Ransquawk Energy Markets Commentary - Nov. 29, 2007

Discussion in 'Commodity Futures' started by Ransquawk, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. Ransquawk

    Ransquawk ET Sponsor

    Energy futures are rising today after Calgary-based Enbridge closed four pipelines shipping 1.5M b/d of oil supplies from Canada to the U.S. following a leak and explosion at the No. 3 pipeline at the Clearbrook terminal in Minnesota, where the pipelines meet. WTI crude futures rallied more than $4 on the news, lifting the entire energy complex. However, within the last hour, Endbridge announced that 2 of the 4 pipelines with a combined capacity of 646K b/d have restarted and that the main fire at the No. 3 pipeline has been extinguished, though the biggest of the four pipelines will only be able to restart after an inspection. Consequently, energy futures trimmed their gains but are still well up on the day. Also supporting prices today were comments by Ecuador’s oil minister that OPEC probably won’t make any decisions about raising or lowering production next week and news that Qatar plans to shut down 10% of its oil production starting next month for maintenance.

    Regarding OPEC, Equador’s oil minister said today that it is unlikely that OPEC will raise oil production next week on Dec. 5. Qatar said today that it plans to shut down 10% of its oil production or approximately 90K b/d for several weeks of maintenance starting next month. Natural gas production will also be shut for six weeks. Additionally, Qatar’s oil minister said today, according to Dow Jones, that he had not heard of any talk that the group may hike output by 750K b/d, contradicting an article in the Financial Times yesterday saying that OPEC ministers were discussing a rise of at least 500K b/d and as high as 1M b/d. Elsewhere, Nigeria said today it has increased offshore oil output to meet its OPEC quota and will push for a 3M b/d output quota. Nigeria is currently producing between 2.2M and 2.3M b/d with 500K b/d – 600K b/d of output shut-in. Yesterday the Saudi oil minister downplayed the need for an output increase by saying, according to Reuters, that there is no relationship between fundamentals today and the price. Finally, the Iraqi oil minister said yesterday, according to Reuters, that “the fact is OPEC countries are producing their maximum and there is no way to increase production except from Saudi Arabia, which only can increase output with a limited amount of 500K b/d.”

    In other energy news, the IEA said today in a report that there is enough OECD oil and product inventories to cover 122 days of demand and that emergency crude oil stockpiles are at a 8 year high. However, the agency reiterated that emergency inventories would not be used to reduce high prices.

    PetroCanada plans to shut its 135K b/d Alberta refinery for as long as sixty days beginning in August of 2008. The plant is undergoing modifications with the work expected to be completed by the end of next year.

    An EIA analyst told Ransquawk yesterday that the differences between OPEC and the EIA’s assessments of global inventory levels has to do with the fact that it is in OPEC’s interest as a producing group to keep prices high. The analyst said that the real story, however, is the tightness of global spare capacity rather than the state of global inventories, as there is little excess capacity to make up for any shortfall by producers. Lastly, the EIA analyst called the world demand and supply balance “very tight.”

    On the weather front, Accuweather wrote today that a storm from this weekend into Monday will create widespread winter woes from the country’s midsection to the Northeast. Yesterday, Weather Derivatives predicted that temperatures in the U.S. over the next 7 days would be 0.5 degrees below normal nationwide, 3.5 degrees below normal in the Northeast and 3.9 degrees below average in the North-central. Over the next 6-10 WD forecasted temperatures nationally to be 0.1 degrees below normal, 5.2 degrees below normal in the Northeast and 1.5 degrees below normal in the North-central.

    Today the EIA releases its weekly natural gas storage data. According to a major wire survey, natural gas inventories are expected at -21 Bcf. Last week natural gas inventories were 2.63% higher versus a year ago.

    At 12:30 p.m. BST WTI crude futures are up $2.56 at $93.19, RBOB gasoline futures are climbing 5.55 cents to $2.3279 and heating oil futures are gaining 4.52 cents to $2.6230. Natural gas futures are rising 10.9 cents to $7.595.

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