First Look

Each weekday morning, we provide insight into the oil and gas markets and share it with everyone who is interested – just read below.

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May 20

Crude Oil:

  • WTI is down 10c to $62.66/Bbl, and Brent is up 3c to $72.24/Bbl
  • OPEC’s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) met in Saudi Arabia over the weekend to discuss its cut policy ahead of the groups June meeting
    • Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said there was consensus among the group and its allies to drive down crude inventories “gently” but would remain responsive (Reuters)
    • The group did not make any solid recommendations this past weekend, leaving the decision to the full meeting in Vienna next month
  • Energy transfer (ETP) filed a spot tariff for an expansion of its Permian Express crude pipeline that runs from the Permian to the US Gulf Coast
    • The tariff offers a $7/Bbl uncommitted rate effective May 9 (Argus)
    • ETP said it would expand the Permian Express system by adding 120 MBbl/d – called Permian Express 4
      • The company said the expansion should be in service by the end of September
  • Hedged Funds reduced net-long positions on Brent for the first time in 10 weeks
    • Managed money now stands at 397,311 net-long contracts, down from the peak of 406,175 contracts in the week ended May 7
    • AEGIS notes an escalated trade war between China and the US could have weighed on speculators decision to pare long positions and add shorts

Natural Gas:

  • Natural gas is up 4.9c to $2.680/MMBtu
  • Baker Hughes gas rig count added two, with 185 gas rigs
    • Three rigs were added in the Utica Basin, while the Marcellus lost three rigs and Haynesville also lost two
  • The US has reached an agreement to remove the section 232 tariffs on steel imported from both Canada & Mexico (Bloomberg)
    • The agreement asks for the countries to implement measures to prevent the importation of steel that is unfairly subsidized or sold at dumped prices
  • ANR is conducting maintenance work, restricting flows to southern Louisiana (Platts)
    • Beginning Monday, ANR’s Jena Southbound Segment near La Salle, Louisiana, will reduce southbound capacity by an estimated 145 MMcf/d
    • At the Brownsville southbound segment, the pipeline operator will cut capacity by 230 MMcf/d – maintenance is only expected to last three days

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