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PIRA Energy Group: Oil market recap for week ending 15th September 2013

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

PIRA Energy Group has commented that the US refinery turnaround season is now approaching and that on the week US demand fell to the lowest level since early June and crude stocks decline. In Japan, crude stocks posted a modest draw.


  • The peak of US refinery turnaround season is approaching.
  • October crude distillation unit downtime is expected to be up sharply from September’s outages level.
  • Demand is typically weak and true to form for the week ending 6 September and very low product imports kept product stocks building more.
  • Crude oil stocks have declined and now that the refinery maintenance season is approaching, crude stock declines will tend to be replaces by some modest inventory increases.
  • Ethanol values in Chicago rose during the week ending 6thSeptember because of the scarcity of corn in the Midwest. This has caused the fall in production to reach a 22 week low and for inventories to drop to the lowest in two months.
  • Cash margins for ethanol production reached the highest level since November 2011.


  • Over the analysis week, crude runs were little changed and crude imports fell back drawing crude stocks down.
  • Stocks of gasoline and gasoil drew, as demand for these products was high.
  • Kerosene stocks reported their first decline of the season, as demand was unusually high during the analysis period.


  • It has become clear that underlying protests in Libya have become political due to the severity and duration of crude oil production and export disruptions.
  • The above issue is compounded by a lack of competent central government authority.
  • It is likely that Eastern tribes are to continue demanding more regional autonomy, reducing the likelihood of a swift resolution and return of oil production.
  • PIRA has downgraded its forecast for Libyan production for the rest of the year and 2014 to reflect the increased probability of continued disruption. 

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

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