Market Intel

WTI traded within 30 cents of unchanged on last trading day for March options

Feb 16, 2017

Recap:  On the last trading day for March options, WTI traded within 30 cents of unchanged; on both the positive and negative side.  Record high crude oil and gasoline inventories pressured prices, while weakness in the dollar provided light support. March WTI was little changed, settling at $53.11 a barrel, down 9 cents, or 0.17%. April Brent settled at $55.75 a barrel, down 22 cents, or 0.4%.

March RBOB rose less than half a penny to $1.548 a gallon while March heating oil settled at $1.631 a gallon, down under a cent. With PADD 1 gasoline stocks reaching a record high, the March gasoline crack has turned lower once again, settling the session at $11.77.

Fundamental NewsThe EIA reported that US crude oil stocks in the week ending February 10th increased by 9.527 million barrels to the highest level on record of 1.213 billion barrels, with crude stocks in the Gulf Coast increasing to a record level of 274.4 million barrels. Gasoline stocks increased to the highest level on record as well, with stocks increasing by 2.846 million barrels to 259.1 million barrels.

A board member with Libya's National Oil Corp, Jadalla Alaokali, said Libya is currently producing more than 700,000 bpd.  He added that the country's production should increase to 1.2 million by August.  The El Feel oil field is expected to resume operations as soon as one month from now, adding 75,000 bpd to the country's output. 

Iran's Oil Minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, said oil export capacity has increased to 2.8 million bpd from about 1.2 million bpd.  Separately, Iran's Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia said Iran will decide on at least half of a planned $70 billion in energy projects in a few short months.   

Oman's Oil Minister, Mohammad Al-Rumhy, said oil prices are expected to increase mid-year on output cuts.  He also stated that there is room for non-OPEC countries to cut output further as part of a supply deal agreement with OPEC producers.  He expects Russia's compliance with the agreement to be better in February and March.    

Russian Energy Ministry official, Pavel Sorokin, said the country sees oil prices at $50-$55/barrel this year. 

OPEC will publish a report late February focusing on the stability of the market as it reacts to the organization's output cut and the new US administration energy policy.  The report will help in formalizing a clear policy to help stabilize the global market.  The OPEC ministerial committee monitoring the output reduction will hold its second meeting on February 17th to discuss the February report.  Meanwhile, the report will look into energy policies proposed by the Trump administration.   

Genscape reported that crude inventories in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp area fell by 2.63 million barrels to 55.26 million barrels in the week ending February 10th.

BMI said it revised its Saudi crude production capacity upwards to 11.21 million bpd in 2026 from 10.41 million bpd and compared with 10.33 million bpd in 2017.  Separately, BMI stated that Iraq only managed 40% compliance with the OPEC cuts in January and added that not improving on this could prove problematic to group cohesion.   

North Dakota's oil production in December fell by more than 92,000 bpd to 942,455 bpd, according to the state's Pipeline Authority. 

IIR reported that US oil refiners are expected to shut in 1.652 million bpd of capacity in the week ending February 17th, cutting available capacity by 133,000 bpd from the previous week.  IIR expects offline capacity to fall to 1.274 million bpd in the week ending February 24th. 


Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Mar $53.47, up 36 cents  

RBOB - Mar $1.5361, down 1.2 cents  

HO - Mar $1.6426, up 1.21 cents  


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