent settled at $51.76 a barrel, up 2 cents on the day and up 0.75 on the week.

April RBOB finished up half a cent to $1.599 a gallon-less than 0.1% lower for the week, while April heating oil rose less than half a penny to $1.509 a gallon, ending the week up about 0.3%.

Fundamental NewsAccording to Oil Movements, OPEC's oil shipments will increase by 270,000 bpd to 24.1 million bpd in the four week period ending April 1st.

Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister, Khalid Al-Falih, said OPEC and its allies may prolong production cuts after they expire in June if the world's crude inventories remain above the five year average.  OPEC is scheduled to meet on May 25th to decide whether to continue its production cuts.  He said the strategy is moving global markets in the "right direction" and fundamentals have improved considerably.  He also stated that OPEC's partners are fully committed to cutting output.  In the US, higher oil prices triggered by the OPEC agreement has prompted investment in the shale industry, potentially signaling another production boom that could undermine OPEC's goal of rebalancing the market.  However, he stated that he has made it clear that excessive production out of shale plays cannot be absorbed by the global market. 

The joint OPEC/non-OPEC technical committee estimates that OPEC members in February have delivered 106% of their pledged oil output cuts.  An industry source said eleven non-OPEC producers that joined the agreement to cut production delivered 64% of promised cuts in February. 

Russia's Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, said Russia will cut output by 300,000 bpd by the end of April and will maintain production at that level until the global oil output cut agreement expires at the end of June.  Russia had cut output by 160,000 bpd by mid-March. 

Baker Hughes reported that the number of rigs searching for oil in the US increased by 14 in the past week to 631. 

The Interior Department is considering Eni's request to explore for oil in waters north of Alaska.  Eni's exploration well would be in an area it previously leased from the federal government and is not covered by an executive order former President Barak Obama issued in December to block the sale of new drilling rights within parts of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

Energy Aspects reported that peak global refinery maintenance of 7.32 million bpd in March is weighing on physical grades, particularly light sweet crudes.   

IIR reported that US oil refiners are expected to shut in 1.658 million bpd of capacity in the week ending March 17th, increasing refining capacity by 47,000 bpd on the week.  IIR expects offline capacity to fall to 939,000 bpd in the week ending March 24th and to 732,000 bpd in the following week. 

Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Apr $48.05, down 74 cents

RBOB - Apr $1.5878, down 1.08 cents

HO - Apr $1.5004, down 82 points

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

Click to view more online:

View market updates

View our refined products glossary

Go to SpraguePORT online

Weakness in dollar and EIA report caused oil futures to open higher

March 17, 2017

Recap: Oil futures opened higher on Thursday, supported by weakness in the dollar and Wednesday's EIA report. Gains were quickly erased as it became apparent U.S. stockpiles remain at session levels despite efforts by OPEC and some non-OPEC producers to peel away at the global supply excess. April WTI settled at $48.75 a barrel, down 11 cents, or 0.23%. Brent for May delivery slipped 7 cents, or 0.14%, to settle at $51.74 a barrel.

April RBOB rose 0.2% to $1.589 per gallon, while April heating oil fell 0.3% to $1.508 a gallon.

Fundamental NewsThe EIA reported that OPEC's production cuts are finally being felt in the US, as crude imports from three of the group's largest Middle East producers fell in the week ending March 10th.  Imports from Saudi Arabia fell by 28% to 1.08 million bpd last week. Deliveries from Iraq fell by 57% while deliveries from Kuwait fell by 72% last week.  The declines from the Middle East helped cut total US Gulf imports to 2.69 million bpd.

Iraq's Oil Minister, Jabbar Al-Luaibi, said the country pumped 4.57 million bpd of oil in February and plans to increase its output later in the year, even as the OPEC member reaffirmed its commitment to the group's decision to cut production.  The country plans to increase output to 5 million bpd by the end of 2017.  Iraq exported 3.87 million bpd from its southern and northern terminals in February. 

Egypt aims to resume importing oil products from Saudi Aramco by the end of March or early April.  Egypt's Petroleum Minister, Tarek El Molla, said a deal to import crude from Iraq would remain in place as it was not a replacement for Saudi oil shipments which were halted last October.  Saudi Arabia agreed in April 2016 to provide Egypt with 700,000 tons of refined oil products per month for five years, though the cargoes stopped arriving in early October.      

