Yesterday, WTI Crude closed down $0.56/bbl to $49.03, RBOB closed down $0.0129/gal to $1.6319, and Heating Oil finished down $0.0199/gal to $1.6389. The market dropped off yesterday just prior to the closing range, to settle under the 5-day moving average. The main reason for the drop is concern around OPEC compliance. OPEC production was up in July mostly from the two exempt countries Nigeria and Libya. Another bearish statistic was the 26.11 million barrels per day of crude oil exports. Also a result from Nigeria increasing exports by 260,000 barrels per day. The meeting next Monday and Tuesday in Abu Dhabi with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Russia should give indications about how the non-compliant countries will be handled.
Early this morning, refined products were mixed. After three straight days of losses, Heating Oil was trading slightly lower and RBOB was higher by about $0.0050/gal. With the continuation of mixed fundamental news, it seems the market is in a range bound trade. Expectations are for WTI Crude prices to remain around $50/bbl for the remainder of this year. With that being said, it is important to talk about Andy Hall. The oil trader known as “God”, because of his expertise in oil trading, is closing his Astenbeck Master Commodities Fund II. The fund’s view for the market was very bullish for this year but, with increased production by both the U.S. and non-compliant OPEC members, a $50/bbl environment seems to be likely for the rest of 2017. Anas Alhajji, an independent analyst and former chief economist at the private-equity group NGP Energy Capital Management stated, “This fund closure shows how the world of forecasting the oil market changed after the shale revolution.”
The last thing to note for the day is the recent push to move the RIN obligation from refiners to the rack blending level has been rejected by the EPA and will be kept at the refinery level.
As of 10:45 a.m. EST, the market is up across board. WTI is up $0.18/bbl, Heating Oil is up $0.0060/gal, and RBOB is up $0.0150/gal