Phil Flynn is writer of The Energy Report, a daily market commentary discussing oil, the Middle East, American government, economics, and their effects on the world's energies markets, as well as other commodity markets. Contact Mr. Flynn at (888) 264-5665
Once I ran to you (I ran) Now I’ll run from you, this tainted crude you’ve given. I give you all the reserve could give you.
Take my oil and that’s not nearly all, oh tainted crude, tainted crude. Take my tears and that’s not nearly all, Oh tainted crude.
Is oil From the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) tainted?
One of the factors keeping US oil supplies from falling further below normal than they already are has been sales from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Yet a recent report shows that some of that SPR oil may have gone bad. Reuters is reporting that three firms that bought crude oil last year from U.S. emergency stockpiles raised concerns about dangerous levels of a poisonous chemical in the cargoes, according to internal Energy Department emails and shipping documents reviewed by Reuters.
This comes just one day after the SPR announced another big 7-million-barrel sale from the SPR to at least at least five different companies, rumored to be Atlantic Trading & Marketing, Phillips 66, Marathon Petroleum, Motiva, and Trafigura, according to Platts sources.
The problem with this report is that if US SPR oil is tainted in some way, it is possible that they may not be able to sell more oil to the refiners until they get the problem cleaned up. That potentially could tighten US oil supply even more. US oil supplies are below normal, and many refiners have had their fill of the light oil that the frackers want to sell. We will contact SPR today and try to get more details, but this is a story to watch.
Yesterday, oil was watching the stock market and the dollar. Oil tried to rally on a crude report that was bearish on the headline number but masking very bullish undertones. Strong refiner demand and a big drop in gasoline supply was supportive but was not enough to overcome an uncertain stock market and the strong dollar. The bottom line for the crude market is that crude supplies are below normal for this time of year and demand is above normal. We can let the market figure out the rest, but this is a bullish situation.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 1.6 million barrels, less than the API reported. At 429.9 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are in the lower half of the average range for this time.
The reason for the big build was really a surge in U.S. crude oil imports which spiked to 8.1 million barrels per day last week, up by a whopping 1.1 million barrels per day from the previous week. Still, the last four weeks averaged 7.7 million barrels per day, 4.0% less than the same four-week period last year. The EIA said gasoline inventories decreased by 3.5 million barrels last week but are in the upper half of the average range.
Refiner demand is strong. Crude oil refinery inputs averaged about 16.8 million barrels per day and refineries ramped up to 92.3% of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline and diesel demand also rose last week.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) also reported a major milestone in the US energy revolution. According to EIA, U.S. net energy imports in 2017 fell to their lowest levels since 1982. The surge in US production in oil exports, as well as less oil from OPEC, helped the US energy Industry achieve what many people thought was impossible just a few years ago. Kudos!
Questions? Ask Phil Flynn today at 312-264-4364
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Winter just end already! Nat gas is up on colder weather forecasts. NOOOOOOO! We get the EIA today and we are looking for an 80 bcf draw. Hopefully spring will come someday! You can find out when if you stay tuned to the Fox Business Network. You can also get up to date trades on all major markets by calling 888-264-5665 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Have a very happy and blessed Easter
Questions? Ask Phil Flynn today at 312-264-4364