Ransquawk Energy Markets Commentary - Nov. 13

Discussion in 'Energy Futures' started by Ransquawk, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Ransquawk

    Ransquawk ET Sponsor

    Energy futures are trading lower mostly lower after the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) cut its world oil demand forecast for the rest of this year and for 2008 and after Shell announced that output at its Mars platform in the Gulf was near 190K b/d following a multi-day outage. However, there is bullish news today as well with the Saudi oil minister, al Naimi, and OPEC’s President, al Hamli, both saying that OPEC will not discuss output at this weekend’s summit in Riyadh. Plus, the possibility of a Turkish military incursion into northern Iraq appears more likely after the Turkish Prime Minister, Erdogan, told his party members late Monday that the date of an anticipated cross-border operation was “nearing.”

    In its monthly report released today, the IEA lowered its world oil demand forecast for Q4 by 500K b/d to 87.14M b/d and for 2008 by 300K b/d to 87.69M b/d amid strong indications that high oil prices are depressing demand. This is the third time since August that the IEA has trimmed its demand forecast for Q4. The IEA said that oil demand in the U.S. will be slower than previously expected next year as high fuel prices and a weak housing market depress consumer spending. Offsetting lower demand in the U.S., the IEA expects Chinese petroleum demand to remain strong.

    Regarding OPEC, Saudi oil minister, al Naimi, said today, according to Reuters, that OPEC has a limited impact on a multitude of factors influencing prices, but it does not want high prices to hurt economic growth. He also said that “there is absolutely not going to be talk of a supply increase during the summit” and “we will discuss it in December”, adding that the cartel might increase production then. Lastly, the Saudi minister said the Kingdom is on track to boost capacity to 12.5M b/d by 2009. Elsewhere, OPEC’s President, al Hamli, said that OPEC will decide on its production policy in Dec.

    The Associated Press reported today that Turkish warplanes struck a suspected Kurdish rebel hideout in Iraq earlier today. About an hour ago Turkish TV reported that rebels had killed 4 Turkish soldiers in southeast Turkey. The fighting comes after the Turkish Prime Minister, Erdogan, said last night that the date of an anticipated cross-border operation was “nearing”. Additionally, Dow Jones reported today that no Kirkuk crude oil from Iraq was flowing through the pipeline to Ceyhan in Turkey at 12:00 p.m. local time. The news wire gave no reason for the stoppage.

    Yesterday, the EIA chief, Caruso warned that gasoline prices in the U.S. could rise 20 cents over the next two to three weeks unless OPEC boosts output. Additionally, the EIA director said that oil prices are to stay well above $80 a barrel without additional OPEC supply and that the picture with OECD crude inventories will not improve soon with oil demand expected to outpace supply until Q1 of 2008.

    On the weather front, Accuweather wrote today that a series of strong Pacific storms will produce hurricane-strength winds, rain and snow in the Northwest. Later in the week, the wintry weather will reach the East Coast. Yesterday Weather Derivatives predicted that temperatures in the Northeast over the next 6-10 days will be 7.1 degrees below normal.

    On Thursday the EIA releases its weekly petroleum data (pushed back one day because of yesterday’s Veteran’s day holiday). According to a major wire survey, crude inventories are expected at -825K barrels, gasoline inventories are expected at -550K barrels and distillate inventories are expected at -500K barrels. The refinery utilization rate is seen rising 0.5%
    At 12:30 p.m. BST WTI crude futures are down $0.84 at $93.78. RBOB gasoline futures are falling 1.95 cents to 239.70 and heating oil futures are off 1.71 cents at 256.50. Natural gas futures are up $0.07 at $8.03.

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