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Refined Products

Recap: On Thursday, WTI bounced around unchanged in a narrow range on what was expiration of the September options contract. After bouncing off of the 50-day moving average, this spot contract rebounded, slowly creeping above the $47 dollar mark, faltering momentarily before regaining ground. September WTI settled at $47.09 a barrel up 31 cents, or 0.66%.  Brent for October delivery tacked on 76 cents, or 1.51%, to settle at $51.03 a barrel.

September RBOB gained 2.3 cents, or 1.5%, to $1.587 a gallon, while September heating oil rose less than a penny to $1.582 a gallon.

Fundamental NewsGenscape reported that crude stocks held in Cushing, Oklahoma fell by more than 1 million barrels in the week ending Tuesday, August 15th.

Saudi Arabia shipped the least oil in almost three years in June, just as domestic stockpiles are declining.  According to the Joint Organizations Data Initiative, Saudi Arabia’s exports fell to 6.9 million bpd, the lowest since September 2014, from 6.92 million bpd in May.  Saudi Arabia produced 10.07 million bpd in June, up 190,000 bpd from May.  The country’s domestic stockpiles stood at 256.6 million barrels, the lowest since January 2012.    

Europe is set to take a record of more than 2 million tons of US diesel in August after several refinery issues pulled in cargoes that have for months been diverted elsewhere.  Refinery fires and falling stocks have made Europe a target destination for US exports. 

Nigeria’s exports of Forcados crude is expected to increase to about 256,000 bpd in October on 9 cargoes, up from 8 cargoes with a total of 249,000 bpd initially planned for September.  Nigeria's exports of Bonny Light crude in October is set at about 139,000 bpd on 5 cargoes. 

The EPA reported that US generation of renewable fuel blending credits increased in July to 1.27 billion, compared with 1.26 billion in June.  It also reported that the US generated 372 million biodiesel blending credits in July, down from 401 million in June. 

Colonial Pipeline Co is allocating space for Cycle 48 shipments on Line 1, its main gasoline line from Houston, Texas to Greensboro, North Carolina.

Citigroup said oil prices will struggle to rise above $60/barrel during the next five years because of supplies from both OPEC and US shale producers.  It estimated that oil will trade at $40 to $60/barrel through to 2022, lowering its previous forecast of a ceiling at $65/barrel.  It, however stated, that although prices will likely trade mainly within a range, they will still show some volatility.  Crude prices could increase to $70/barrel or fall to towards $30/barrel. 

Standard Chartered said Texas-focused companies accounted for 77% of all new 2018 hedges in the second quarter.  It stated that 47% of all incremental 2018 hedging was carried out by Permian producers, with a further 30% by Eagle Ford producers.   

Gasoline stocks held in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub in the week ending August 17th increased by 0.22% on the week but fell by 10.02% on the year to 898,000 tons.  Gasoil stocks increased by 10.91% on the week but fell by 9.33% on the year to 2.897 million tons while its fuel oil stocks increased by 6.01% on the week and by 0.12% on the year to 847,000 tons. 

Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Sep  $47.24, up 15 cents

RBOB - Sep $1.5991, up 1.2 cents

HO -Sep $1.5851, up 33 points

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Natural Gas

Thursday, August 17th, saw the front-month NYMEX Natural Gas Futures Contracts open at $2.884, nearly a penny below Wednesday’s closing price of $2.890.  Fluctuating along the $2.88 mark through 10:30AM, prices plunged to the intraday low of $2.856 as the storage report hit the wire.  Surging higher in the following minutes as traders digested the revised storage publication, the contract then rose confidently into the afternoon.  Marking the intraday high of $2.939 at 2:00PM, September closed higher on Thursday at $2.929.

The EIA Natural Gas Storage Report published on Thursday showed a 53 BCF injection to storage for the week ended August 11th – above the market estimate of 50 BCF. This injection amount reflects a revision to prior submissions of data where working gas has been restated as base gas; revising last week’s total storage down from 3,038 to 3,029.  Total working gas in storage was reported as 3,082 BCF; 7.6% below this time last year and 1.8% above the five-year average.

This morning in Globex, WTI Crude was up 15 cents; Natural Gas was down two cents; Heating Oil was up slightly; and, Gasoline was up one cent.  Additionally, cash prices were higher in New York and lower in New England.


Natural Gas Glossary

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