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US crude oil exports hit record high in September: data

The Business Times

Canada took in the most exports at 243,000 bpd, followed by Singapore at 99,000 bpd. Exports to Europe were also high, with Italy receiving some 81,000 bpd and Spain 41,000 bpd. Other prominent destinations included South Korea and the Netherlands.

The previous record was set in May when the United States exported about 662,000 bpd, according to US government data.

US crude exports have climbed since the lifting of a decades-old ban late last year.

The discount of US crude to Brent crude had widened to as much as US$2.67 a barrel in late August, the widest since February.

The US Energy Information Administration will release its closely watched monthly crude figures, which are based on the US Census data, at the end of this month.


Crude oil extends its slide following a disappointing October.

Seeking Alpha

Technically, Crude Oil Is Right At The Edge

Nikhil Gupta

Growth at reasonable price, contrarian, medium-term horizon, macro


Crude oil extends its slide following a disappointing October.

Technically, a retest of the weekly support trend line is being seen.

Short-term bulls should place a strict stop loss.

At the end of September, I wrote a technical analysis-based article on crude oil (NYSEARCA: USO) titled Crude Oil Could Soar To $80 If This Happens. Fast forward one month, and it seems that the commodity wants to go in the opposite direction in the short term.

In my previous article, I had highlighted that a breakout needs to happen while the momentum lasts. At that time, crude was trading near $48 a barrel and went on to hit a one-year high of $51.93.

I had also commented that:

Getting some big players like Russia on board to a production freeze or a cut could lend serious momentum to the upsurge, and cause the price to pierce the resistance zone of $50-$52.

Instead, what we are hearing now is the news (or rumor) that some nations want to be exempt from any agreement to freeze their production levels, and as a result, the resistance zone of $50-$52 has stood firm. An expected rise in U.S. crude stockpiles is also adding to the misery of oil bulls.

Click to enlarge

The bearish developments have forced the smart money to increase their short bets on crude oil (NYSEARCA: OIL).

The rising probability that OPEC will struggle to get the member nations and Russia to come to an agreement, and abide by it is setting the stage for a longer period of lower prices.

I, for one, sometimes find myself overwhelmed with all this noise. Therefore, to see a clearer picture, I go to my technical charts. The technical charts are a representation of what the buyer is willing to pay (or a seller is willing to take) for one barrel of oil considering all the external factors. I then decide if the same level is appropriate for me or not.

Crude Oil Exports from the US: Current Issues and Future Outlook

Natalie Regoli & Brian Polley, Texas Lawyer

After 40 years in place, President Barack Obama lifted the ban on exporting crude oil from America on Dec. 18, 2015. Some of the largest oil companies in the U.S. had aggressively lobbied Congress to end the ban since at least October 2014, when the lobbying group called Producers for American Crude Oil Exports (PACE) was formed. Congressional Democrats withheld support until Republicans agreed to a package of tax credits worth about $680 billion over 10 years related to certain environmental priorities, including renewable energy tax credits. Despite the initial excitement in the oil industry due to the lifting of the ban, the uptick in oil exports has been mild.

Following the 1973 Arab oil embargo that sent domestic gasoline prices skyrocketing, in 1975 Congress banned oil exports from the U.S. under most circumstances. Since then the U.S. energy industry has undergone a dramatic transformation, and the increased use of fracking and other drilling technologies has caused U.S. oil production to shoot up nearly 90 percent since August 2008. The surge in production has had many positive effects, including reducing gasoline prices to historic lows and the creation of as many as 1.7 million jobs, according to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study. When the price of oil started sliding in June 2014, and then continued its rapid descent through October of that year, PACE was organized to begin lobbying for the removal of the export ban.

PACE’s fight to end the ban was joined behind the scenes by many oil companies, both Texas senators, most of the Texas Congressional delegation, other members of Congress with upstream activity in their districts, and trade groups including the American Petroleum Institute. Opponents to ending the ban included many refiners and downstream companies, many companies in the petrochemicals industry that use crude oil as a feedstock, some members of Congress with refining in their districts and environmental groups such as the Sierra Club.

