Oil prices were on track for their biggest weekly jump since January, lifted by rising Middle East tensions after a key Saudi Arabian supply hub was knocked out by an attack last weekend.
A Saudi-led coalition launched a military operation north of Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah while the United States worked with Middle East and European nations to build a coalition to deter Iranian threats after the Saudi attack.
Brent crude LCOc1 was up more than 7 per cent from last Friday’s close, the biggest weekly rise since January, with the front-month November contract up 28 cents at 64.69 dollars a barrel by 1347 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 rose 34 cents to 58.47 dollars a barrel, set for a weekly gain of almost 7 per cent.
“Investors should probably assume that oil stabilizes for now in the 60-65 dollars per barrel range, though the risk is to the upside,” said Jefferies analyst Christopher Wood.
“The central message from the attacks is the vulnerability of the Saudi infrastructure.”
Saudi Arabia’s production dropped by almost half after the attack on Sept. 14 crippled a major oil processing facility. Its oil minister has pledged to restore lost production by the end of this month.
Reuters reporters were shown repair work under way at both the Khurais field and the Abqaiq oil processing facility hit by the attack.
Saudi Aramco said at the site on Friday that it was shipping equipment from the United States and Europe to rebuild the damaged facilities.
It also said that Abqaiq is expected to have full capacity restored by the end of the month.
The United States and Saudi Arabia blame Iran for the assault on Saudi oil facilities. Tehran denies any involvement.
“You have the flooding in Houston as well, so going into the weekend there will be a lot of short-covering, which will support prices,” said Olivier Jakob of consultant Petromatrix.
“Next week, you have the United Nations General Assembly meeting so the focus will turn to whether U.S. President Trump actually meets Iran’s president.”
In the United States, meanwhile, torrential rain from Tropical Storm Imelda has forced a major refinery to cut production and to shut a key oil pipeline, terminals and a ship channel in Texas.
Exxon Mobil Corp shut some units at its 369,024 barrel per day (bpd) Beaumont refinery while Valero Energy Corp reduced production at its 335,000 bpd Port Arthur refinery. (Reuters/)
Edited by Abdullahi Mohammed/Oluwole Sogunle
OPEC+ cuts responsible for current oil market stability — Barkindo
The Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr Mohammad Barkindo has attributed the stability in the global crude oil market and the recent rebound in the price of crude oil to the OPEC+led response to the volatility in the market.
Barkindo disclosed in his presentation, via videoconferencing, to the 133rd Meeting of the Economic Commission Board.
He said that the industry was not out of the woods yet, stating that the pace of the global economic rebound – particularly given the very uncertain economic paths of the world’s two largest economies, the US and China .
According to him, the recovery in global trade, will be central to the revival of the oil market.
“I am confident that this Organisation will emerge from the current challenging and unprecedented times more united, stronger and more forward-looking. We are not out of the woods yet.
“But the historic OPEC+-led response to the current crisis is already helping to reduce volatility, stabilize the oil market, and to provide a platform for recovery and growth in the coming months and years,” he said
Barkindo emphasised the need for timely and accurate data to help its various committees.
He stated that strategic decisions to further stabilise the crude oil market could only be reached when underpinned by up-to-date and in-depth analysis.
” It will take time for a new equilibrium to emerge, not only in terms of a balanced market, but among producing countries as well.
“No individual stakeholder can have all the answers. It is only by reaching out and deepening the dialogue between reputable institutions that we can provide a better and broader sense of the rapidly evolving energy landscape.
“We continue to work closely with the International Energy Agency – including regular consultations – and International Energy Forum to ensure open lines of communication between producers and consumers.
” Together, we collaborate to ensure access to accurate, timely and transparent data about the markets, ” he said.
He noted that the challenges created by the COVID-19 tragedy wwould require special attention to ensure that the OPEC Conference had access to quality and timely data, market information, and fact-based assessments on current and projected conditions.
He further said that it was essential that the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee of the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) was equipped with the latest and best information so it can make apt and timely recommendations under rapidly changing circumstances.
“Indeed, the link between transparent data and better predictability, and a secure and sustainable energy supply, will grow in importance in the months and years to come,” he said
Barkindo also stated that OPEC was constantly working hard to improve its research and deepen its analysis to provide the best possible input to its various boards which are major sources of key decisions reached by its ministerial conference.
