WTI prices are higher overnight following a smaller than expected crude build from API and ongoing concerns about Venezuela sanctions disrupting supply.
Bloomberg Intelligence Senior Energy Analyst Vince Piazza comments that:
Uncertainty over U.S.-China trade talks and Venezuela possibly declaring force majeure on its exports add to an already-clouded oil-market outlook. Refinery utilization has retreated while U.S. crude production remains resilient, and recent rig counts suggest a rekindling of activity.
Slowing demand, an ebbing global economic growth outlook and ample gasoline supplies inform our reserved stance on balances, despite OPEC’s compliance with capacity curbs. The cartel and its partners will need to extend curbs into 2H to support benchmarks.
Crude +1.098 (+3mm exp)
Cushing -682k (+100k exp)
Gasoline +2.15mm (+2.4mm)
Distillates +211k (-2mm exp)
After last week’s huge surprise crude build, expectations were for another big build but DOE reports a mere 919k rise in inventories (well below the +3.15mm exp). Additionally, gasoline stockpiles dropped for the first time since November, by the most since October…
Production flatlined Week over week at record highs.
U.S. Crude Imports from Saudi fall to the lowest since Oct. 2017
WTI traded just below $54 ahead of the DOE print and spiked above it on the small build…
“Geopolitics have returned with a bang,” said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd. in London. “This latest attempt to tighten the financial noose on embattled President Maduro will further cement Venezuela’s supply outlook to the downside.”