Kolumnen & Analysen Devisen

Oil Pulls Back
Phil Flynn I Price Group - ltfutures - 30.06.2014

Oil pulls back as Iraq's army makes a stand in Tikrit battle hard to retake the city. Iraq's army is having some success against the insurgents and a declaration by ISIS could splinter the rebels raising hopes that the oil exports in the South of Iraq will be untouched. Yet with a storm developing in the Atlantic will Gulf-of Mexico supply be untouched?

Reuters reports that a low-pressure area located about 210 miles east-southeast of St. Augustine, Florida has a 60 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Monday. "Environmental conditions are forecast to become more conducive for development during the next few days," the Miami-based weather forecasters said. A tropical depression is likely to form by mid-week while the system moves slowly southwest ward, then north and northeast ward near the southeastern United States coast, the NHC added. The storm right now seems to be north of production area so the energy markets are not that worried yet.

In Iraq Russia is sending help to the Iraqi government in the form of planes. Fox News is reporting that "the leaders of an Al Qaeda splinter group that has seized vast portions of northern and western Iraq have declared the establishment of an Islamic state and demanded allegiance from other Muslim groups."

In an audio statement posted online that coincided with the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a spokesman for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), announced that the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was the "caliph," or leader, of a state whose territory extended from the city of Aleppo in northwestern Syria, to Diyala province in northeastern Iraq.

On Sunday, Iraqi helicopter gunships struck suspected insurgent positions for a second consecutive day in the northern city of Tikrit, the predominantly Sunni hometown of former dictator Saddam Hussein. The insurgents appeared to have repelled the military's initial push for Tikrit, and remained in control of the city on Sunday, but clashes were taking place in the northern neighborhood of Qadissiyah, two residents reached by telephone said.

The US crude export ban continues to crumble as shale oil that almost defies the definition of what crude oil is or is not is breaking down the export barrier. Reuters news say that "all U.S. crude that is processed by a distillation tower, not only light oil known as condensate, is exempt from the 40-year crude export ban, U.S. government and industry sources said on Friday. The Department of Commerce determined this week that two companies that produce condensate, a light oil, can export the petroleum if it is processed by a distillation tower.

The sources said any crude that goes through the process can also be exported, potentially widening the amount of petroleum U.S. producers can send to markets abroad. The Department of Commerce told Irving, Texas-based Pioneer Natural Resources PXD.N and Houston-based Enterprise Product Partners EPD.N this week that they can export crude that has been lightly processed after they asked the department for clarification.

Some oil field equipment called stabilizers can be adjusted to qualify as more complicated distillation towers, which could further widen what kind of petroleum can be shipped, said one of the sources. In a ruling earlier this year, the Department of Commerce told Pioneer and Enterprise that processing their oil through a condensate stabilizer - a much cheaper, easier form of processing that simply separates light petroleum gases from crude oil - would also qualify it for export.

By focusing on how the oil is treated, rather than what it is, the Department of Commerce ruling appears to open an option for companies that produce traditional crude to get around the crude ban by lightly boiling their own oil. A distillation tower is a type of refining equipment typically used to heat crude oil to the point that it separates into refined fuels like gasoline and naphtha.

The new interpretation of the ruling, which has not been previously reported, will add to the intense speculation over how much of the U.S. shale oil boom might reach overseas markets. Many things about the regulations remain unclear, however. For instance, it is unclear how the Commerce Department would define a distillation tower.

Thus far, most focus has been on surging Texas production of what is known as condensate, a type of oil that is so light it often remains in gas form until it is pumped out of the ground. But a broader interpretation of the distillation process might allow other producers to export crude.

The Motley fool reported that "BP has provided an intriguing update to its global oil reserves estimate in the company's latest yearly review of energy statistics. BP raised its reserve estimate by 1.1% to 1,687.9 billion barrels, which is enough oil to last the world 53.3 years at the current production rates. However, there's likely a lot more oil left in the tank beyond what BP sees today. A good portion of the growth in global oil reserves in BP's report comes from the United States. According to BP, the U.S. has 44.2 billion barrels of oil reserves, which is 26% higher than it previously thought. It's also quite a bit more optimistic than the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which recently increased its estimate to 33.4 billion barrels of reserves, or 15% more than previously thought.

While the world as BP sees it might just hold 53.3 years' worth of oil that certainly does not mean we'll run out of oil anytime soon. New shale plays continue to be discovered in the U.S., which should fuel substantial gains in reserves over the next decade. There's plenty of oil still left in the world's tank thanks to the development of America's shale resources.

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Thank you,
Phil Flynn
Senior Market Analyst
pflynn@pricegroup.com
www.pricegroup.com

Mr. Flynn is one of the world's leading energy market analysts, providing individual investors, professional traders, and institutions with up-to-the-minute investment and risk management insight into global petroleum, gasoline, and energy markets.

Phil Flynn's accurate and timely forecasts have come to be in great demand by industry and media worldwide. His impressive career goes back almost three decades, gaining attention with his market calls as writer of The Energy Report.

He is a daily contributor to Fox Business Network where he provides daily market updates and analysis. Phil’s daily commentary is also featured in Futures Magazine, International Business Times, Inside Futures, 312 Energy, Enercast, among many others.

Phil is a lifelong resident of Illinois. He attended Daley College in Chicago before beginning his career on the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange which eventually led him and his team to the Price Futures Group.

You can read Phil’s daily market analysis and blogs at www.pricegroup.com.

Phil’s commitment to and experience in futures trading is documented in two books, The Mind of a Trader (Financial Times/Pitman,1997), and Trading Online (publisher, date), both by Alpesh B. Patel. Phil is a lifelong resident of Illinois. He attended DaleyCollege in Chicago before beginning his career on the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

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