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PLS publishes news and analysis impacting oil and gas pricing through its QPi (Pricing) Module. The maroon report is designed to provide active operators, acquirers, explorationists, capital providers and investors the key market and price information they need to be successful.
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QP - Oil drops again as reopenings stall; gas hits 25-year low - June 29, 2020
The WTI front-month contract settled higher than $40 last Monday for the first time since March 6 and held above that threshold on Tuesday as well, buoyed by signs of tightening oil supply and continued reopening of economies. However, events later in the week swept both of those legs out from under the oil market, bringing prices down $1.26 on the week to a Friday settlement of $38.49. The EIA last Wednesday reported a commercial crude inventory build of 1.4 MMbbl for the week that...
Jun 29, 2020
QP - WTI caught between demand rebound & new outbreaks - June 22, 2020
The WTI front-month contract climbed above $40/bbl on Friday and settled at $39.75, its highest level since March 6, following signs of increasing global demand and OPEC+ reassurances on production cuts. Brent flipped into backwardation late in the week, with the August contract trading as high as 15 cents above September on Friday—signaling a tightening physical oil market amid economic recovery. However, these gains appear to be held in check by concerns about demand destruction amid a...
Jun 22, 2020
QP - WTI retreats from $40 as COVID-19 spikes rock markets - June 15, 2020
After increasing steadily the week that ended June 5, front-month WTI appeared poised to return to $40/bbl territory. And it actually popped above that threshold in early trading last Monday for the first time since March before retreating to a $38.19 settlement. The closest WTI got to breaking through $40 the rest of the week was Wednesday afternoon when it reached a high of $39.91 and settled at $39.60 despite the EIA reporting a large crude inventory build. From there, macro drivers took...
Jun 15, 2020
QP - Oil rises on signs of economic recovery from pandemic - June 8, 2020
The WTI front-month climbed steadily last week to a Friday close of $39.55/bbl, lifted 11% on the week by an unexpected crude inventory draw and a surprisingly strong US jobs report. The EIA on Wednesday reported that commercial crude stocks fell 2.08 MMbbl the week that ended May 29, defying consensus expectations of about a 3 MMbbl build. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the US regained 2.5 million jobs in May while the unemployment rate fell to 13.3% from 14.7% in...
Jun 08, 2020
QP - Strong US crude exports provide safety net for storage - June 1, 2020
US commercial crude stocks rose 7.9 MMbbl the week that ended May 22, defying consensus expectations for a 1.9 MMbbl draw. Also, the flotilla of discounted Saudi cargoes that set sail in April is now unloading at American ports. According to the EIA, imports from Saudi Arabia spiked 926,000 bbl/d, or 147%, the week that ended May 22 to 1.59 MMbbl/d—their highest level since May 2014. Total crude imports rose 2.0 MMbbl/d on the week, reaching their highest level in eight months. Despite...
Jun 01, 2020
QP - Crude stocks draw as production cuts meet rising demand - May 19, 2020
Continued crude storage stability is supporting near-term oil pricing along with a narrowing contango in front-month/second-month Nymex crude, which shrank by $1.10/ bbl last week. According to the EIA, commercial crude inventories fell by 745,000 bbl/d the week that ended May 8. Stocks at Cushing dropped by 3 MMbbl, the hub’s first draw since the last week in February. Meanwhile, EIA data indicated a 300,000 bbl/d contraction in Lower 48 field production to 11.2 MMbbl/d. US gasoline...
May 18, 2020
QP - The Week in Crude Oil Markets - May 11, 2020
WTI for June delivery ended last week settling at $24.74/bbl, up 29.5% from Monday’s open. Prices continued to increase on news of deeper production cuts in the United States as well as green shoots emerging in gasoline demand. Still, one can’t help but get the sense that futures markets are getting a bit ahead of the recovery, especially when one considers the ominous signs emerging in distillates, difficult export arbs for US light sweet crude, and the rising longto-short ratio in Nymex WTI...
May 11, 2020
QP - The Week in Crude Oil Markets - May 4, 2020
June WTI settled at $19.78/bbl last Friday, up 17.5% from last Monday’s open. Prices were supported by smaller-than-expected US inventory builds as well as early indications that production cuts are beginning to take effect globally. Despite the recent easing in the rate of inventory builds, physical markets still remain oversupplied. Supply pressures persist even as refined product demand begins to come out of its vegetative state, and it is likely to take some time before demand recovers to...
May 04, 2020
QP - The Week in Crude Oil Markets - April 27, 2020
Crude oil futures started the week off on poor footing, with May WTI falling into unprecedented negative territory Monday, two days before contract rollover, and June WTI trading in the low teens that morning. The US Oil Fund, a large exchangetraded fund that invests in crude oil futures, announced that it would be exiting its long position in the June WTI contract because of “evolving market conditions.” While it is yet to be seen whether the June contract will come under the same pressures...
Apr 27, 2020
QP - The Week in Crude Oil Markets - April 20, 2020
Front-month WTI futures settled at $18.27/bbl on Friday, an 18-year low. Since then, WTI has fallen to uncharted negative territory as futures converge with spot prices close to expiry. The unprecedented contraction in global oil demand threatens to fill all available storage capacity in the US, and shut-ins are already beginning to materialize. Last week the North Dakota Industrial Commission reported that 4,600 wells in the state have stopped producing since the beginning of March, equating...
Apr 20, 2020