Historically there were certain exceptions to the crude oil export ban, including that for the export of ultralight “condensate,” some exports to Canada and some exports from Cook Inlet in Alaska. The Canada exception, in particular, was a relic of an era in which Canadian refiners at the border relied heavily on U.S. light crude. Just as the ban on crude exports had exceptions, the lifting of the ban also has certain exceptions. For example, the 2016 act lifting the ban preserves the president’s power to restrict crude exports in response to a national emergency or to enforce trade sanctions.

The mild industry response to the removal of the ban is best explained by basic economics: There is simply too much supply on the global oil market. High supply combined with weak global demand growth has meant persistently low prices, which is not particularly conducive to overseas sales. The global oil glut has also sent a number of U.S. drillers into bankruptcy, causing lower domestic production and less potentially exportable U.S. oil in recent years. This reduced production probably cannot recover significantly until prices rebound. These conditions have set the stage for what the U.S. Energy Information Administration calls “sporadic” shipments of U.S. oil to overseas buyers, and most of these shipments have been test sales meant to demonstrate the high quality of American oil rather than representing new sources of long-term demand. In the months and years leading up to the lifting of the ban and at the time it was lifted, many industry experts predicted that the United States could be a net exporter of oil by the year 2022. However, if current market conditions and certain regulatory burdens persist, it is less clear whether U.S. producers will have the capacity to produce in sufficient quantities to export large amounts of crude by then.

There are some indications that exports may now be starting to rise. Global oil trading company Trafigura recently announced it is moving 5 to 7 million barrels of crude from the U.S. gulf coast to the U.K. and the Netherlands. The same company recently opened an office in Midland, Texas, where it will focus on moving Permian Basin-produced oil “around the globe to the best market,” according to the company’s director of North America operations. Whether exports will begin increasing more rapidly depends on the economics. If U.S. production remains low, and the gap between the price of West Texas Intermediate (the U.S. benchmark) and Brent crude (the global benchmark) remains narrow by historical standards, it is difficult to see how exports really take off. However, if the price of WTI returns to something lower relative to Brent, exporting more crude may begin to make sense for more players in the market.

Some energy analysts have suggested there is an opportunity for expanded exports from the U.S. due to the June 26 expansion of the Panama Canal. This past summer the Panama Canal Authority inaugurated a new set of locks which allow for the transit of larger ships. This was the first such expansion since the canal was completed in 1914. Despite some speculation to the contrary, the expansion of the canal is unlikely to have a major impact on crude oil flows. This is because crude is typically loaded on vessels classified as Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) or Ultra-Large Crude Carriers (ULCCs), both of which are still too large to transit the Panama Canal even with the new locks. Some petroleum products including propane are often loaded on smaller vessels, some of which can transit the existing and new canal depending the ship’s hull design. Therefore, although the canal expansion may increase exports of certain petroleum products, there is unlikely to be a major impact on crude exports.

Now that the ban has been (mostly) lifted, other regulatory hurdles and deteriorating domestic hydrocarbon infrastructure have come into focus. Removing the ban has theoretically removed artificial trade impediments which caused international energy market distortions, but without the removal of certain barriers to domestic production including drilling on federal lands and offshore and the expansion of pipelines and other infrastructure, the full potential of lifting the export ban will be difficult to realize.

The crucial element in the months and years ahead is for Congress and the next president to allow industry to improve America’s energy infrastructure, which can be done at very little cost to the taxpayer. Various regulatory hurdles to production remain, and the industry must now focus on having permits for new pipelines and LNG terminals approved, as well as gaining new approvals for oil and gas drilling on public lands. The stakes are high, since pro-energy policies could result in as much as $150 billion more in GDP a year according to some economists, increasing growth from 2 percent to about 3 percent. For the U.S. to enjoy the full potential benefits of lifting the export ban, though, lawmakers must roll back some of the more burdensome regulations on domestic exploration, production and transportation of oil and gas.

