Welcome to the Fossil Oil Company Blog for news of interest to our clients and the oil and gas investment industry.
The rate of U.S. oil production decline will accelerate in the 3rd quarter. It has already started.
In the last six weeks:
> U.S. oil production has declined 222,000 barrels per day.
> U.S. oil imports have increased by 512,000 barrels per day.
Crude oil in U.S. storage facilities has declined 10 of the last 11 weeks, despite a sharp increase in imports.
“The decline curve never sleeps, and always wins.” – David Demshur, Core Labs CEO in their 2nd quarter conference call. “The inevitability of the decline curve guarantees that oil production will slow and the market will find a balance.” Coupled with declining production, we live in a world where demand for oil increases “relentlessly” by 1.0 to 1.5 million barrels per day year after year after year. Continue reading →
By STEVE AUSTIN for OIL-PRICE.NET, 2016/05/11
Crude oil was at a 13-year record $25 low in mid-January 2016 and has soared more than 70 per cent since. The battle is on again. We are talking about the mighty forces whipping up the oil prices. How does the investor work out where the oil price will go? Ultimately, you have to make your own forecasts, at least on the general, long term direction of oil prices – short term movements tend to be driven by news stores on the day. In particular, you need to take into consideration the following dimensions:
– Supply and demand: if producers are outstripping demand, prices will fall and if there is a shortage of oil, prices will rise.
– Political events: a war, rebellion or political uncertainty affecting major oil producers may prevent those countries from producing and selling, reducing the supply of oil.
– Economic growth: if demand is expected to grow faster than production, excess supply will be soaked up and shortages will arise.
– Related markets: the futures market, availability of transport, currency rates and the cost and of extraction equipment and labor can all affect the price of oil.
We took these factors into consideration when assessing six reasons for the recent rise in crude oil prices. Will this rally continue, or has the price peaked?
The market price of crude oil is valued in US dollars. Therefore, when the oil price falls or rises, you also need to look at the value of the dollar against a range of currencies. If an oil refinery in China needs to buy crude oil, it has to convert its income, derived in the local currency, Yuan into dollars. An oil producer, such as Saudi Arabia, needs to convert its income into the local currency, the Riyal in order to cover its costs. Large buyers go direct to suppliers in order to get a good price for their oil. China is particularly adept at this practice and has written up agreements to pay in its own currency for crude oil, rather than in dollars. So, if the value of the dollar falls by 10 per cent, the contract price of those agreement rises by 10 per cent, even though it hasn’t changed at all in the contract currency.
In fact, this phenomenon is notable in all commodities priced in dollars – steel, copper, gold, and silver have all experienced price rises in 2016. This is not because there is a shortage in those commodities; it is just because the currency in which they are priced has fallen. Continue reading →
For the first time in over six months oil prices rose to $50 per barrel. Brent crude moved up to $50.19 during morning trading on May 26, the first time that it has hit that point since last November.
The gains add further momentum to a streak that has seen Brent and WTI gain more than 80 percent in value since touching lows in early February at $27 per barrel. For the past few weeks, oil prices bounced around a ceiling at $47 to $49 per barrel, sputtering and struggling to break through that key threshold.
But major supply outages in Canada from the wildfires around oil sands sites in Alberta knocked more than 1 million barrels per day of oil production offline for several weeks. Militant attacks on pipelines in Nigeria has disrupted an additional 800,000 barrels per day. U.S. oil production is down about 500,000 barrels per day since the start of the year, and outages from several Latin American oil producers have also contracted the supply overhang.
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The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) finally found the bottom in February for this oil price cycle. It won’t be straight up from here, but with global supply & demand heading toward a balance by yearend, we should see higher oil prices.
Later this week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) will publish their monthly Oil Market Report. In their April report, IEA forecast an increase in demand for hydrocarbon based liquid fuels (primarily made from crude oil) of 1,800,000 million barrels per day from the first quarter to the third quarter of this year. If that happens, the global oil market will be back in balance.
On April 25th, Terry Starling from Raymond James presented his firm’s official oil price forecast for 2016 and 2017. Like IEA, Raymond James predicts a significant tightening of the oil market this summer. They believe WTI will reach $50/bbl. by the end of June and spike to $70/bbl. in late 3rd quarter.
For over a year, crude oil prices under $60/bbl. are unsustainable. We’ve seen an incredible decline in drilling activity that is going to result in an acceleration of Non-OPEC oil production declines that began a year ago. The number of rigs operating in North America is now at the lowest level since Baker Hughes (BHI) started tracking it over 70 years ago.
Keep in mind that the United States and Canada are not the only two countries where oil production has rolled over. Oil production in Venezuela was down 188,000 barrels per day year-over-year in the first quarter due to natural declines and an economic crisis (caused by low oil prices). Latin America on the whole lost 441,000 barrels per day in the first quarter. We’ve seen many deepwater projects cancelled, enough to all but guarantee an oil shortage in 2018.