In Asia, Europe, and the Middle East hundreds of new cases of the coronavirus, COVID-19, have been reported. The virus has been found in about 30 countries. In the US, the Center for Disease Control warned of the inevitable outbreak of the virus. The organization is preparing for “severe” disruptions to daily life in the US, hoping that being overprepared will limit the effect. WTI Crude is trading lower on the news, trading below $50/bbl this morning, its lowest level since January 2019.
In regional news, at least two explosions rocked Marathon Petroleum’s oil refinery near Los Angeles overnight, sparking a massive fire that was visible for miles, according to reports. The fire in a cooling tower at the refinery temporarily closed all lanes of the 405 Freeway in the city of Carson. The cause of the fire is not yet known; no injuries have been reported. The Marathon refinery is the largest on the west coast, with a crude oil capacity of 363 kbpd. California’s fuel market is largely isolated from the rest of the United States’ fuelling infrastructure, so the refinery outage could have a significant short-term effect on local fuel prices.
The API’s data last night:
The API reported a smaller-than-expected build for crude of 1.3 MMbbls versus an expected build of 2.0 MMbbls. At Cushing, stocks rose with a build of 0.4 MMbbls. The API reported distillates had a smaller-than-expected draw and gasoline had a small surprise build. The EIA will report numbers later this morning.
Crude prices are down this morning. WTI Crude is trading at $49.37, a loss of 53 cents.
Fuel is down in early trading this morning. Diesel is trading at $1.5357, a loss of 3.3 cents. Gasoline is trading at $1.4952, a loss of 3.7 cents.