There is no doubt that the lifting of the crude oil ban late last year was a major development from a regulatory and foreign policy perspective. However, the impact has been much more limited from an economic perspective—we simply have not seen the increase in the volume of exports that some predicted. There is some evidence that this may be changing and more producers may be expanding their export operations and facilities, and this expansion may increase if the gap between WTI and Brent prices returns to historical norms rather than the current, narrow gap. Two things are certain: The underlying market conditions are driving the development of U.S. crude oil exports, and those market conditions are constantly changing in this industry.


Oil price rally sparked by U.S. rate decision enters second day


– UPI.com

By Daniel J. Graeber

Crude oil riding the Yellen train

At least one analyst not buying the rhetoric as Russia shoots down talks of a production cut.

NEW YORK, Sept. 22 (UPI) — Crude oil prices moved higher in early Thursday trading after strong labor data from the United States lent support to a possible rate hike later this year.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said economic growth in the United States was subdued during the first half of the year, but gains in household spending stimulated growth since then.

“Business investment, however, remains soft, both in the energy sector and more broadly,” she said in opening remarks Wednesday afternoon. “The energy industry has been hard hit by the drop in oil prices since mid-2014, and investment in that sector continued to contract through the first half of the year. However, drilling is now showing signs of stabilizing.”

Nevertheless, with steady gains in exploration and production activity offering an indication that the market may have hit bottom, Yellen said that, while rates would be left alone, the economy is expected to expand. Economic data over the past few weeks show pressures on the U.S. economy remain, though recent trends in employment add support to the possibility of a rate increase later this year.

The U.S. Labor Department reported first-time claims for unemployment declined by 8,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 252,000, the lowest level since July. The less-volatile four-week average declined 2,250 to 258,500.

Crude oil prices extended a rally sparked by Yellen’s comments into early Thursday trading. The price for Brent crude oil moved higher by 1.9 percent to start the day at $47.73 per barrel. The U.S. benchmark price, West Texas Intermediate, gained 2.4 percent to open the day in New York at $46.41 per barrel.

The price movement is in contrast to trends in production. Russia’s deputy energy minister sparked a news media frenzy early Thursday when he said a cut in output was technically possible, though Energy Minister Alexander Novak corrected him later to say there were no proposals to curb production.

In a statement on strategy, French energy company Total said its production was on pace for an average increase of 5 percent through 2019, with more than a dozen new start-ups on the schedule. Libya and Nigeria, two members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, are both on the cusp of recovery.

Ministers from OPEC and non-member states could review proposals to keep production rates steady at meetings next week in Algeria. In no uncertain terms, Olivier Jakob, the managing director at Swiss oil-market research group Petromatrix, said in an emailed statement that he was calling the bluff of both the U.S. Federal Reserve and OPEC ministers.

“The U.S. Fed is all about talk and no action and the crude oil market can now speculate for the next two days if the same will characterize the upcoming meeting of OPEC members in Algeria,” he said.

Crude Oil Trims Dollar-Linked Losses on Libya Supply Jitters


Fundamental analysis, economic and market themes

Crude Oil Trims Dollar-Linked Losses on Libya Supply Jitters

Monday, Sep 19, 2016 6:18 am +03:00

Gold prices declined as better-than-expected US CPI data triggered an up-shift in the projected Fed rate hike path, pushing the US Dollar higher alongside front-end US Treasury bond yields and undermining support for anti-fiat assets. Crude oil prices were likewise pressured lower but late-day rebound brought the WTI benchmark off its lows following news that clashes at the Ras Lanuf port forced Libya to halt the first shipment from the facility since 2014. News of returning Libyan supply has weighed on prices recently.

Looking ahead, a quiet economic calendar may leave commodities in consolidation mode as traders withhold directional conviction ahead of critical event risk later in the week. Needless to say, the FOMC rate decision takes top billing. A much-anticipated monetary policy review due alongside the BOJ rate decision may also prove market-moving it if related volatility spills out into broader risk on/off gyrations across financial markets. Finally, OPEC-linked news flow is an ever-present catalyst as the cartel’s Algiers meeting draws closer.

What to past gold and crude oil price patterns hint about on-coming moves? Find out here!

