March 14, 2019

By March 15, 2019First Look

March 14

Crude Oil:

  • WTI is up 29c to $58.55/Bbl, and Brent is up 31c to $67.83/Bbl
  • The US is aiming to curb Iran’s crude exports by about 20 percent to below 1 MMBbl/d, reigning in waivers for the OPEC nations customers, according to two sources talking to Reuters
    • Waivers on Iranian crude purchases are set to expire in early May
  • US crude stocks fell by 3.9 MMBbl to 449.1 MMBbl last week
    • The drop in inventories surprised the average analysts that were estimating a build of 2.57 MMBbl
    • Stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, eased by 672 MBbl to 46.9 MMBbl
  • Fog has delayed vessel traffic through the Houston Ship Channel every day in the past week (Argus)
    • This will effect vessel reporting in next week’s EIA release

Natural Gas:

  • Natural gas is up 1.6c to $2.836/MMBtu
  • Weather models show a slightly warmer Texas and West in the 6-10 day outlook with a cooler Midwest to South in the 11-15
    • Overnight demand increased 2.3 HDDs (CWG)
  • Analysts surveyed by Platts are anticipating the EIA to report a 208 Bcf withdrawal from natural gas storage for the week ended March 8th (Platts)
    • The Platts’ survey ranged from -195 Bcf to -220 Bcf
    • A withdrawal of 146 Bcf would decrease stocks to 1.182 Tcf
  • Two recent LNG export projects have moved forward without long term offtake contracts in place (Platts)
    • Last month ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum decided they will build their Golden Pass export terminal in Texas without the announcement of a long-term offtake contract
    • In October 2018, Shell backed LNG Canada also reached a final investment decision without long term offtake contracts in place
  • Heath Tarbert, currently Treasury Department assistant secretary for international markets, is set to become next chairman of Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Platts)
    • Heath assured senators Wednesday he would work to complete derivatives rules called for in the Dodd-Frank Act
    • Heath would join the CFTC as several long-delayed regulations affecting energy sector derivatives are pending, including one setting speculative position limits in commodities futures and swap markets and another setting capital requirements for swap dealers