Hip hop star Puff Daddy had a hit single called “It’s All About the Benjamins.” (hundred dollar bills). Right now, it’s all about Grants. The WTI crude settle on July 21, 2015 was $50.36 and that was the last time WTI closed above $50/bbl until yesterday. Yesterday, crude closed up $0.0067/bbl to $50.36 (the exact same as July 21 settle), HO closed up $0.0384/gal to $1.5415, and RBOB closed down $0.0016/gal to $1.5871. The Chicago CBOB/RBOB cash market jumped over $0.20/gal in just one day due to planned and unplanned maintenance.
The futures market is up yet again this morning. As of 11:45 a.m. ET, HO is up $0.0250/gal, RBOB is up $0.01/gal, and WTI is up $0.71/bbl. The strength in the market is a result of the following factors:
- Weakness in the U.S. Dollar.
- A refinery workers’ strike in France that will continue until at least Friday.
- Supply outages in Nigeria are still a big concern. The Niger Delta Avengers attacked another oil well this morning, right after Nigeria’s oil minister offered to start talks. NDA’s impact has lowered production by 500,000 barrels per day.
Tuesday night the API statistics were released; half of the stats bullish and half bearish. The bullish stats were that crude inventories drew 3.6 million barrels, versus a forecast of only 2.7 million barrels (Cushing drew by 1.3 million barrels). The bearish numbers were from the refined products; gasoline built 760,000 barrels and distillates built 270,000 barrels.
The DOE statistics released at 10:30 a.m. ET showed a draw in crude inventories of 3.2 million barrels with a draw in Cushing of 1.4 million barrels. The builds in refined products were larger than what the API reported; gasoline built 1 million barrels and distillates 1.8 million barrels.