Helping America Navigate a New Energy Reality

Tom Whipple

Peak Oil Review – April 15, 2013

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“After a three-day rebound in reaction to the selloff the week before last, oil prices fell again on Thursday and Friday on bad economic news from the US, the EU, and possibly China. This time prices fell faster in the US than in London, widening the WTI-Brent spread back to nearly $12 a barrel at the close. With demand weak in the US and EU, and few signs of improvement in the near future, oil prices may push below $90 in New York and $100 in London…”

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Peak Oil Review – April 8, 2013

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“Oil prices underwent their biggest weekly drop in six months last week as US employment numbers came in far worse than analysts had expected, US crude inventories increased to a 22-year high, and the EU’s unemployment rate rose to a record. At week’s end Brent crude was down to $104.12, the lowest in eight months, after having traded close to $112 on Tuesday. NY crude closed at $92.70; the 4.7 percent loss for the week was the biggest weekly loss since last September. The Brent-WTI spread continues to narrow and is now below $12 a barrel. So far this year, Brent crude has fallen 6.3 percent while WTI has increased 1 percent…”

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Peak Oil Review – April 1, 2013

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“In a short trading week, oil prices rose steadily last week closing at $97.23 in New York and $109.93 in London. NY crude is now only $3 a barrel below the highs seen in mid February, but Brent crude is still $7 below these highs reflecting the tightening of the Brent-WTO spread to the smallest margin since July. Most of the gain last week was attributed to the “settlement” of the financial crisis on Cyprus and the report that the US economy grew by 0.4 percent in the 4th quarter rather than the 0.1 percent than had been expected…”

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Peak Oil Review – March 25, 2013

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“NY oil futures fell sharply on Tuesday then recovered by Friday’s close to end the week up slightly at $93.71. Brent futures, however, continued to slip all week closing at $107.66 as the wrangling over the Cyprus bailout continued. Brent’s premium to WTI closed out the week at $13.95, the lowest level in eight months…”

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Peak Oil Review – March 18, 2013

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“NY oil futures have risen steadily for the last two weeks closing Friday at $93.45, some $3 a barrel higher than at the beginning of March, but $4 a barrel lower than the highs touched in mid-February. Although domestic crude inventories are at record levels, these large inventories are attributed to ongoing refinery maintenance and are expected to be worked off later in the year. Traders were more impressed by the 1.5 million barrel reduction in crude stocks at Cushing, Okla. which fell to the lowest level since December. Goldman Sachs is forecasting that the current $16 spread between WTI and Brent crude will fall to $7.50 in the second quarter …”

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Peak Oil Review – March 11, 2013

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“After falling some $8 a barrel during February, oil prices recovered a bit last week with NY futures up about $2 a barrel to close at $91.95 and London up less than a dollar to close at $110.82. Fundamentals remained weak with US crude stocks up another 3.8 million barrels, but traders were optimistic that the US economy will improve. The $85 billion federal sequester, which seems likely to cause considerable economic damage, was thought to have contributed to higher prices early in the week, but seems to have been forgotten by Friday with the markets more interested in a minor bump in the jobs numbers. Oil prices failed to keep up with surging equity prices last week. However, part of this was due to a stronger dollar which normally suppresses oil prices…”

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Peak Oil Review – March 4, 2013

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“Crude prices in NY and London continued to fall last week. In both markets oil is down about $8 a barrel since mid-February with NY futures closing a $90.68 on Friday and Brent futures closing at $110.40. The fall was precipitated by a litany of concerns over the course of the global economy – manufacturing slowing in China; unemployment rising in Europe; the Italian political situation; personal income dropping in the US; the beginning of the $85 billion sequester; the dollar strengthening against the euro; US oil production climbing to 7.12 million b/d; and crude inventories up another million barrels…”

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Peak Oil Review – February 25, 2013

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“After 9 weeks of advances which took oil prices from $87 to $99 a barrel in NY and $104 to $119 in London, prices broke on Wednesday and Thursday taking NY oil down $4.58 a barrel and London down $3.99. A modest bounce on Friday closed out the week with NY at $93.13 and London at $114.10. While much of the price drop was a reaction to previous gains, the EIA reported on Thursday that US crude inventories had gained 4.1 million barrels the week before last and were now at the highest level in more than 30 years for the time of year…”

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Peak Oil Review – February 18, 2013

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“Oil prices climbed for most of last week with NY oil approaching recent highs of $98 a barrel on Thursday and Brent trading around $118. On Friday prices fell on profit taking and bad economic news from Europe. After the selloff, NY closed at $95.86 a barrel and London at $117.66. New York gasoline futures, however, were strong all week closing at $3.13 a gallon – up 15 percent since mid-January. Most analysts have trouble seeing oil prices moving much higher, short of a major reduction in exports, as demand in 2013 seems to be heading lower in the EU, flat in North America, and uncertain in Asia. The major forecasters – IEA, EIA, and OPEC — are mixed as to what will happen in the rest of the year.”

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Peak Oil Review – February 11, 2013

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“Brent oil continued the climb that has been going on since early December, closing on Friday at $118.90. Prices are now up nearly $18 a barrel in the last two months. New York crude ended a couple of dollars lower for the week at $95.72 on weak US demand, the continuing glut at Cushing, and rising US stockpiles. A major refinery in Illinois which is scheduled to shut down for maintenance in late February added to fears of an increasing glut in the Midwest.”

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