Russia's Lukoil expects oil prices to remain around $55/barrel in 2017.  Lukoil's Chief Executive, Vagit Alekperov, said it would be expedient to extend the deal to crude global oil output.  Separately, he stated that Lukoil's oil production was down by 2,500 tons/day by mid-March. 

The European Parliament rejected a call to ban Arctic oil and gas exploration on Thursday.  Lawmakers voted 414-180 to reject the non-binding motion that called for the European Commission and member states to work with international forums towards a future total ban on the extraction of Arctic oil and gas.  The European Parliament did, however, endorse a call to ban oil drilling in the region's icy waters. 

RBC sees oil prices rising to about $60/barrel in the fourth quarter. 

Fitch's BMI Research said OPEC compliance has been strong and loading data for March suggests the trend will continue as increased field maintenance curbs production and support prices. 

Deutsche Bank expects OPEC cuts to be extended until the end of 2018 to prevent a build-up in inventories. 

According to International Enterprise Singapore, the country's residual fuels stocks fell by 805,000 barrels to 26.929 million barrels in the week ending March 15th.  Singapore's light distillates stocks increased by 335,000 barrels on the week to 14.266 million barrels, while its middle distillates stocks fell by 140,000 barrels to 12.878 million barrels on the week. 

Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Apr $49.08, up 33 cents

RBOB - Apr $1.6070, up 1.29 cents

HO - Apr $1.5153, up 1.10 cents 

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

Click to view more online:

View market updates

View our refined products glossary

Go to SpraguePORT online

Oil prices rose after unexpected decrease in U.S. crude oil inventories

March 16, 2017

Recap: Oil prices held on to early gains, stemming the week long streak of losses, after the EIA reported an unexpected decrease in U.S. crude oil inventories. According to its report, the EIA showed U.S. crude oil stocks fell 237,000 barrels. Analysts had expected an increase of 3.7 million barrels.  Larger than expected draws in product stocks pushed oil prices higher as well. Gasoline stocks fell 3.1 million barrels, with expectations call for a decrease of 2 million. Distillate stocks dipped 4.2 million barrels, much larger than the estimated 1.7 million barrel draw.

April WTI tacked on $1.14, or 2.39%, to settle at $48.86 a barrel and  May Brent gained 89 cents, or 1.75%, to settle at $51.81 a barrel.

April RBOB finished basically unchanged at $1.583 a gallon, while April heating gained 2.1 cents, or 1.4%, to $1.512 a gallon.

Fundamental NewsThe IEA reported the global oil inventories increased for the first time in six months in January, despite OPEC's production cuts.  However, it added that if the group maintains its output limits, the market may move into a deficit in the first half of 2017.  It said compliance by OPEC with its agreed output cuts of 1.2 million bpd in the first half of the year was 91% in February and if the group maintains its limit until June, the market could show an implied deficit of 500,000 bpd.  It reported that Saudi Arabia's oil production increased by 180,000 bpd to 9.98 million bpd.    Non-OPEC crude production increased by 90,000 bpd in February to 57.8 million bpd, as increasing US output offset declines elsewhere.  In regards to the US, the IEA said the continued increase in US crude exports will depend on the development of the country's coastal infrastructure.  The IEA said OECD crude stocks in January increased for the first time since July by 48 million barrels to 3.03 billion barrels.  The IEA also maintained its global demand growth forecast of 1.4 million bpd for 2017. 

Iran's Oil Minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, said Iran will cap its oil output at 3.8 million bpd if OPEC extends its cuts.

Iraq's Oil Ministry spokesman, Asim Jihad, said the country remains committed to a global agreement by OPEC and non-OPEC producers to reduce oil supply to stabilize the market.  Iraq's total oil production fell to 4.566 million bpd in February from 4.63 million bpd in January.  Meanwhile, Iraq's total oil exports in February totaled 3.869 million bpd in February. 

Iraq's South Oil Co said oil exports from the country's southern ports averaged 3.2 million bpd in the first half of March.      

Saudi Aramco will resume oil product shipments to Egypt five months after the exports were halted. 

Libya's eastern parliament said it was cancelling an agreement to unify the country's National Oil Corp, a day after eastern forces recaptured the ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf from a rival faction. 

TransCanada Corp plans to build a new crude oil storage facility in Cushing, Oklahoma in partnership with M2 Infrastructure LLC.  The facility will be able to store 6.2 million barrels of crude and will be located at TransCanada's terminal in Cushing.  The deal between TransCanada and M2 includes an option to build up to 20 million barrels of storage. 

