Tag: Hurricane

Bullish Natural Gas Markets

A highly contested election, global pandemic, and historically low oil prices have grabbed headlines in recent months but there has been little focus on the surging natural gas market. In recent weeks, natural gas rose to prices not experienced in over a year and a half when the Henry Hub gas benchmark climbed to a 19-month high in late October. With a cold winter ahead, a historic Hurricane season in full swing, depressed oil production, and soaring LNG exports; the gas futures market remains strong and will maintain its upward momentum into the foreseeable future.

Heating Up

A wild week in oil news saw some of the world’s top analytics firms’ predictions on the future of the oil and gas industry in the United States be overshadowed by the possibility of a massive merger between two shale powerhouses and approval of an expansion for the Dakota Access Pipeline. As temperatures begin to cool off into the winter season, election season is causing the oil industry to heat up.

Battle Of The Bigs

Chevron Corporation overtook Exxon Mobil Corporation as the largest oil company in America by market value, the first time the Texas-based giant has been dethroned since it began as Standard Oil more than a century ago. But neither are any match for a Hurricane as both majors have evacuated production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Delta. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement estimated about 80% of the Gulf’s oil production and 49% of natural gas production has been shut-in, including over 180 production platforms. Hurricane season has chronically caused trouble in the gulf region and a historic 2020 is no different.

You Can’t Change The Past

On Thursday, news headlines read “Oil Prices Slide As OPEC Opens The Valves” which referenced the overall increase in OPEC production for the month of September. Yet only 3 of the past 14 weeks has the EIA reported domestic crude oil inventory builds. In the month of September alone, there was a total of 10.989 million barrels of crude oil drained from domestic inventories and yet when news breaks that OPEC increased production during September, when global inventories fell at historic rates, current prices dropped. Seriously?!? Market participants are reacting to something that happened in the past without paying attention to the actual supply/demand picture.

Gavin’s Gamble

This week, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced California will phase out the sale of all gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 in a bid to lead the U.S. in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging the state’s drivers to switch to electric cars. As California pushes to phase out hydrocarbons and make the switch to renewable energy sources, they have experienced electricity shortages that have left hundreds of thousands of customers without power. So, how does the state expect to power all the homes AND vehicles in the state within the next 15 years without reliable power?

Predicting The Impossible

On September 5th, Saudi Arabia cut its official crude selling price to Asia and U.S. buyers in an attempt to “boost global demand” all while U.S. crude oil inventories are seeing drawdowns at historic rates. In addition, the Russian Oil Minister announced on September 18th that global oil inventories are in decline and yet the world’s main oil forecasting agencies, analysts, and companies are pessimistic about oversupply creating a grim oil demand outlook. Clearly forecasting oil demand in 2020 is becoming a seemingly impossible task and has the world’s best scratching their heads.

Crude Drawdowns and Price Disconnects

As crude oil demand was decimated at the start of the global coronavirus pandemic, storage around the world began to rapidly fill causing commodity prices to tank. The supply and demand imbalance was corrected when producers came together to make global production cuts thus stabilizing prices. When economies began to restart and consumers began to leave their homes, demand started to climb to outpace supply. As storage levels began to fall, prices remained constant but when there was a tiny inventory build at the beginning of September, prices went into a freefall highlighting the growing disconnect between free market principles of supply and demand and emotion driving the actual price of crude oil. Instead of following commodity principles, pricing has become largely influenced by market sentiment.

Never Forget

Today we remember the heroes lost in the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Today we remember how we came together as a nation to rebuild, reunite, and move forward. Today we remember how those terrible events brought us together. But most importantly, today we recognize we must once again come together as a nation to overcome these current events to build a better tomorrow. #NeverForget

Liberty (and Justice) For All

The world’s largest oilfield services provider, Schlumberger, is selling its North American fracking business to Liberty Oilfield Services for a minority stake (37%) in the new combined company after the oil price crash crushed the U.S. shale patch’s fracking activity. The news comes just days after Schlumberger announced a partnership with Thermal Energy Partners to create STEP Energy, a geothermal project development company. Is Schlumberger getting out of oil?

Thanks Laura

Ahead of Hurricane Laura’s landfall, Gulf of Mexico Operators were forced to evacuate nearly 300 platforms and shut-in more than 84% of oil production and more than half of their natural gas production. In addition, after one of the strongest hurricanes in years made landfall near the heart of the U.S. refining industry, around 3 million barrels a day of U.S. refining capacity was closed or reduced. These facilities are built to withstand such events but a temporary shutdown is about how 2020 is going. So, thanks Laura.