Falling crude prices and the resulting pressure on margins seen by producers may directionally provide less headroom for regulators to add additional costs to production via new or intrusive regulations
New York, NY (PRWEB) October 21, 2014
NYC-based PIRA Energy Group believes that falling crude prices and the resulting pressure on margins seen by producers may directionally provide less headroom for regulators to add additional costs to production via new or intrusive regulations. In the U.S., large stock changes: crude build and product draw. In Japan, typhoons throttle back crude runs, imports, and tempers demand. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:
Fracking Policy Monitor
Falling crude prices and the resulting pressure on margins seen by producers may directionally provide less headroom for regulators to add additional costs to production via new or intrusive regulations. Federal regulations with potential impacts on fracking production are still expected from President Obama’s Methane Strategy, though EPA has shown an inclination towards expanding voluntary efforts as well. A decision on whether and how to regulate is expected soon, with any regulations to follow by end-2016. On the state level, the ability of localities to ban fracking via zoning authority continues to be a hot issue.
Large U.S. Stock Changes: Crude Build, Product Draw
Oil prices have no near-term anchor. This past week saw the second largest weekly crude inventory build of the year which was 1.0 million barrels greater than the rather large product stock decline. Week-on-week product stocks fell as reported demand increased, product imports declined and crude runs dropped to the lowest level since Spring maintenance. The crude inventory deficit narrowed while gasoline’s stock deficit increased. Distillate, kero-jet and residual fuel oil inventories are virtually identical to last year.
Japanese Typhoons Throttles Back Crude Runs, Imports, and Tempers Demand
Crude runs eased back due to turnarounds and typhoon related impacts. Crude imports eased and stocks drew slightly. Finished product stocks posted a modest build. Gasoline demand was lower despite the "Sports Day" holiday, which normally should lift demand, but the typhoon impact appears to have dominated. Gasoil demand was predictably lower, with higher yield, and stocks built modestly. Refining margins remain very soft with all the major product cracks weakening.
World LPG Export Volumes Soaring
Global seaborne trade of LPG soared to record levels in September with volumes approaching 7 million metric tons of LPG. Total Middle East exports in September were roughly 3.0 million metric tons in the high end of the range this year but not near July 2013 highs of some 3.5 million. US Exports for September were approximately 1.4 MM metric tons, nearly 50% of the total Middle East volumes. Increasing US exports are the main driver pushing global waterborne trade to record levels.
U.S. Ethanol and Biodiesel Prices Rise
After falling for six straight weeks, U.S. ethanol prices found support at the $1.46-$1.50 per gallon level and increased the week ending October 10.U.S. biodiesel assessments rose back above $3 per gallon last week, but most producers failed to cover cash manufacturing costs.
Ethanol Output and Inventories Decrease
U.S. ethanol production dropped to 885 MB/D the week ending October 10, erasing most of the gains from the preceding week and edging close to the six-month low 881 MB/D set two weeks earlier. Stocks were down 295 thousand barrels to a five-week low 18.4 million barrels.
The information above is part of PIRA Energy Group's weekly Energy Market Recap - which alerts readers to PIRA’s current analysis of energy markets around the world as well as the key economic and political factors driving those markets.
Click here for additional information on PIRA’s global energy commodity market research services.
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