Oil keeps rising amid declining US crude inventories
Oil keeps rising amid declining US crude inventories
Oil keeps rising amid declining US crude inventories: The American Petroleum Institute (API) announced yesterday,
Tuesday, February 9, 2021, that US crude oil inventories decreased by 3.500 million barrels for the week ending February 5th.
However, as for this week, Analysts had expected US crude oil inventories to increase by 985,000 barrels.
In the previous week, the American Petroleum Institute announced that crude oil inventories decreased by 4.261 million barrels,
after analysts had expected an increase of 446,000 barrels in US crude oil inventories.
Oil weekly trading prices
On Tuesday, and before the data was released,
oil prices had risen resulted from the optimism of OPEC
and the hopes of some for an increase in demand for oil this week.
At midday and ahead of the release of Tuesday’s data,
the price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for March delivery was up $ 0.41 per day (+ 0.71%) to $ 58.38
– an increase of nearly $ 4 over the same time last week.
Futures closed at the highest level since January 2020.
The benchmark Brent Crude Oil Index for April delivery on the day rose $ 0.57 at the time (+ 0.94%) to $ 61.13
– also rose about $ 4 over the course of the week.
Futures in New York have risen nearly 12% over the past seven sessions to their highest level in more than a year
as the market continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
After the data was released, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil index was trading
— according to EDT — at $ 58.37, while Brent crude was trading at $ 61.19.
Energy production rates
According to the Energy Information Administration,
US oil production continued at a rate of 10.9 million barrels a day,
which is millions of barrels below March 2020 levels.
The American Petroleum Institute reported an increase in gasoline inventories by 4.810 million barrels
for the week ending February 5 – after the previous week’s rates of 240,000 barrels declined.
While analysts had expected an increase of 1.814 million barrels this week.
As for distillate stocks, they witnessed a decrease of 487 thousand barrels during the week,
after last week’s decline was 1.622 million barrels.
Cushing inventories decreased by 1.378 million barrels,
after last week’s decline existing in stocks in Cushing by 1.885 million barrels.
Egypt is preparing to explore for oil and gas
Egypt is now preparing to launch a new exploration round,
a month after signing nine agreements for oil and gas exploration
abroad with the largest oil and gas companies in the world.
Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Tarek … said that the state oil and gas companies
in Egypt are preparing to launch a new round of oil and gas exploration in the country at the end of this month,
according to the exploration agreements with the major international oil companies, which were signed a month ago.
The major oil companies have been interested in exploring for natural gas and oil in Egypt,
since the discovery of the Zohr Gas Field in Egyptian waters in 2015,
which the major companies consider the largest gas discovery in the Mediterranean.
Last year, major oil companies declared that they had successfully tested the presence of natural gas in Egypt.
ExxonMobil, in one of the deals, obtained areas for offshore exploration in Egypt with Tharwa (Petroleum) and EGAS,
in an area near the northeastern Amiriya Al-Baharia (To wit: Marine Amiriya) area in the Nile Delta,
according to ExxonMobil Egypt.
“This new agreement strengthens our exploration portfolio in Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean
and complements ExxonMobil’s long-term presence in Egypt,
since 1902,” wrote Exxon Egypt on the LinkedIn website.
Among the major companies that signed the exploration deals last month was the American Chevron Corporation
as well as the French company Total, which includes Shell.
US confiscation of an Iranian oil ship
The Justice Department ordered the ship to sail to the United States.
After the United States filed a seizure complaint last week in the US District Court,
alleging that all oil on board the Iranian ship is subject to seizure under US anti-terrorism laws.
Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia denied any information about an oil tanker that the United States had targeted
for seizure because it was being used to export crude oil from Iran despite US sanctions. “I don’t know anything about it,” Zamaninia told the media.
Bloomberg also reported last week that the ship was carrying two million barrels
of what the United States believes to be Iranian crude oil travelling to the United States.
The crude oil ship was traveling in the United Arab Emirates and the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port,
and was supposed to arrive at the weekend.
Iran has previously stated that it is ramping up production and boosting exports in anticipation of the Biden administration lifting the Trump-era sanctions.
“We set the highest record of exports of refined products in the history of the oil industry during the embargo period,” said Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said in January,
“I am not worried about regaining Iran’s lost portion in the oil market,
and oil buyers are not limited to one or two sellers,” the minister added.
He said that, “If the sanctions are lifted, we will return to the market stronger than before, and faster than expected,”
The sanctions lifting effort is expected to be complicated,
as both sides have stated that they will only act after the other side acts first.
The Libyan oil crisis continues
The continuation of the strike by the security guards of the Libyan Petroleum Facilities due to the delay in salaries,
as a ship loading oil was forced to leave the port of Harika for export in Libya without oil.
Only a few months ago, Libya was able to restore its oil production again to 1.25 million barrels a day,
before the oil port was closed for eight months in January 2020.
Libya has struggled to maintain this level over the last month,
due to strikes by the Petroleum Facilities Guard over non-payment of salaries
and shortage of funds to restore and maintain the oil infrastructure in Libya.
Despite the attempts, Libyan oil production was disrupted