Oil prices rose more than 2% on Tuesday, supported by hurricane supply disruptions in the United States, but demand concerns loomed as energy industry forecasters predicted a slower-than-expected recovery from the pandemic.
Futures gained ahead of Hurricane Sally’s expected landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast. More than a quarter of U.S. offshore oil and gas production was shut and key exporting ports were closed as the storm’s trajectory shifted east toward western Alabama, sparing some Gulf Coast refineries from high winds.
“Harsh weather events in the U.S. cause some unpredictability about its oil production and that’s always good news for prices,” said Bjornar Tonhaugen, Rystad Energy’s head of oil markets.
The outlook for oil demand remained weak, capping price gains. The International Energy Agency (IEA) trimmed its 2020 outlook by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 91.7 million bpd, citing caution about the pace of economic recovery. “We expect the recovery in oil demand to decelerate markedly in the second half of 2020, with most of the easy gains already achieved,” the IEA said in its monthly report.
The agency said commercial oil stocks in the developed world hit an all-time high of 3.225 billion barrels in July, and cut its forecast for implied stock draws for the second half of the year.
The IEA’s demand revision aligns with forecasts from major oil industry producers and traders. OPEC downgraded its oil demand forecast and BP said demand might have peaked in 2019.
World oil demand will tumble by 9.46 million bpd this year, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in a monthly report on Monday, more than the 9.06 million bpd decline OPEC expected a month ago.
Still, a meeting of the OPEC+ joint ministerial committee on Thursday is not expected to make recommendations for deeper output cuts, but focus rather on compliance and compensation mechanisms for its current cuts, sources told Reuters.
Meanwhile, China’s crude oil throughput in August rose from a year ago, reaching its second-highest level on record, as refineries worked to digest record imports earlier this year.
In the United States, crude inventories fell by 9.5 million barrels in the week to Sept. 11 to about 494.6 million barrels, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday. Analysts had expected a build of 1.3 million barrels.
Differentials across West Africa have declined since the first week of July, when they were at pre-COVID levels. Although they are far from the lows recorded at the end of April, grades such as Nigeria’s Bonny Light and Qua have not been assessed at a discount to Dated for almost 14 years prior to October 2019. Both of the light sweet crudes have been assessed below the benchmark for more than a month, underlining the growing competition from US crude whose flow into Europe is currently more than 1 million b/d. Meanwhile, the volume of crude from West Africa in floating storage has risen sharply since late August, with some contract holders forced to load cargoes and wait for the market to revive. Around 19 million barrels of West African crude had been floating for seven days or more, as of Sept. 14. That represents around 12% of the 155 million barrels global total, whereas the region accounts for only around 4% of global production.
The grades with the highest volumes in floating storage — around 2 million barrels of each — are Nigeria’s Qua Iboe and Bonny Light, as well as Angola’s heavy sweet Dalia and Gabon’s medium sour Mandji. The data shows at least seven cargoes that loaded in August and have been stationary for at least seven days.
In refining news for the region, Ghana’s 45,000 b/d Tema facility is expected to restart later this month, a source close to the matter said Sept. 15. The refinery has been offline since late July, having run through its reserves of crude. It relies on Nigerian crudes like Forcados, Brass River and Bonny Light, and the source said they were expecting two cargoes before the end of the month.
The Prices are as follows:
(1)Dated Brent =$39.120 /bbl (0.725)
(2)Bonny Light =$38.865 /bbl (0.600)
(3)QuaIboe =$38.465 /bbl (0.600)
(4)Forcados =$38.965 /bbl (0.600)
Premium unleaded pms= $382.25 /mt (1.75)
0.1% Gasoil= $312.09/mt (1)
Clean Tanker freight UKC-WAF= $19.18/mt (-1.67)
Stay Safe and have a wonderful week.