He, however, noted that the rebalancing process may be longer than anticipated under the prevailing uncertainties and downside risks, especially given that global inventories appear to be continuing to build, albeit at a much lower rate than the record pace of late March and April.
edited by Sadiya Hamza
Major oil marketers lost N10bn to fuel price reduction, says Chairman
The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), on Thursday said marketers lost over N10 billion due to reduction of petrol pump price from N145 per litre to N121 by government.
The Chairman of MOMAN, Mr Adetunji Oyebanji, made the disclosure during a webinar on “Downstream Petroleum Market Deregulation: Prospective Impact on Nigeria Economy Post COVID-19.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the webinar was organised by Financial Energy Review in collaboration with Leadgrid Series.
He said the sector thrived on movement of persons and goods which were severely curtailed due to the lockdown measures put in place by the Federal and State Governments to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The chairman called for the full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector, adding that what government recently did was only to remove subsidy on Premium Motoring Spirit (PMS) also called petrol.
“Players in the market need to know when to stock and when not to stock products because we may have lost up to N10 billion when those prices were reduced recently.
That doesn’t encourage investors,” the MOMAN chairman said.
He noted that the billions of naira being spent on fuel subsidy by government could be deployed to other critical areas which would help transform Nigeria’s economy.
The MOMAN chairman said: “While we welcome the removal of subsidy on fuel, we need clarity on government’s claim that the market has been deregulated.
“Many of the institutions supporting the former regime such as the Petroleum Equalisation Fund, Petroleum Subsidy Fund and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency are still operational.
“So there is a bit of confusion whether we have fully deregulated the sector or whether government just decided that they won’t pay subsidy anymore,” he said.
Oyebanji said there should be proper legislative framework to guide the deregulation of the downstream sector and protect the interest of the country and private investors.
He added that for the sector to achieve its potentials, government must switch to a monitoring role instead of being a key player and regulator at the same time.
Oil prices fall on doubts over output cuts, surging United States diesel inventories
Oil prices dropped on Thursday, reversing gains in the previous session, on concern over whether major crude producers will be able to agree to extend record output cuts, heightened by worries over a huge build in United States distillate inventories.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures fell 1.46 per cent, or 58 cents, to $39.21 a barrel as of 0459 GMT, while the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures slid 1.98 per cent, or 74 cents, to $36.55 a barrel.
Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the world’s biggest oil producers, have agreed to support extending into July the 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in supply cuts backed in April by the OPEC+ group, comprised of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers.
But they failed to agree on holding an OPEC+ meeting on Thursday to discuss the cuts, with OPEC sources saying it would be conditional on countries that have not complied with their targets so far deepening their cuts.
“That would imply OPEC+ would go back to what they agreed in April, which was to ease their supply cuts to 7.7 million bpd from July,’’ he said.
Further, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf producers, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are not planning to extend voluntary additional output cuts of 1.18 million bpd after June, indicating crude supply could rise next month no matter what OPEC+ decides.
The United States Energy Information Administration data, on Wednesday, showed gasoline stocks rose by 2.8 million barrels, nearly triple what analysts had expected, while distillate stocks rose by 9.9 million barrels or nearly four times more than expected.
Overall demand for diesel and similar fuels is down by 13 per cent from the year-ago period over the last four weeks.
Gasoline product supplied, a proxy for demand, picked up last week, but the four-week average still shows a 23 per cent drop from the year-ago period.
“It shows the recovery in gasoline and distillate demand is not V-shaped.
It just reinforces that we’ve had this initial (price) recovery driven by supply-side discipline,’’ Shaw said.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
United States crude oil inventories decrease last week: EIA
U.S. crude oil inventories decreased during the week ending May 29, the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report on Wednesday.
According to the Weekly Petroleum Status Report, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased by 2.1 million barrels from the previous week.
According to the EIA, total motor gasoline inventories increased by 2.8 million barrels last week and were about 10 percent above the five-year average for this time of year. Finished gasoline and blending components inventories both increased last week.
Distillate fuel inventories increased by 9.9 million barrels last week and were about 28 percent above the five-year average for this time of year.
Propane/propylene inventories increased by 3.1 million barrels last week and were about 12 percent above the five-year average for this time of year. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased last week by 15.1 million barrels last week.
United States crude oil refinery inputs increase last week: EIA
U.S. crude oil refinery inputs increased during the week ending May 29, the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday.
U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 13.3 million barrels per day (b/d) last week, 316,000 b/d more than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 71.8 percent of their operable capacity last week.
Gasoline production increased last week, averaging 7.8 million b/d. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 4.7 million b/d.
Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 16.1 million b/d, down by 19.4 percent from the same period last year.
Over the past four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged 7.2 million b/d, down by 22.5 percent from the same period last year.
Distillate fuel product supplied averaged 3.4 million b/d over the past four weeks, down by 13.4 percent from the same period last year. Jet fuel product supplied was down 68.7 percent compared with the same four-week period last year.
Egypt announces new oil discovery in Western Desert
A new oil discovery was made in Egypt after drilling a well in the Western Desert that would produce massive amounts of crude oil and natural gas, an Egyptian petroleum company said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The new discovery has been put on the production plan at a rate of 4,100 barrels of crude oil per day and 18 million cubic feet of natural gas per day,” said the company.
Borg Al Arab Petroleum Company is a joint venture between the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and Kuwait Energy Egypt, and it is responsible for operations at Abu Sennan concession in the Western Desert.
The company said that its chief reported the new discovery to the Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek al-Molla.
In late 2019, the company announced a petroleum discovery in ASH-2 area of oil rich Abu Sennan, with an average production rate of 7,000 barrels of crude oil and 10 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Egypt saw a 7-percent surge of oil and gas production in 2019 by producing some 650,000 barrels of crude oil and 7.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, according to a former statement by the Egyptian oil minister.
Egypt’s largest Zohr offshore gas field in the Mediterranean Sea, which was discovered by Italy’s giant Eni in 2015, greatly contributes to the country’s natural gas production as it produces alone about 2.7 billion cubic feet on a daily basis.
Alleged oil theft : DPR hands over 9 vessels to Navy, EFCC
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said nine vessels allegedly involved in oil theft had been handed over to the Nigerian Navy and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr Sarki Auwalu, Director, DPR, made the disclosure on Wednesday during an online interactive session with the media on topical issues in the oil and gas industry.
Auwalu said the DPR had initiated Crude Oil and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Tracking (COLT) to track vessels coming in or going out of the country in order to curb oil theft.
“They are under the Western Naval Command. We have arrested several vessels and some of the vessels are for oil thieves.
“We are working with the Nigerian Navy and we quickly alert the Navy whenever we see any suspicious vessel during surveillance,” he said.
Auwalu said that other measures were being implemented by the regulatory agency to improve accountability in the oil and gas sector, which include the National Production Monitoring System (NPMS) that focuses on data gathering.
“We have been able to track online/real time data of what our productions are and so we are now in the position to say what is the production done by this country.
“All our fields are largely tracked online now. So, it is not true that Nigeria cannot account for what it is producing, be it crude oil or gas, ” he said.
Oil barrel prices unlikely to return to $60 until 2022 – Equatorial Guinea’s minister
Oil prices are unlikely to return to the pre-crisis level of $60 per barrel until 2022, yet the market has adjusted to the oil price of $30 per barrel, Equatorial Guinea’s minister of mines and hydrocarbons, Gabriel M. Obiang, has said.
Obiang made this known in an interview with Sputnik on Wednesday.
don’t see oil going back to the pre-pandemic prices and $60 until 2022.
“There is a lot of cheap oil in the world. It’s going take time for the inventory to go down.
“People expecting oil to go to the $40 and $50, they are being very optimistic.
“I think that it’s more logical to be conservative and comfortable around $30 area, $30 to $39, $40,” Obiang said.
Although the price of $30
per barrel is not very comfortable and the producers would prefer a higher figure, it at least brings some stability and allows the budget to be managed, the minister noted.
In April, the prices of the West Texas Intermediate even went negative.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Saudi, Russia reach deal on oil cuts, raising pressure on laggards
OPEC leader, Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC Russia, have agreed a preliminary deal to extend existing record oil production cuts by one month while raising pressure on countries with poor compliance to deepen their output cuts, OPEC+ sources told Reuters.
“Any agreement on extending the cuts is conditional on countries, who have not fully complied in May, deepening their cuts in upcoming months to offset their overproduction,’’ one OPEC source said.
OPEC+ agreed last month to cut output by a record 9.7 million barrels per day, or about 10 per cent of global output, in May and June to lift prices battered by plunging demand linked to lockdown measures aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
The group also considered holding an online meeting on June 4 to discuss output policy, after Algeria, which holds the presidency of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, proposed bringing forward a meeting planned for June 9-10.
The OPEC source said that an earlier meeting on June 4 is also conditional on compliance and that the discussions now are about implementing criteria for those countries who have not fully complied with the oil cuts and how they can compensate for overproducing in the coming months.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
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