GOLD TECHNICAL ANALYSISGold prices have stalled near familiar support in the 1303.62-08.00 area (May 2 high, 38.2% Fibonacci retracement). A break lower confirmed on a daily closing basis exposes the 50% level at 1287.29. Alternatively, a move back above the 23.6% Fib at 1333.62 sees the next upside barrier marked by a falling trend line at 1348.40.

Crude Oil Trims Dollar-Linked Losses on Libya Supply Jitters

CRUDE OIL TECHNICAL ANALYSISCrude oil prices continue to test support in the 42.73-43.02 area (50% Fibonacci expansion, September 1 low). A daily close below this barrier exposes the 61.8% level at 41.26. Alternatively, a reversal back above the 38.2% Fib at 44.20 targets the 23.6% expansion at 46.02.

Crude Oil Trims Dollar-Linked Losses on Libya Supply Jitters

— Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for DailyFX.com


New York crude oil hub subject to new environmental review

Fox Business

Oil tankersunset-654867_960_720

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York regulators will require an extensive new environmental review of permits originally issued in 2012 that allowed fuel transporters to turn Albany into a major hub for crude oil rail shipments from North Dakota to East Coast refineries.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said Friday the agency will require Waltham, Massachusetts-based Global Partners to restart its environmental review process given significant new information about benzene air emissions in a neighborhood near the Port of Albany as well as the hazards of crude oil transport.

“DEC will ensure that this process includes a meaningful and thorough opportunity for public engagement,” Seggos said.

Environmental groups that have harshly criticized DEC’s quiet approval of the company’s original application in 2012 without public hearings hailed Friday’s action as a victory. The 2012 permit allowed Global to quadruple petroleum shipments at the port from 450 million gallons a year to 2.2 billion gallons. Oil trains bring crude from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale region to the port for transport by barge down the Hudson River.

“What DEC has clearly decided is it’s going to completely re-examine the previous permit decisions that have allowed Albany to become the major crude oil hub in the Northeast. That’s huge,” said Kate Hudson of Riverkeeper. “It seems to signal a policy shift in terms of deciding whether this activity has any benefit for New Yorkers.”

Friday’s action comes a month after the federal Environmental Protection Agency accused the company of violating air pollution standards at the Port of Albany, an allegation Global denied. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

DEC said in the new permit application, Global must examine numerous impacts including air emissions, noise and visual impacts, potential for increased greenhouse gas emissions due to handling of heavy tar sands crude, the potential for spills and fires, impact on Albany’s waterfront revitalization plans, and cumulative impacts associated with the Pilgrim Pipeline proposed to carry crude oil from Albany to New Jersey refineries.

DEC said it will also require a new permit application from a smaller fuel handler at the port, Buckeye Partners.

US oil settles at $44.90 a barrel, down $1.39, or 3%


Can oil solve its oversupply issues?

Can oil solve its oversupply issues?   

Oil prices fell as much as 3 percent on Tuesday after a series of gloomy predictions on demand growth that suggested the global overhang of unused inventories may persist for longer than anticipated.

The International Energy Agency, which advises oil-consuming countries on their energy policies, said a sharp slowdown in oil demand growth, coupled with ballooning inventories and rising supply, means the market will be oversupplied at least through the first half of 2017.

This contrasts with the agency’s last forecast a month ago for supply and demand to be broadly in balance over the rest of this year and for inventories to fall swiftly.

The IEA’s comments follow a surprisingly bearish outlook from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Monday that also pointed to a larger surplus next year due to new fields in non-member countries and as U.S. shale drillers prove more resilient than expected to cheap crude.


Low oil price not enough to adjust fundamentals: Pro

Low oil price not enough to adjust fundamentals: Pro   

“It seems the situation has deteriorated strongly in the eyes of OPEC as well as the IEA,” Commerzbank head of commodities strategy Eugen Weinberg said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see this price weakness continue for a while right now, because that was not on the cards, in our opinion.”

A stronger dollar also weighed on crude and other commodities denominated in the greenback, making them less affordable to holders of currencies such as the euro. U.S. equity markets fell more than 1 percent, adding to the bearish sentiment.

