After a quick drop of $3-4 a barrel the week before last, oil prices steadied last week as the markets contemplated just how effective the OPEC/NOPEC production freeze will be in the short term. Speculators had enthusiastically embraced the production freeze when it was announced late last year and drove open interest in futures to record highs. The cuts, however, did not come fast enough or be deep enough to offset increasing oil production from other countries and lower demand. As one important trader put it, “The OPEC cuts were good enough to prevent a repeat of the glut of last year, but it’s a different story if you want to have oil at $60 or $70.” For now, the physical oil market continues to indicate an oversupply situation.
(CNN) Apache ( APA ) revealed the huge find this week after more than two years of stealthily buying up land, extensive geological research and rigorous testing.
The Houston company estimates the discovery, dubbed “Alpine High,” could be worth at least $8 billion.
(peakoilbarrel.com) When oil fell below $30 a barrel earlier this year, banks turned away from lending to energy companies. The price of crude has bounced back more than 80% from its February low, but banks are still wary.
Big banks cut loans to the energy sector by about 3% in the second quarter over all and some individual lenders pulled back much more, according to an analysis of July and August securities filings by Barclays analysts.
(oilprice.com) Ever since the February crash, when oil tumbled to 13 years lows, and when OPEC started releasing tactical headlines at key inflection points about an imminent oil production freeze (which not only never arrived but has since seen Saudi Arabia’s output grow to record levels) which we first suggested were meant to trigger a short squeeze among headline scanning HFT algos, our suggestion was – as is often the case – dismissed as yet another conspiracy theory.
(fuelfix.com) The flow of oil from U.S. shale fields is projected by government analysts to fall 14 percent by 2017, as the reverberations of the recent crash in crude prices are felt.
Production from those shale fields had increased exponentially over the past decade as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques were improved. Shale oil now accounts for more than half of the nation’s crude output.
(Reuters) A worker walks at Nahr Bin Umar oil field, north of Basra, Iraq December 21, 2015. Oil prices dipped on Friday, ending a two-day rally, as a glut of crude and refined products weighed on markets and investors eyed a possible stutter in China’s imports.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 fetched $41.74 per barrel at 0930 GMT (0530 ET), down 19 cents from their last close, after trading as low as $41.44 earlier in the day. They were on track roughly to break even on the week.
(The Guardian) A crude oil importing port. Oil may be a precious and dwindling resource, but at the moment, at least, it looks like we just have too much of it. Crude-oil prices are now at their lowest since early April, hit by continued oversupply, concerns about global demand and negative price sentiment by oil-market participants. And that situation looks likely to continue in the near future.
(oilprice.com) Oil briefly dropped below $40 per barrel this week but rebounded following the surprise drawdown in gasoline inventories, a robust decline of 3.3 million barrels. Oil traders were more than happy with that result, ignoring the 1.4 million barrel build in crude oil stocks. As a result, oil traded up 3 percent on Wednesday and posted an additional 2.5 percent gain on Thursday.
(Houston Chronicle) Dismal earnings, falling crude show recovery remains far off
The extended energy bust has enveloped every segment of the oil and gas industry, washing over major oil companies, independent producers, services firms and refiners as brutal earnings reports suggest that if the downturn has indeed reached bottom, the climb out will be long and painful.
(Trib Live) Cheaper oil is leading to the lowest summer gasoline prices in years, and it is causing heartburn for oil companies and their shareholders.
On Friday, Exxon Mobil Corp. reported its smallest quarterly profit in nearly 17 years — although it still earned $1.7 billion. Chevron Corp. posted its biggest loss in nearly 15 years.
The reports from the two biggest U.S. oil companies followed weak second-quarter results from BP and Royal Dutch Shell.
Exxon Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson said the results “reflect a volatile industry environment.”
The companies have slashed spending on exploration and cut budgets to offset lower prices, but that has yet to create a sustained rebound in oil prices.
(CNBC) After jumping over 20 percent in the second quarter of the year, oil prices hit three-month lows on Monday, threatening to put the brakes on a fragile recovery.
Resurgent concerns over supply-demand mismatches have hurt sentiment, analysts said.
“It’s not just in the U.S. In Asia, if you look at Chinese gasoline demand growth, it was 10 percent last year. This year, it’s tracking the mid-single digits,” said Scott Darling, JP Morgan’s Asia Pacific oil and gas head of research.
(Bloomberg) U.S. oil producers continue to revive drilling in the shale patch, adding rigs for the fourth consecutive week in the longest streak of increases since August.
Rigs targeting crude in the U.S. rose by 14 to 371, after 27 had already been added since the start of the month, Baker Hughes Inc. said on its website Friday. Natural gas rigs declined by 1 to 88, bringing the total for oil and gas up by 15 to 462.
(rigzone.com) The layoffs continue in oil and gas as two more companies announce workforce reductions in Texas. Weatherford Artificial Lift Systems and Sun Fab Industrial Contracting are reducing staff by 90 and 125 employees, respectively, according to data sent to the Texas Workforce Commission.
Weatherford Artificial Lift Systems, a subsidiary of Weatherford International, is cutting 90 jobs at its manufacturing operations facility in Katy, Texas due to “a loss of business opportunities.”