IIR reported that US oil refiners are expected to shut in 1.581 million bpd of capacity in the week ending March 17th, raising available refining capacity by 225,000 bpd from the previous week.  IIR expects offline capacity to fall to 877,000 bpd in the week ending March 24th. 


Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Apr $49.13, up 27 cents

RBOB - Apr $1.5934, up 1.07 cents

HO - Apr $1.5169, up 48 points


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


Click to view more online:

View market updates

View our refined products glossary

Go to SpraguePORT online

Oil prices plummeted on news that Saudi oil production rose in February

March 15, 2017

Recap:  Oil prices plummeted for the seven straight session on reports that Saudi oil production for the month of February was pegged at 10.11 million barrels per day, up from 9.748 million in January. Substantial growth in U.S. production based on a year-on-year basis also weighed on prices. April WTI fell 68 cents, or 1.40%, to settle at $47.72 a barrel. Brent for May delivery slipped 43 cents, or 0.84%, to settle at $50.92 a barrel. 

April RBOB gained less than half a cent, settling at $1.5825 a gallon, while April heating oil fell under a penny to $1.4919 a gallon.

Fundamental News:  In its monthly report, OPEC said its production in February fell by 139,500 bpd to 31.96 million bpd.  The decrease was largely driven by Saudi Arabia, which cut 68,100 bpd to 9.8 million bpd.  Meanwhile, Iraq, which is reluctant to join the effort to cut production because it says it needs to raise money in its fight against the Islamic State militant group, is producing 63,000 bpd above its allocation.  Iraqi production fell by 62,000 bpd in February to 4.414 million bpd.  OPEC said that the rise in oil prices triggered by the OPEC-led production cuts has in turn encouraged increased output by non-OPEC producers.  Non-OPEC supply is expected to increase by 400,000 bpd, reflecting an upward revision of 160,000 bpd from a previous forecast.  OPEC reported that oil stocks in industrialized countries increased in January to 278 million barrels above the five year average, of which the surplus in crude was 209 million barrels and the rest refined products.

Saudi Arabia's Energy Ministry said the country's oil supply was little changed in the past two months and in line with OPEC output cut targets.  Saudi Arabia's oil production increased to 10.011 million bpd in February, up 263,000 bpd on the month.  It reported that the amount of crude supplied to the market in February fell to 9.9 million bpd from 9.99 million bpd in January. 

Iran's Oil Minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, said the country will keep its oil production cap at 3.8 million bpd in the second half of 2017, provided other OPEC members stick to the output level they agreed in November. 

East Libyan forces launched a ground offensive on Tuesday and regained control of the oil port of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider.  The eastern-based Libyan National Army mobilized ground forces and carried out air strikes as it attempted to retake Ras Lanuf and Es Sider from a rival faction known as the Benghazi Defence Brigades. 

Investments by Norway's oil industry will fall more than expected in 2017 and economic growth is now seen slightly lower than forecast.  Norway's Finance Ministry also stated that a rise in the price of crude and costs by the oil industry have reduced the risk of a major economic setback.  Oil and gas firms are now expected to cut investment by 11.6% on the year, compared with an October forecast of a 10% decline.  The government now predicts an average oil price of 479 Norwegian crowns or $55.90/barrel in 2017, up from an earlier forecast of 425 crowns and above the 379 crowns per barrel earned in 2016. 

South Korea's Korea Customs Service reported that the country imported 1.6 million tons or 12 million barrels of crude from Iran in February, up 53.5% from a year ago.

Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Apr $48.49, up 78 cents

RBOB - Apr $1.5981, up 1.44 cents

HO - Apr $1.5095, up 1.76 cents 


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


Click to view more online:

View market updates

View our refined products glossary

Go to SpraguePORT online

Oil futures fell for sixth consecutive session

March 14, 2017

Recap:  Oil futures fell for the sixth consecutive session as hedge funds continue to unwind length. As of last Monday, prices had fallen over 8%, marking the largest week on week sell-off in four months. April WTI settled at $48.40 a barrel, down 9 cents, or 0.2%, while Brent for May delivery fell 2 cents, 0.04%, to settle at $51.35 a barrel.  

April RBOB settled down 1.9 cents, or 1.2%, at $1.581 a gallon and April heating oil fell less than half a cent, or 0.2%, to $1.501 a gallon.