Upbeat Chinese data on industrial output growth for August failed to lift oil prices as the crude market remained in a profit-taking mode, traders said. China’s industrial output grew the fastest in five months as demand for products from coal to cars rebounded thanks to higher government spending and a year-long credit and property boom.

Speculators in U.S. and Brent crude futures took an axe to their long positions in the latest week, cutting the combined net speculative length in the two contracts by 80 million barrels, according to PVM Oil Associates.

Crude near new session low

Reducing oil expectations   

Analysts expect U.S. government data on Wednesday to show a stockpile build of 4.5 million barrels in crude last week. The American Petroleum Institute, a trade group, will release its own preliminary supply-demand report for last week at 4:30 p.m. (2030 GMT) on Tuesday.

Oil prices rose in the previous session after uncertainty over a potential U.S. Federal Reserve rate hike in September weighed on the dollar.

Even so, expectations of U.S. monetary tightening before the end of the year, along with the bleak demand outlook projected by the IEA, further diminished market optimism that the world’s largest oil producers might agree to freeze output when they meet for talks in Algeria on Sept. 26-28.

“The idea of an oil production freeze makes even less sense if demand falls apart while U.S. monetary stimulus is being removed at the same time,” said David Thompson, executive vice-president at Powerhouse, a commodities-focused brokerage in Washington.

Crude Oil Eyes API Data After Selloff Stalls on OPEC Deal Hopes

Daily FX

Fundamental analysis, economic and market themes

Crude Oil Eyes API Data After Selloff Stalls on OPEC Deal Hopes

Tuesday, Sep 13, 2016 6:31 am +03:00

Crude oil price action seemed somewhat counter-intuitive yesterday. Prices launched higher after OPEC updated its 2017 market outlook to predict that output from outside the cartel will increase by 200k barrels, reversing a previous forecast that envisioned a drop of 150k barrels. One might have expected that the prospect of a supply increase would pressure prices lower, not send them upward.

A possible explanation may be that traders interpreted the announcement in the context of speculation that OPEC producers might agree to an output freeze at an informal meeting in Algiers this month. Traders may have reasoned that an accord is more likely if the group’s membership is growing more concerned about downside price pressure from outside their ranks.

Gold prices rebounded after touching a three-week low intraday after Fed Governor Lael Brainard struck a familiarly dovish tone in the last bit of commentary from policy officials before this month’s FOMC policy announcement. Markets were keen to see if Brainard would adjust her posture to fall in line with the recent hawkish rhetorical shift from most of her colleagues. The US Dollar declined alongside front-end bond yields after the Governor spoke.

Looking ahead, crude oil will look to the API weekly inventories estimate for direction. The report sent prices sharply higher last week. Gold may struggle to find lasting directional conviction amid a lull in Fed-linked news flow. The near-term bias may cautiously favor the upside as markets digest down-shift in the projected rate hike path following Governor Brainard’s commentary, but lasting follow-through may have to wait for US retail sales, inflation and consumer confidence data due later in the week.

Is picking price direction most important for successful trading? See our study to find out!

GOLD TECHNICAL ANALYSISGold prices are treading water having retreated to a three-week low. A daily close below support in the 1303.62-08.00 area (May 2 high, 38.2% Fibonacci retracement) paves the way for a challenge of the 50% level at 1287.29. Alternatively, a move back above the 23.6% Fib at 1333.62 exposes falling trend line resistance at 1350.32.

Crude Oil Eyes API Data After Selloff Stalls on OPEC Deal Hopes

CRUDE OIL TECHNICAL ANALYSISCrude oil prices paused to consolidate losses after signaling a possible top with the formation of a Bearish Engulfing candlestick pattern. Near-term support is now at 44.20, the 38.2% Fibonacci expansion, with a break below that on a daily closing basis exposing the 50% level at 42.73. Alternatively, a reversal back above the 23.6% Fib at 46.02 opens the door for a retest of falling trend line resistance, now at 47.53.

Crude Oil Eyes API Data After Selloff Stalls on OPEC Deal Hopes

— Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for DailyFX.com


Crude oil futures – weekly outlook: September 12 – 16

Investing.com – Financial Markets Worldwide

Crude oil futures – weekly outlook: September 12 – 16

© Reuters.  Oil prices fall 4% on Friday, still post weekly gains

Investing.com – Oil prices fell 4% on Friday as the dollar rose and traders discounted an unexpectedly large drop in U.S. oil stockpiles as the beginning of a broader trend.

On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for November delivery dropped $2.13, or 4.26%, to settle at $47.86 a barrel. For the week, London-traded Brent futures still rose 2.52%.

U.S. crude oil for delivery in October ended Friday’s session at $45.72 a barrel, down $1.9, or 3.99% on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Despite Friday’s losses, New York-traded oil futures gained 3.24% for the week.

Oil had ended 4% higher on Thursday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude stocks dropped 14.5 million barrels last week to 511.4 million barrels.

It was the largest weekly decline since January 1999.

Total commercial stockpiles of crude oil and refined products fell by 13.7 million barrels.

Earlier in the week, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories fell 12.1 million barrels in the week ended September 2.

But analysts said the unexpectedly large drawdown in inventories came as a tropical storm on the East Coast kept cargoes of oil and fuel from being delivered.

Oil prices have fluctuated in recent weeks amid uncertainty over whether the world’s major oil producers will take steps to curb output when they meet later this month.

OPEC members are set to discuss a potential production cap at an informal meeting on the sidelines of an energy conference in Algeria between September 26-28.

But many market participants remain doubtful that talks will result in any agreement aimed at propping up prices.

Instead, most believe that oil producers will continue to monitor the market and possibly postpone freeze talks to the official OPEC meeting in Vienna on November 30.

An attempt to jointly freeze production levels earlier this year failed after Saudi Arabia backed out over Iran’s refusal to take part of the initiative.

In the week ahead, oil traders will be focusing on U.S. stockpile data on Tuesday and Wednesday for fresh supply-and-demand signals.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Tuesday, September 13

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.

Wednesday, September 14

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release its weekly report on oil and gasoline stockpiles.

Friday, September 16

Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

WTI Crude Oil Price Forecast: Prepare for Next Weeks Breakout Now

Short Term Strategies, Scalping, Price Action Analysis, and Risk Management

WTI Crude Oil Price Forecast: Prepare for Next Weeks Breakout Now

The price of WTI Crude Oil (CFD: USOil), is pulling back off of weekly highs after yesterday’s trading saw Crude Oil reach a peak of $47.71. With today’s price action failing to breakout to new highs, technically this suggests that that Crude Oil prices might close the week with the creation of an inside bar. Knowing this, traders should continue to monitor the current weekly high will as a point of resistance for next week’s trading. Alternatively, Thursday’s low should also be considered a point of support for Crude Oil at a price of $45.74.

As Crude Oil prices consolidate between these values of support or resistance, traders may plan to trade either one of two scenarios. First, traders may elect to trade further consolidation next week if Crude Oil continues to trade in its $2.03 range. This strategy may be considered valid until price action breaks out either above $47.71 or below $45.74. The second opportunity traders may look for is a breakout from the identified trading range. In this scenario, traders may elect to extrapolate a 1X extension of the $2.03 range to find preliminary pricing targets. This places primary bullish breakout targets near $49.74, and bearish targets near $43.71.

Losing Money Trading? This could be why!

Crude Oil Price, Daily Chart & Inside Bar

WTI Crude Oil Price Forecast: Prepare for Next Weeks Breakout Now(Created using Marketscope 2.0 Charts)

The ratio of long to short positions for Crude Oil (CFD: USOil) stands at -1.19. This SSI (speculative sentiment index) reading shows that 54% of positioning is currently short WTI Crude Oil. Typically when SSI reads negative, this suggests that prices may continue to rise. In the event of a bullish breakout, traders should look for SSI to move towards new negative extremes. Alternatively if prices breakout lower, SSI may flip to a positive reading.

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