(Bloomberg) The new Saudi oil minister, Khalid Al-Falih, says the oil glut is over. That means the kingdom’s war against U.S. shale producers is coming to an end, too. Who won it is a tough question to answer; on balance, it’s probably the Saudis, but they have paid a huge price, and the surviving U.S. frackers have also benefited.
(oilprice.com) The disruptions in global oil supplies are at their highest level since 2011. That comes from an updated assessment from the EIA, which shows total disruptions in oil production at more than 3.6 million barrels per day in May (mb/d), the highest monthly total since the EIA began tracking the data in January 2011. The outages hit major oil supplies across the world. At its worst, Canada saw more than 1 million barrels per day knocked offline because of the wildfires near Fort McMurray. That production is starting to come back online, however, and was always thought to be a temporary disruption.
(Hellenic Shipping News) Iraq is pumping more oil than ever before, even as ISIS-fueled chaos grips parts of the Middle Eastern country.
Iraq, which relies on oil to fund nearly its entire government, increased daily oil production to an all-time high of 4.5 million barrels in May, according to estimates from research firm JBC Energy.
(The Telegraph) McKinsey has slashed their forecasts for the world’s energy use even as global economic growth climbs Global oil demand could peak by the end of the next decade even as global economic growth climbs.
The latest downward revision to forecasts, from consulting firm McKinsey, could leave major new investments uneconomic if demand for energy fails to meet expectations.
(seekingalpha.com) If you have been following what we have been writing you will know that we have become bullish on oil (NYSEARCA: USO ) prices for the next few years.
As with most of our opinions we have arrived at this one by listening to what some of the world’s best investors are saying about oil and why they are saying it.
We believe that Jeremy Grantham is another voice worth paying attention to, and it turns out that he too believes oil is going higher, perhaps significantly so. Source: GMO.
(Reuters) Brent oil futures climbed above $50 a barrel on Thursday for the first time in nearly seven months as a global supply glut that plagued the market for nearly two years showed signs of easing.
Oil prices have rallied in recent weeks as a string of outages, due in part to wildfires in Canada and unrest in Nigeria and Libya, knocked out nearly 4 million barrels per day of production.
(oilprice.com) A report by Rystad Energy has revealed that new oil discoveries in 2015 totaled 12.1 billion barrels, which is the least amount of new oil discovered in a single year since 1952.
Last year was also the fifth year in a row in which the amount of new reserves discovered was smaller than in the previous year.
E&Ps have slashed their exploration budgets repeatedly in a bid to weather the effects of the oil price drop. They’ve laid off hundreds of thousands of staff and have focused on staying afloat, lacking not just the money, but also the motivation to look for new oil when profitability is questionable.
(Bloomberg) Global crude supplies will start to dwindle in as little as two years, boosting prices, as the industry cuts investment to weather the worst market collapse in a generation, according to Statoil ASA.
Oil companies reduced capital expenditure last year and are likely to cut it further this year and next, Statoil’s Chief Financial Officer Hans Jakob Hegge said in an interview in London. Lower spending means there could be a “significant effect” on crude supply after 2020, he said.
(Bloomberg) Saudi Arabia is getting ready for the twilight of the oil age by creating the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund for the kingdom’s most prized assets.
Over a five-hour conversation, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman laid out his vision for the Public Investment Fund, which will eventually control more than $2 trillion and help wean the kingdom off oil. As part of that strategy, the prince said Saudi will sell shares in Aramco’s parent company and transform the oil giant into an industrial conglomerate.
(Bloomberg via WorldOil.com) RIYADH — Saudi Arabia will only freeze its oil output if Iran and other major producers do so, the kingdom’s deputy crown prince said, challenging the country’s main regional rival to take an active role in stabilizing the over-supplied global crude market.
The warning by Mohammed bin Salman, 30, who’s emerged as Saudi Arabia’s leading political force, leaves the outcome of a meeting between OPEC and other big oil producers this month in question. Iran has already said it plans to boost its production after the lifting of sanctions following a deal to curb the country’s nuclear program.
(Reuters) A pump jack stands idle in Dewitt County, Texas January 13, 2016. As oil prices nosedived by two-thirds since 2014, a belief took hold in global energy markets that for prices to recover, many U.S. shale producers would first have to falter to allow markets to rebalance.
With U.S. oil prices now trading below $40 a barrel, the corporate casualties are already mounting. More than 50 North American oil and gas producers have entered bankruptcy since early 2015, according to a Reuters review of regulatory filings and other data. While those firms account for only about 1 percent of U.S. output, based on the analysis, that count is expected to rise.
(Washington Post) Tilden, Tex. — He’d borrowed from banks and investors and retirement funds, all in a frenzied mission to drill for oil and gas, and by the time Terry Swift realized he’d gone too far, this was his debt: $1.349 billion.
His company, founded by his father almost 40 years earlier, had plunged into bankruptcy and laid off 25 percent of its staff. Its shares had been pulled from the New York Stock Exchange. And now Swift was in a company Chevrolet Tahoe, driving back to the flat and dusty place where his bets had gone bust.
(Forbes) Despite humble beginnings in North Carolina, Krispy Kreme has bet big on international expansion in recent years, with nearly three quarters of its 1,100 donut shops now located abroad.
Yet, with plunging oil prices wreaking havoc around the world, there are some places where it probably wishes it hadn’t set up shop.