Energy Markets Commentary

Discussion in 'Commodity Futures' started by Ransquawk, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Ransquawk

    Ransquawk ET Sponsor

    Energy futures are trading mostly lower this morning, falling in tandem with U.S. and European equities after U.S. Wachovia Bank said that it sees a Q4 loss of $500M - $600M in excess of charge-offs and announced October write downs of $1.1B. Before the news energy futures had been mostly higher on a weaker dollar and following news of a halt of 150K b/d of production at Shell’s Mars platform in the U.S. Gulf. Additionally, Valero said after the NYMEX close yesterday that it will be 2 – 4 weeks before a hydrotreater is repaired at its 325K b/d Port Arthur, Texas, refinery after a fire yesterday. The plant is currently running at 60% of capacity. However, offsetting the above disruptions, BP and Statoil Hydro said today they expect to resume 190K b/d of production in the North Sea after platforms were shut yesterday because of a storm.

    Royal Dutch said today that it shut in 150K b/d of crude oil and 200 mmcf/d of natural gas output at its Mars Platform in the U.S. Gulf last weekend for repairs but has not been able to restore production because strong currents in the Gulf are delaying the repair of a valve. A spokesperson for the company said that once divers can fix the problem with the valve repairs can be completed in about a day. The company does not have an estimate when production at the platform will be restored.

    In other energy news, Brazil’s Petrobras announced a massive find today, saying that a test well confirmed expectations that its Tupi field may contain as much as 8B barrels of oil and natural gas. The Tupi field is located about 250 kilometres off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. A spokesperson for Petrobras said that it may start producing 100K b/d from the field as soon as 2010 or 2011. Preferred shares of Petrobras rallied today 14.2% on the news, the largest gain in more than nine years.

    Dow Jones reported today that OPEC has no formal plans to discuss at its summit creating a currency basket to price oil produced by members, but ministers are expected to address the US dollar. The Venezuelan oil minister, Ramirez, said in recent days that a currency basket proposal would be discussed at OPEC’s summit.

    Algeria’s state oil and gas company said today that a fire caused by a leak at a natural gas complex in western Algeria injured seven people. The cause of the fire and impact on production was not immediately known.

    U.S. Energy Secretary, Bodman, said late yesterday that current oil prices near $100 a barrel suggest there is an absence of a fully-supplied market place. Bodman said he has been in regular contact with OPEC and non-OPEC nations, though acknowledged that the U.S. has limited options to bring down prices. He also said that the DOE will continue its existing policy to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve modestly.

    On the weather front, Accuweather said today that the Northeast is still enduring chilly temperatures with cool air expected to filter over the Eastern Seaboard Saturday. However, the forecaster expects a return of warmer air for the Eastern Seaboard for early next week.

    At 12:15 p.m. BST WTI crude futures are down $0.34 at $95.12. RBOB gasoline futures are down 1.26 cents at 242.50 and heating oil futures are lower by .98 cents at 259.60. Natural gas futures are up 5.7 cents at $7.77.

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