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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Price changes for Thursday, December 29, 2016

Hi to all,

Here's what I have for this week's price changes.

Keep in mind that this week's numbers may be off somewhat as a result of today's missing data. I had to take my "best guess" on spot prices today just based on oil price closure. Six days of this week's data is good however, so the numbers are probably not that far off from the actual that may occur.

*Heating and stove oils show an increase of 2.3 cents a litre.
*Diesel shows an increase of 1.8 cents, and...
*Gasoline shows an added 3.2 cents a litre this week.

Market highlights

Watching and waiting
     While trading in oil was lacklustre over the last week due to Christmas holidays, some data is starting to emerge from the tail end of OPEC and non-OPEC cuts due to be implemented in January. Already, some drillers are back in the field and the latest rig count seems to confirm in no uncertain terms, that they're headed back to take advantage of a hole left in the production of oil.
      I think OPEC has forgotten that just a year and half ago, approval was sought and granted, to oil producers in the US to step up exports if the time and market conditions were ever to allow.
      They did, once the shale boom hit and oil prices remained over $100 US a  barrel.
      This week saw another gain the US rotary rig count with the shale industry adding another 13 rigs to working inventory.
       I'm waiting on further data from the US Energy Information Administration on Thursday that will most likely see another increase in US domestic production, which last week, saw production hit 8.797 million barrels a day.

OPEC production data
      The latest data on total OPEC production on the heels of self-imposed cuts should be available sometime during the first week of January.
       What is also going to be more interesting to watch is to see how much both non-OPEC producers who signed on to cuts and non-OPEC producers out there altogether, are doing to either reign in on production, or actually beginning to produce more to meet the "shortfall" created by OPEC cuts to production.
        You have to keep in mind here the simple fact of capitalism in all this equation: a company is supposed to make money for its shareholders and those companies can't do that, or attract investors, with a plan that doesn't show growth. That's going to be an important "motivator" in all this.

       Let's see who comes out on top...


Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Price changes for Thursday, December 22,2016

Hi to all,

Here’s what I have for price changes for Thursday, December 22,2016.

*Heating and stove oils show an increase of 1.2 cents a litre.

*Diesel fuel shows an increase of 1.6 cents a litre, and

*Gasoline shows an increase of 2.8 cents a litre.

Market highlights

US rotary rig count increases

     US drillers are heading back to the oilfields, and OPEC should be worried...

     While US drilling numbers increasing at a steady pace, this week increasing by another 12 rigs from last week’s increase of 26, others are simply waiting to get “back in” after they get a sense of market and oil price stability. OPEC should show some sense of worry, knowing that there was going to be a measured response against cuts.

US domestic oil output shows a sharp spike upwards

      US domestic oil output also showed a marked response on the heels of last week’s announced cuts. As predicted would happen, US domestic production increased by another 99,000 barrels a day just in the first five days after the announced cuts and the Saturday agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers.

      One would easily interpret that increase with an immediate impact on prices. While not an extremely large increase, it’s still early in the going. Expect to see more players to enter the market with oil up a rough $2 US on the week.

       The most likely reason for the spike in output was the simple fact that fields which had initially been shut down as a result of the June ’15 price collapse. With oil production hitting 9.6 million barrels that month, US domestic has just hit 8.797 million barrels a day since in comparison.

        But OPEC should be aware that there a re a lot of closed off spigots that can be turned on real quick if oil gets much higher.

         That’s it for this week, with all this coming from me with a “Merry Christmas” along with the “warmest” of holiday wishes!


George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Price changes for Thursday, December 15, 2016

Hi to all,

Here's what I have for this week's price changes, keeping in mind that the winter blending may throw off Diesel and Heating/stove oils a little from the actual that may occur.

*Heating and stove oils show a drop of just 6/10ths of a cent/Litre....
*Diesel shows a drop of a penny, and...
*Gasoline shows a drop of 1.8 cents at the pumps.

Market highlights

US rig count shows an increase
     On the heels of OPEC and non-OPEC countries getting together in Vienna, Austria last week for their production cut meetings, those who joined in cuts should not be surprised to fins a very responsive US domestic oil industry begin to kick things into high gear.
     The US rig count, as I suspected, increased by double digits last week, with the US drilling industry adding 27 new rigs piercing grounds for oil.
     As the numbers suggest, that raises the stakes in a game of competition between US domestic production and it's ability to try and fill a gap in almost 1.8 million barrels in cuts by both OPEC and non-OPEC producers last week.
     Numbers on exactly how much oil will be added to US domestic production will probably keep increasing to a point that it could negate OPEC cuts.
     After all, it's not just the US that they have to worry about now.
Other countries left to the sidelines with the initial fall in oil, will also be quick to respond. Equador was another country left at a high water mark before prices fell, so it should be widely expected that others will respond in kind to a hole left in the markets for product.

I'll leave it at that for this week!


Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Price changes for Thursday, December 8th, 2016... and OPEC commentary!

Hi to all,

Here's what I have for price changes now that the final numbers are in. As I thought, there was not much change from lasts evening's post.

*Heating and stove oils still show an increase of 4.5 cents a litre.
*Diesel fuel shows an increase of 4.9 cents a litre at the pumps, and...
*Gasoline shows an increase of 5.5 cents a litre coming this Thursday morning.

Market highlights

OPEC makes a deal
*In spite of the odds, OPEC members have signed a deal that cuts production between its members by a whole 1.2 million barrels, but as the news says today with oil, a lot of people still have their doubts and await proof that the deal will hold.
      While members of OPEC have signed on, the real proof will come with "compliance"- a vitally important factor in ensuring that OPEC itself still has the influence in the oil market that I still believe it has lost.
      Even though the deal has been delivered, latest figures from OPEC indicate that November month is one of the heaviest months that OPEC has produced oil, and all in spite of meeting over an agreed to cut. OPEC produced nearly 34.2 million barrels a day compared to 33.8 million barrels a day in October.
      Meanwhile, non-OPEC oil producing nations like Russia, will meet with OPEC tomorrow to discuss an arrangement to cut production as well. Russia produced 11.2 million barrels a day last month, the highest in thirty years.

Will oil hold? I don't think so...
*While OPEC members remain hopeful that prices will increase like they have, already sentiments against OPEC members not cheating are beginning to permeate the market with doubt. With a history of OPEC members cheating on their own quotas, and rivalries between Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia abounding, there is rank suspicion between members as well as an underlying distrust. Saudi Arabia and Iran face off against each other over a civil war in Yemen, while Iraq and Iran have ideological differences that stretch generations.
      Pare with that the idea that others await on the sidelines to step in where others have backed out, leaving some with "breathing space" and a chance to recover. OPEC had shale producers on the ropes, coming within a hair of knocking the US oil industry back to the 1990's where OPEC first went all out in flooding the oil markets, stripping the US of just about all of its market-share. Now frackers have been given the time to adjust, control costs and lower them in a lot of cases.
      The shalers will step in and US domestic response will be strong and pick up the loose ends. Other non-OPEC producers will smell an opportunity to recover lost share and will also respond. It will be hard for the Russians not to respond in kind.
      What has forced OPEC to flinch first will get them in the end. OPEC blinked when it became readily apparent that they themselves have gotten too used to the revenues garnered from oil resources. That's a lesson that everyone has failed to notice yet: in spite of OPEC oil producers being completely different in one context, they're really no different than any other corporation who has long tried to corner a market...then failed.

Call this a "commentary" this week!


George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil