Gasoline Supplies Fallgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
[Fair Use, for Educational Purposes.]
"Tightening stocks lift crude futures
"By Myra P. Saefong, CBS MarketWatch"
"Last Update: 12:27 PM ET Feb 24, 2000"
"NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- April crude jumped above $30 a barrel Thursday after two recognized reports on petroleum inventories confirmed unexpected declines in last week's gasoline and distillate supplies."
"The most bullish component of [the inventory releases] is the status of gasoline inventories," Francis Markey, an economist at the Dismal Scientist said in a weekly report. Both the American Petroleum Institute and the Energy Department "reported declines while markets had anticipated an increase."
"On the New York Mercantile Exchange, April crude rose 65 cents to $30.04 a barrel, after reaching an intraday high of $30.10 earlier in the session. March heating oil added 1.42 cents to 77.55 cents a gallon and March unleaded gasoline gained 1.18 cents to 85.80 cents a gallon. See latest commodity prices."
"Meanwhile, shares of oil service stocks mirrored the gains in crude prices. The Philadelphia Oil Service Index ($OSX: news, msgs) rose 3 percent to 89.07, with shares of Nabors Industries (NBR: news, msgs) up 3/4 to 32 3/4."
"The further tightening of stocks adds to market fears that even if OPEC decides to increase world oil production at its next meeting on March 27, the increase won't be enough to meet demand."
"Investors remain concerned over the "uncertainty over whether OPEC will increase output," Markey said, and reports that OPEC is considering an rise of 1.25 million to 2 million barrels per day is "unlikely to satisfy the world's increasing demand for oil."
"At best, markets can only hope for a significant slowdown in the pace of inventory decline. Thus, there will be no real downward pressure on prices in the near term," the economist said."
"Late Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute reported a 1 million barrel decline in supplies of distillates, which now total 103.7 million barrels as of the week ended Feb. 18. Early Thursday, the Department of Energy confirmed the decline, revealing a 200,000 barrel fall in distillate supplies."
"Analysts surveyed by First Call were expecting supplies to be up by as much as 1.5 million barrels."
"Gasoline stocks, according to the API, also unexpectedly fell 432,000 barrels to 196.3 million barrels last week, compared to market expectations for a rise of between 1.5 million and 2 million barrels. The Energy Department reported a much larger 2.9 million barrel decline."
"Continued declines in gasoline inventories bode ill for gasoline prices this summer," Markey said. "If refiners cannot build their inventories of gasoline, prices could rise sharply as the summer driving season begins."
"The API said last week's crude oil inventories rose 1.65 million barrels, vs. expectations for a rise of 2 million barrels. However, the Energy Department said supplies actually fell 300,000 barrels."
"Despite the discrepancy, either measure of crude inventories remains near the lowest level in more than 20 years," Markey commented."
"Last week's refinery production rates fell slightly to 86.5 percent, nearly unchanged from the prior week's 86.6 percent, according to the API."
"Meanwhile, energy futures also found support from conflicting comments regarding a possible increase in global oil output from various oil producers."
"Venezuelan oil minister, Ali Rodriguez said late Wednesday that although an increase in production is possible in April, it would only occur if OPEC thought market conditions warranted it, according to a Bridge News report."
"Mexico voiced support for an increase in output on Monday to relieve tightening supplies, but emphasized that any rise would be small."
"However, Kuwait recently said that it still wants production curbs to be extended for an unspecified period of time."
"In one week, oil officials from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Mexico will meet in London to discuss the oil situation."
You know, perhaps we should release the restrictions on Iraq. I'd give Saddam three months before he'd re-invade Kuwait - maybe that would wake them up. It certainly sounds like they've forgotten that we pulled their fat from the fire, and that none of their neighbors were going to help free them until the U.S. came along...
-- Deb M. (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 24, 2000