Fundamental News:  According to Genscape, crude oil stored in Cushing, Oklahoma increased by 1.7 million barrels in the week ending March 10th to 68.5 million barrels.

Kuwait's Oil Minister, Essam Al-Marzouq, said the country wants to extend a global deal to cut oil supply beyond June to rebalance the market and bring crude prices to an acceptable level.  He said preliminary data was "very positive" and showed that compliance with the deal in February had increased to 95% from 91%.

Iranian Communications Minister, Mahmoud Vaezi said at the start of a meeting with Russia's Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, that they would discuss a deal to supply Russia with 100,000 bpd of Iranian crude oil.

Russia's Rosneft said that while the output cut deal showed its sustainability and was fulfilled by more than 90%, there was a risk that a global oil output cuts deal would not be extended because of a lack of will on the part of the main participants and due to shale production dynamics in the US.  It said a recovery in US oil output may deter OPEC and non-OPEC producers from extending production cuts beyond June and may lead to a new price war.

Libya's National Oil Corporation will likely declare force majeure at the terminals of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf if clashes continue.  Libya's eastern-based Libyan National Army lost control of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf to a rival faction 10 days ago.  Both sides have been mobilizing since then, and the LNA has been conducting daily air strikes in the area.  An NOC board member said Libya's oil output stood at just over 615,000 bpd, down from about 700,000 bpd before the conflict around the oil ports broke out.

Iran's Kharg oil terminal reached a record loading of 6.6 million bpd.

Iraq is in talks with US companies including ExxonMobil to develop oil infrastructure projects in the country.

Plains All American Pipeline returned its Wahsatch crude oil pipeline to service late Friday.  Plains shut down the pipeline on February 10th as a precautionary measure due to indications of soil movements in a mountainous area.

Reuters reported that a record 9.4 million barrels of US crude is scheduled to discharge in Asia in April.

Barclays analyst, Michael Cohen, said that with oil prices close to or below $50/barrel, OPEC's agreement to cut output has a higher probability of extension.  

IIR reported that US oil refiners are expected to shut in 1.58 million bpd of capacity in the week ending March 17th, raising available refining capacity by 299,000 bpd from the previous week.  IIR expects offline capacity to fall to 772,000 bpd in the week ending March 24th.   


Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Apr $47.62, down 79 cents

RBOB - Apr $1.5707, down 1.01 cents

HO - Apr $1.4865, down 1.35 cents 


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

View the Sprague Refined Products Market Watch Report in a downloadable pdf format by clicking the headline at the top of this email.

Click to view more online:

View market updates

View our refined products glossary

Go to SpraguePORT online

Global supply glut pushed oil futures lower for 5th straight day

March 13, 2017

Recap:  Oil futures fell for the 5th straight day on mounting concern that the global supply glut still persists despite efforts by some of the world's largest producers to reduce it. Adding pressure to this, the market had its 8th sequential week of increases in the U.S. oil rig count. According to Baker Hughes, the number of operating rigs rose by 8, to 617 rigs.       

April WTI fell 79 cents, or 1.60%, to settle at $48.49 a barrel. This marks a loss of 9.1% on the week. May Brent settled at $51.37 a barrel, down 82 cents, or 1.57%, for a weekly decline of 8.10%.

April RBOB fell 2.4 cents, or 1.5%, to $1.600 a gallon, for a weekly loss of 3.2%, while April heating oil fell 2.6 cents, or 1.7%, to $1.504 a gallon, ending down roughly 5.7% for the week.

Fundamental News:  Baker Hughes reported that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the US increased by eight in the past week to 617. 

The UAE's Energy Minister, Suhail al-Mazrouei said the UAE will comply fully with its OPEC commitment to reduce oil production by more than 139,000 bpd in March and April due to maintenance activities.

Russia's Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, said Russia has so far cut its oil output by 156,000 bpd as part of a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC countries to support oil prices.  He also said that Russia was ahead of schedule with its portion of the output cuts and that oil stocks on world markets would fall.  

Petrologistics reported an increase of 427,000 bpd in OPEC supply in February.  The group's 13 members supplied an average of 32.494 million bpd. 

Oil refiners paid a record of over $2 billion to meet US biofuels requirements in 2016, a 68% increase that helps fuel a debate over who should shoulder the costs for meeting environmental regulations.  According to a Reuters review of regulatory filings from ten refiners, including Valero Energy Corp and CVR Energy Inc showed that they paid $2.22 billion last year for compliance credits that companies use to prove they are meeting annual government requirements for volumes of biofuels to be blended with gasoline and diesel.

