In this week’s EIA oil report is an analysis of the effect Libya and Japan have on crude oil prices. The analysis presents Japan’s crisis as an affect on oil market from demand side while Libya’s affect is from the supply side as it exports its oil mainly to Europe. So far Europe refineries managed to deal with this impediment in oil supply, however there are questions to be asked about the Libyan situation such as when will the war end, and what is the damage to the infrastructure.
In regards to Japan, since it is the third largest oil consumer worldwide with over 4.4 million b/d in 2010, Japan affected the oil market from the demand side in a substantial way as the tsunami attack reduced the pressure on oil prices from rising. This is because the turmoil in Japan caused a serious decline in its oil demand and consequentially its imports; however, in the long term there is an expected rise in its demand for oil in order to rebuild the country form the tsunami damage. It will remain to be seen when will Japan shift from phase one to the other. In the mean time, EIA estimate that, all things being equal, there won’t be further pressure on crude oil prices to rise.
Here is a review on the EIA petroleum report on the recent changes in crude oil price and petroleum stocks for the week ending March 18th.
Petroleum Stocks, production and consumption
Petroleum stocks in the US declined moderately for the sixth straight week; last week they have declined by 0.1%, a decrease of 0.9 million barrels of crude oil to reach 1,765 million barrels – the lowest level since March 2010.
This fall is related to the decline of stocks of total gasoline by 2.4% or 5.3 million barrels– reaching 219 million barrels.
The average US productions (million of barrels a day) for the week of March 18th was 5.586 on a four week average, a 0.2% below the average level last week, and higher by 1.0% compare to the average production at the same time last year;
Crude oil imports have increased during the week of March 18th (4 week average) by 1.3% compare to the week of 11/3/2011, but declined by 4.4% compare to last year’s same time.
The crude oil refinery inputs (4 week average) reached 14.065 (million b/d), which higher by 0.5% compare to the same week last year; they also rose by 1.5% compare to the previous week of 11/3/2011.
See here a recap of the data listed above:
In total, there was a fall in oil prices, petroleum stocks and US production, and a rise in imports and refineries inputs.
As the heating season is over, the EIA stopped collecting data on propane prices (the beginning of the heating season will begin October 2011). According to the latest report, the propane stocks slightly fell by 361 thousand barrels – a 1.3% declines – reaching 27 million barrels.
Crude oil price, Gasoline and Diesel prices for the week of March 18th
The U.S. average retail price on gasoline decreased by half a cent per gallon compare to the previous week’s average, to reach 3.56 $/g which is 0.74 $/g higher than for the same period in 2010.This is the first price drop since the end of January 2011.
Diesel prices also fell for the first time in nearly four months, as they fell last week by 0.1 a cent compare to the previous week as it reached 3.91$/g. which is 0.96$/g higher than last year’s average price at same time.
Crude oil price (WTI spot) weekly average fell by 3.8% to reach an average 99.78$/b compare to last week’s average price of 103.73$/b. On average, crude oil price (WTI) daily change was 0.01%, however its price declined by only 0.13% from beginning to end of the week.
For further reading (in this site):
- Oil prices forecast – 23 March
- As oil to gas prices ratio rises, what will be of crude oil prices?
- Crude oil price in 2010 and outlook for 2011
Previous posts on this subject:
- Petroleum stocks drop | EIA review oil stocks access – March 17
- Petroleum stocks keep on falling | EIA raise oil forecasts – March 10
- Petroleum stocks fall as Middle East turmoil affecting imports – March 3