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Oil market recap: week ending 17 May 2015

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

PIRA Energy Group has said that Brent crude prices are going to continue to strengthen for the next few months. In the US, commercial crude and product inventories declined over the past week and in Japan, crude runs declined while crude and product stocks increased.


  • Brent crude prices will gradually strengthen over the next few months.
  • Increases will reflect improved crude balances, higher refinery runs, increased shipments to Asia, and flattening US/non-OPEC production.
  • Refinery runs will increase as maintenance winds down.
  • Well supplied LPG markets are facing limited incremental demand in Europe.
  • Large butane cargoes fell 7% to US$399, while barges were little changed.


  • Commercial crude and product inventories declined this week.
  • Year on year stock excess narrowed by 9 million bbls to 157 million bbls.
  • The rally in ethanol prices continued the week ending May 8 as many plants were shut down for spring maintenance.
  • Higher petroleum values also provided support to ethanol.
  • Ethanol production rebounded from a six month low.


  • Crude runs eased while crude and finished product stocks rose.
  • Gasoline demand was higher.
  • Most other product demands eased.
  • Kerosene stocks began to build seasonally.
  • The indicative refining margin remains good, but it has been coming off its highs.

Asia Pacific

  • Oil balances are tightening.
  • Strategic reserve purchases of crude oil in India and China will add to crude demand.

Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd

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