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Lower U.S. Oil Prices Are a Shot in the Arm for Crude Exports
Ever since Hurricane Harvey hit, WTI crude oil (the U.S.’s crude index) has been trading at steep discount relative to Brent crude (the European crude index). Spreads are around $6.60 this morning, putting spreads in their highest price range since 2015. Anytime spreads are larger than $4, it becomes financially beneficial to export U.S. crude globally. As time goes on, that spread should narrow, reducing the call on U.S. supplies and keeping more product in the U.S. Click Here to read more from the Wall Street Journal.
Permian Could Top Out in 2021 unless Tech Overcomes Geology, Wood Mac says
The Permian has been the hot topic for upstream energy companies, as the area is one of the cheapest production regions in the U.S.Producers are flocking to the Permian, so much so that pipeline capacity to move the crude oil has been stretched at times. According to research from Wood Mackenzie, it looks like production could peak in 2021, though production will likely continue at slightly reduced rates for decades. Click Here to read more from Chron.
Refinery Demand, Not OPEC, Is the Key to Keeping Oil Prices above $50 a Barrel, Analysts Say
While production is often the hot topic when it comes to global oil fundamentals, demand is equally as important, despite being less exciting to talk about. Recent reports from the IEA and EIA forecasting stronger demand both helped boost WTI prices above $50. And demand will be what keeps prices higher, not just supply cuts. High refiner margins, represented by the difference between a barrel of crude oil and a barrel of diesel or gasoline, will continue to pull crude prices higher. Strong diesel demand, even with slower gasoline demand, has helped keep margins high, keeping upward pressure on oil prices. Click Here to read more from CNBC.
Iran Says OPEC Must Address Rising Libya, Nigeria Oil Output
OPEC and non-OPEC members met last week to discuss production cuts, and the consensus was that cuts are working and do not need to be extended beyond March 2018, at least for now. Nations are calling for deeper cuts in Libya and Nigeria, who are not party to the agreement and have been increasing production over the past several months. Iraq is planning on boosting oil production capacity even while affirming its commitment to the cuts; they’re likely gearing up for the battle for market share beginning after March 2018. The Kurds in Iraq have scheduled a referendum for independence, which could impact Iraq’s oil production. The land in question contains some of the oldest fields in the country, and no one knows what happens to those fields if the Kurds win. Click Here to read more from Bloomberg.