US crude exports wane on tight Brent-WTI spread but low freight keeps door open

A tight spread between international crude benchmarks Brent and West Texas Intermediate has depressed US crude export flows during the past four weeks, according to sources and data from US Customs and S&P Global Platts Analytics. However, low freight rates have created opportunities to move US crude cheaply. The US exported 2.35 million b/d for the week ending April 5 – the lowest outflow since January 25, when 1.94 million

Insight from Shanghai: China’s international crude contract marks first birthday

It’s now a year since China took the first steps to opening up its mainly domestic futures market to the world with the launch of the Shanghai crude oil futures contract. It was the first of three to be “internationalized” last year – the other two were the existing iron ore and PTA futures contracts. But Shanghai crude was different to those in that it was a new contract, hosted

IMO 2020 may not solve crude oil quality riddle: Fuel for Thought

The global chasm in crude oil quality supply shows no signs of narrowing, prompting refiners to lighten their slate and leading to a market awash with gasoline , naphtha and LPG. New restrictions next year on the amount of sulfur in global marine fuels may mean refiners buy even more US shale oil , but this may not put an end to a saturated light ends market. Much hinges on

Crude supply imbalances slash Brent premium in wake of Venezuela sanctions

Premium quality crude oil barrels are currently at some of their cheapest ever levels in the global market, with supply imbalances causing quality spreads to narrow significantly and for sustained lengths of time. Derivatives of light, sweet Brent crude have fallen to record lows versus Dubai derivatives traded on the Intercontinental Exchange in recent weeks. All things being equal, a sour crude grade (with higher sulfur content), or one with

Energy reform is a price worth paying

Oil above $75 a barrel is good for Middle East economies but a challenge for the region’s energy reformers and consumers. Slumping prices had triggered a wave of new policies over the last four years to slash subsidies on petrol and electricity, while boosting investment into renewables. Maintaining the momentum behind energy market liberalization is essential for future prosperity. Previously, the region’s consumers were insulated from higher oil prices by

Gasoline, jet fuel prices set the pace in the Trump era: Of Presidents and Prices

With President Donald Trump now into his second year in office, several key commodity prices were 5% stronger on average through the end of February, compared with on January 19, 2017, the day before his inauguration. Eight of the 11 commodity benchmark, running-average prices being tracked by S&P Global Platts since Trump took the oath of office were up, led by Chicago gasoline (+11.8%) and jet fuel (+8.9%). Dated Brent

Gaspirations: In pursuit of an LNG freight derivatives market

The commoditization of the global LNG market has had implications across several associated industries, ranging from the gas-fired power sector to seaborne gas transportation. Hence, it came as no surprise that the venerable Baltic Exchange, probably the world’s oldest source of shipping information, set out to build an LNG freight index in January that could be launched as early as spring 2018. LNG carriers are after all the pipelines of

JKM reveals three LNG surprises in three years – tightness, correlations and seasonality

Platts JKM, the benchmark LNG spot price, has revealed three important surprises over the past three years. In 2015, most analysts expected the LNG market to weaken considerably, increasingly de-correlate from oil and reduce seasonality. Three years of JKM analysis counters all three expectations — as well as re-emphasizing the importance of market-based LNG pricing, and derivatives — in helping market participants flexibly react to unforeseen developments. 2015-PRESENT: THREE JKM/LNG

OPEC’s looming taper tantrum: Fuel for Thought

Choking back the flow of crude to boost prices was an easy decision for OPEC and Russia to make last year when inaction would have almost certainly led to economic oblivion. After Brent closed Friday above $60/b—its highest level in two years—deciding how and when to reopen their spigots without causing the oil market’s equivalent of a taper tantrum looks much harder to achieve. OPEC-led production cuts rebalancing market, analyst says

Crude imports fall amid wider Dubai, Brent premiums over WTI: In the LOOP

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port has seen a month-on-month decline in crude imports, impacted by persistently wide Brent/WTI and Dubai/WTI spreads that have pushed up the price of foreign grades. For the first half of October, LOOP imported 4.585 million barrels of crude, according to Platts Analytics’ Bentek Energy and the US Customs Service. This represents a month-on-month decrease of 1.643 million barrels versus imported volumes in the first half