Royal Dutch Shell has bought only three cargoes of Iranian oil since sanctions were lifted a year ago, a small fraction of what it used to buy and an indication of the legal difficulties and high prices that still hamper the trade. 

The head of Vitol, Mike Loya, said oil production in the Permian shale will increase by 600,000 to 700,000 bpd in the year through December. 

Morgan Stanley forecast the average price of Brent at $57.20/barrel in 2017 and 2018.  It believes a drawdown of global inventories from the second quarter of 2017 onwards will likely drive Brent prices to rally to $62.50/barrel by the end of 2017.  Brent crude prices are seen reaching $70/barrel by the end of 2019 and to $75/barrel by the end of 2020. 

Citigroup analysts forecast that US oil production is seen rising by 1 million bpd by the fourth quarter.  The bank also raised its 2017 rig count forecast by 3% to 822 and said shale capex will increase by 80% in 2017. 

IIR reported that US oil refiners are expected to shut in 1.862 million bpd of capacity in the week ending March 10th, cutting available refining capacity by 237,000 bpd from the previous week.  IIR expects offline capacity to fall to 1.556 million bpd in the week ending March 17th and to 826,000 bpd in the following week. 


Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Apr $48.43, down 6 cents

RBOB - Apr $1.5850, down 1.51 cents

HO - Apr $1.5082, up 49 points


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

Click to view more online:

View market updates

View our refined products glossary

Go to SpraguePORT online

Oil prices hit their lowest level in 14 weeks

March 10, 2017

Recap:  Oil futures experienced another meltdown on Thursday, as traders weighed in on the global supply surplus and the ability of recent output cuts to eat away at such superfluities. Prices fell 3%, hitting their lowest level in 14 weeks. For the first time since November, WTI settled below $50 a barrel, finishing the session at $49.28, down $1, or 2%. Brent for May delivery fell 92 cents, or 1.39%, to settle at $52.19 a barrel.

Thursday's sell-off confirmed Wednesday's breakout of the consolidation pattern for WTI. From a technical viewpoint, the beauty about today's trading activity, is that April WTI came back to test the bottom of the aforementioned pattern, only to come back off and make a new low, stopping just below the 200-day moving average. Worth noting, this is the first time since OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed to make production cuts that WTI established a legitimate breakout of this period of consolidation and the first time that spot WTI retreated back to the 200-day moving average. Once again, technical indicators are in oversold territory; however ,they are pointing to the downside, indicating additional downside movement. With this in mind, we could see a retracement back to $45.20, the level in November where prices began their ascent.  

April RBOB fell 2.8 cents, or 1.7%, to $1.624 a gallon, while April heating oil fell 2.7 cents, or 1.8%, to $1.530 a gallon.

Fundamental News:  The US Energy Department awarded 10 million barrels of sour crude to BP Plc, Valero Marketing and Supply Co, among others, from the SPR. 

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister, Khalid Al-Falih, warned that the decision by OPEC to temporarily cut output does not mean a free ride for anybody.  He said Saudi Arabia will not allow itself to be used by others.  He said the agreement, set to be reviewed in May, is by no means a permanent pullback nor a signal that US unconventional operators can increase their production.

The UAE's Energy Minister, Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazrouei, said that the fall in oil prices was temporary and prices would rise as OPEC complies with output cuts. 

EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, said he aims to reduce regulatory uncertainty for the industry and will put out an announcement on fuel efficiency standards very soon.  He said he did not agree that carbon dioxide was the primary contributor to global warming and that the landmark Paris climate agreement was a "bad deal" and should have gone through Congress as a treaty. 

Iraq's Oil Ministry reported that the country's oil exports fell to 3.269 million bpd in February from 3.32 million bpd in January.  The volumes are lower than record exports of over 4 million bpd achieved in November due to the OPEC output cut agreement. 

The militia, which seized control of two of Libya's largest eastern oil export terminals, called on National Oil Corp to resume control and operations at the ports.  The Benghazi Defense Brigades seized control of the 220,000 bpd Ras Lanuf and 447,000 bpd Es Sider oil export terminals on Saturday, ousting the Libyan National Army. 

