Energy & Commodities

It’s Probably Nothing…. er..Demand for Petroleum/Gasoline Vanishing

The following chart from reader Tim Wallace shows three-month usage for March, April, May compared to the same three months in prior years.

Picture 1

The chart shows petroleum usage is back to levels seen in 1998. Gasoline usage is back to levels seen in 2002.

This chart is consistent with reports that show petroleum usage in the eurozone is expected to fall to 1996 levels.

For more details and an analysis of tanker rates, please see Oil Tanker Rates Lowest Since 1997 as Demand in Europe Plunges to 1996 Level, Production in US at 13-Year High; IMF Smoking Happy Dope.

14-16 years of petroleum supply demand growth has vanished.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
Click HERE To Scroll Thru My Recent Post List including Merkel Bends, Equity Markets and Precious Metals Cheer, Bond Market Yawns; Lending to Peter so Peter Can Lend to Paul

Jack Crooks: Global Investor Flash Alert

Crude oil continues to fall sharply. Our target is around $70 per share. If you were able to enter the Crude Oil DoubleShort ETF position, symbol DTO, you are sitting on open gains of up to 41%. That is a very nice open gain. We think it makes sense to lock in some of it with a stop-loss order.
We suggest you place a stop-loss on DB PW Crude Oil DoubleShort ETF, symbol DTO. 
This should be a good-till cancelled stop-loss order.
Stop-Loss Level = 45.55 [Last Price 50.16]
Given an initial entry price of 35.04 on this position, the new stop-loss level represents a 30% gain.
As you can see in the chart below, if oil falls to near our $70 target price, DTO will be sharply higher…Crude Oil versus DTO Daily:

Picture 3                               

Thank you. 
Jack and JR  Crooks
Ed Note: David Bensimon in his interview with Mike on May 26th Money Talks had a view on Oil too: “My view back in the April report about Oil which is an even larger industrial commodity, that it would very precisely drop 14-15% from $103 to $89, which the first downleg of a slightly larger movement. It would be driven by the fundamentals of a removal of the risk premium of Iran, my expectation being that the Iranian problems would ameliorate and not explode as was being expected at that time. Also the technical elements were favoring a retreat, and as it turned out the Oil market did drop exactly that %15 from $103 to the low of $90 so far. My view here is that on a short term basis we could see a little bit of consolidation, but the general movement has not completed and I would be looking for a continuation to the low $80’s by around the middle of July as well”
Read more of the whole David Bensimon interview with Michael Campbell HERE

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Investing in “Hot” Shale Oil Play’s

Most of the boom in North America’s tight oil production so far has come from the Bakken formation in North Dakota. But Texas, the biggest producer in The Union, is experiencing a huge increase—in fact, a 230-fold increase in tight oil crude output over the past three years. And it’s just getting started. 

Two new tight oil plays in south Texas are attracting a lot of investor and industry attention—the Eagle Ford and the Eaglebine. 


The Eagle Ford has gone from obscurity in 2008 to now being the #3 play in all the United States (based on number of rigs drilling), after the Permian Basin in southwest Texas and the Bakken.

Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD-NYSE) says they get a 70% pre-tax rate of return at Eagle Ford.  EOG Resources (EOG-NYSE) says it’s 80% for them.

Marathon Oil (MRO-NYSE) says it’s over 100% for them on some condensate wells (condensate is a Natural Gas Liquid that’s really more like a very light oil and often gets a better price than oil).

The formation is 400 miles long and 50 miles wide with an average thickness of 250 feet—thicker than the North Dakota Bakken. It is estimated that the Eagle Ford formation has a total recoverable resource of roughly 3 billion barrels of liquids (that’s oil and some NGLs) with a potential output of 420,000 barrels a day (bopd).

In the western part of Eagle Ford, oil is dominant with about 78% oil, 11% natural gas liquids and 11% dry gas, while the eastern part has a higher percentage of dry gas.

This high oil and liquids content (think propane that goes in your BBQ, or butane that goes into a cigarette lighter) make the Eagle Ford a very profitable play.

Eagle ford shale

…read more HERE, including the list of  Energy Companies operating in the Eagle Ford/Eablebine

Oil Drops After Supplies Increase to 22-Year High

The usual parade of clueless commentators are scrambling to explain the ongoing plunge in risk assets worldwide. One of today’s “shocker” headlines is captured in the below clip: “Crude oil futures extended declines after the U.S. Energy Department said stockpiles rose to a 22 year high”. 

The global downturn is slowing world demand just as rising production continues to swamp the glut.  (Remember all that (over) investment in the oil and commodities space during the past decade?) As Euro stress escalates and the global recession advances, the risk off teeter totter favors cash, the US dollar and treasuries over risk-credit, commodities and stocks. Remember this image to help understand present dynamics. It is precisely the pattern we have seen in previous bear markets. Ed Note: Bob Hoye also argues that in the post bubble economy “the serious money that’s still around goes to the most liquid items and that is gold, and it also is treasury bills in the worlds senior currency which is still the US Dollar.’


There is a link to a clip discussing today’s oil glut at Danielle Park’s Juggling Dynamite HERE 

Soaring Crude Oil Inventories

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Unlocking the Crude Oil Bottleneck at Cushing
The U.S. oil infrastructure is the product of four decades of rising imports and falling domestic supply. As those trends have reversed over the last few years, America’s network of pipelines has failed to keep pace. Designed in part to ferry oil and refined gasoline from the coasts to the interior, those pipelines are now ill-equipped to handle the enormous amount of crude gushing from shale reserves in North Dakota and Texas. Which is why so much of that oil ends up trapped in the central Oklahoma town of Cushing, the primary crude oil storage hub for the U.S. Cushing developed as an oil trading center and then as the official price settlement point for West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark that most types of North American crude are priced against. Cushing is now best known as a bottleneck for the energy industry: Oil rushes in, but trickles out. There are now more than 44 million barrels of oil stuck in Cushing, a record, and 60 percent more than was stored there just five months ago. Overall U.S. crude inventories now sit at a 21-year high. Pipeline companies are racing to build new projects aimed at pushing more oil through Cushing toward refineries as part of a larger effort to revamp America’s oil infrastructure. The first of those projects goes online this week when the flow of the 500-mile Seaway pipeline is reversed. Seaway, with a diameter of 30 inches, was built in 1976 to take crude south from the Texas Gulf Coast north into Cushing. On May 17, about 150,000 barrels of oil will be injected into Seaway at Cushing. Twelve days later, that oil will start arriving in Freeport, Tex., along the Gulf Coast, where refiners can access it. As the pump stations provide more horsepower and increase the pipe’s pressure later this year, the oil will travel faster, taking just five days to reach Freeport and increasing Seaway’s capacity to 400,000 barrels per day by early 2013. By mid-2014, that flow is expected to reach 850,000 barrels a day.