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Oil market recap

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

PIRA Energy Group, a New York based company, have released their weekly oil market recap. The company have reported that European refining margins reached very high levels, and Asian light sweet crude prices will show relative strength. In the US commercial oil stocks declined and Japanese demand trends are looking softer. Also last week, the EPA’s new oil and gas regulations took the middle ground.


The specifics

  • The largest US crude stock build of the year came at an inopportune time for oil prices.
  • Risk markets in general are taking a hit from the recent Federal Reserve meeting and fears that Europe is sliding into another debt crisis.
  • Oil price structure will be supported by refiners coming back from maintenance, continuing non-OPEC supply outages, the impact of sanctions in Iran, the threat of conflict in the Middle East, tighter physical balances in 2012, and very limited OPEC spare capacity.
  • Asian light sweet domestic crude prices will continue to show relative strength as utility demand for direct crude burn and low sulfur waxy residue remains heightened over the summer.
  • Refinery margins in Asia are currently good and will continue to be supported by relatively firm middle distillate cracks, a stronger fuel oil crack, and only modest easing in gasoline cracks.
  • PIRA had been expecting softer demand in April and this appears to be playing out.
  • While demand trends will likely continue to ease into early May, rising refinery maintenance should begin to temper stock building.

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd

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