Energy Markets Commentary - Nov. 14

Discussion in 'Commodity Futures' started by Ransquawk, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. Ransquawk

    Ransquawk ET Sponsor

    Energy futures are trading mostly higher today following further comments by OPEC that it does not see a need for more oil in the market, on expectations of declines in U.S. inventories last week and on a weaker US dollar.

    OPEC’s Secretary General, el Badri, said today ahead of the group’s summit this weekend that the producing group does not see a need for more oil in the market. According to Dow Jones, he said “There’s enough quantity in inventories, we have 53.5 days of forward cover, there’s no shortage in the market.” Additionally, he said the question of raising output (referring to U.S. Energy Secretary, Bodman’s request yesterday for more oil) will be “raised in Abu Dhabi where we will talk about supply, demand, inventories and fundamentals at this time.” It is worth noting in this context that the EIA projected in its last short-term outlook OECD inventories to fall below the 5 year average by year-end and toward the lower end of the 5-year range in 2008. Today the head of the International Energy Agency, Tanaka, said that the current level of oil stocks is worrisome and hopes that producers listen to market signals. He also said that world energy demand is rising “unacceptably.”

    Separately, regarding the dollar, OPEC’s Secretary General said that OPEC was not discussing changing the pricing of crude oil from dollars into other currencies. On the subject Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Oil Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said today, according to Dow Jones, that “the dollar is one of the most stable currencies and we’re keeping it because we’re looking at the long term perspective.” Last week Friday the US Dollar Index fell to an all-time low of 75.400. Today it is trading lower by 0.3% to 75.531.

    In other energy news, Norway increased crude oil output in October by 5.3% to 2.247M b/d from 2.133M b/d in September. Norway is the world’s third largest oil exporter behind Saudi Arabia and Russia.

    Yesterday Ransquawk spoke to the EIA about comments by the EIA chief, Caruso, on Monday, who said that gasoline prices in the U.S. could rise 20 cents in the next 2-3 weeks unless OPEC increases production. The director we spoke to clarified Caruso’s remarks by saying the EIA chief was not saying that gasoline prices are linked to OPEC production directly, but rather that high crude prices have not been passed through to gasoline prices at the pump. Without an additional OPEC output increase, OECD and U.S. crude inventories will continue to draw down, pressuring crude prices and correspondingly, gasoline prices. The director said that lower gasoline demand in recent weeks at 9.4M b/d has mitigated the impact of tight supplies on prices and that the situation would be worse in the spring or summer because of higher seasonal demand. Yesterday RBOB gasoline futures fell 10 cents to 231.70.

    On the weather front, Accuweather wrote today that today's warm air across the Eastern Seaboard will quickly be replaced by colder air and gusty winds Thursday in the wake of a cold front. Snow showers will add to the wintry blast across the Great Lakes and interior Northeast by Friday. Yesterday, Accuweather predicted that temperatures in key heating markets would rise above average from mid December through February.

    Tomorrow the EIA releases its weekly petroleum data (pushed back one day because of the Veteran’s day holiday on Monday). According to a major wire survey, crude inventories are expected at -750K barrels, gasoline inventories are expected at -550K barrels and distillate inventories are expected at -500K barrels. The refinery utilization rate is seen up 0.50%.

    At 12:15 p.m. BST WTI crude futures are up $1.01 at $92.18. RBOB gasoline futures climbing 2.83 cents to 234.55 and heating oil futures are rising 3.11 cents to 253.32. Natural gas futures are up fractionally at $7.95.

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