Euroilstock reported that crude oil intake at Europe's refineries in February increased by 3.8% on the year to 10.54 million bpd.  Europe's stocks of crude and oil products stood at 1.137 billion barrels, down 3.3% on the year and down 0.1% from January.  Crude stocks in February fell by 1.1% on month and by 3.8% on the year to 474.72 million barrels.  European gasoline stocks increased by 0.3% on the month but fell by 5.8% on the year to 122.74 million barrels while distillate stocks increased by 1.2% on the month and by 0.3% on the year to 446.55 million barrels.  


Early Market Call - as of 9:10 AM EDT

WTI - Apr $49.68 up 40 cents

RBOB - Apr $1.6340 up 97 points

HO - Apr $1.5351 up 56 points


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



Click to view more online:

View market updates

View our refined products glossary

Go to SpraguePORT online

Oil prices dropped on Wednesday after EIA reported 8.2 million barrel build in US crude oil inventories

March 09, 2017

Recap: Oil prices plunged on Wednesday after the EIA reported a build of 8.2 million barrels in U.S. crude oil inventories for the week ending March 3. Although not as large an increase as the 11.6 million barrel build in the API report, expectations were calling for a build of 2 million barrels. This week's release marks the 9th straight week of inventory builds.

For the first time since November, WTI traded close to $50 a barrel, as U.S. inventory numbers reached record levels. The April contract fell to a low of $50.05 before paring losses for a settlement at $50.28 a barrel, down $2.86, or 5.38%. May Brent slipped $2.81, or 5.03%, to settle at $53.11 a barrel.

April RBOB settled down 2.7 cents, or 1.6%, lower at $1.653 a gallon, while April heating oil lost 5.7 cents, or 3.5%, to $1.557 a gallon.

Fundamental NewsThe EIA reported US crude oil inventories increased by 8.2 million barrels in the week ending March 3rd to a record high of 528.4 million barrels.  Crude stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma increased by 867,000 barrels on the week.  It also reported that US gasoline stocks saw the largest weekly decline since 2011, with a draw of 6.6 million barrels.

Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister, Khalid Al-Falih, acknowledged that global crude oil inventories are not depleting as quickly as he expected, opening the door for an extension of the production cuts into the second half of the year.  The potential rollover is a subtle yet significant shift from six weeks ago, when the minister said that an extension probably would not be needed.  His concern about the slow pace of stockpile reductions was echoed by the UAE's Oil Minister, Suhail Al-Mazrouei.  During a news conference, Russia's Oil Minister, Alexander Novak, said compliance with the output cuts will improve in the next three months and promised that Russia will cut production further.

Kuwait's compliance with the OPEC agreement for January and February was 115%.  Kuwait's Oil Minister, Essam Al-Marzouq, said the country's compliance rate for February alone was 140%, while non-OPEC members' compliance was 50-60%.  The Managing Director of International Marketing at Kuwait Petroleum, Nabeel Bouristi, said Kuwait cut its production by 146,000 bpd from an output level of 2.95 million bpd before the agreement.

Enterprise Products Partners said its Seaway crude oil pipeline resumed service.  The 400,000 bpd pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the US Gulf Coast was shut over the weekend following a possible leak.  Separately, Enterprise plans to bring four crude storage tanks in Houston online in early 2018.  The company has four 390,000 barrel crude tanks currently under construction at its Houston Ship Channel terminal for a first quarter 2018 in service date.  There is room for additional expansion of up to 3.1 million barrels of storage.

The Kurdish group that controls Iraq's Kirkuk oilfields has agreed with Baghdad to keep crude flowing from the region through a pipeline to a Turkish export terminal on the Mediterranean.  The deal was reached on Tuesday between the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi.  The PUK withdrew its threat to shut the pipeline after the Iraqi government decided to increase the capacity of the Kirkuk oil refinery.  Iraq's Oil Minister, Jabbar Al-Luaibi, said Kirkuk refinery capacity was increased by 10,000 bpd to 40,000 bpd.

North Dakota's Industrial Commission reported that oil production in the state increased 38,000 bpd to 980,000 bpd in January.  Bakken and Three Forks oil production stood at 933,000 bpd in the month. 


Early Market Call - as of 9:25 AM EDT

WTI - Apr $49.83, down 45 cents

RBOB - Apr $1.6326, down 2.01 cents

HO - Apr $1.5420, down 1.45 cents 


View the Sprague Refined Products Market Watch Report in a downloadable pdf format

Click to view more online:

View market updates

View our refined products glossary

Go to SpraguePORT online