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USA crude oil refinery inputs decrease last week

28 January, 2019, 05:55 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Oil prices stabilise at $61.58/b over by OPEC production cut

US total oil products exports over the past four weeks averaged about 5.2 million barrels per day, 140,750 barrels per day more than the same four-week period a year ago.

The head of French oil giant Total, Patrick Pouyanne, agreed that operating in Venezuela is hard. Distillate fuel production decreased for the same period, averaging 5.2 million barrels per day.

"Refiners would likely incur increased transportation costs to access alternatives" to Venezuelan oil, the Simmons analysts wrote.

The Latin American nation has already seen its output drop 50 percent in five years, to the lowest in more than a decade, as a spiraling economic crisis takes its toll on oil infrastructure and workers.

"It's a function of people keeping an eye on supply concerns out of Venezuela", said Marshall Steeves, energy markets analyst at Informa Economics IG in NY.

However, the rally has faltered amid shaky economic forecasts and record production of U.S. crude.

Washington signaled potential new sanctions against the Venezuela's crude exports as the country descends further into political and economic turmoil.

Venezuela's other leading oil customers are China and India.

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In the event of a change in government, global oil prices could rise in the short term, but decline as time goes on, analysts believe.

"The crude quality mismatch will grow even bigger", Paola Rodriguez-Masiu, an analyst at Rystad Energy, said Thursday in a report. The only countries that sent more crude to the United States were Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.

Geneva-based Petro-Logistics said on its website that Iranian crude and condensate exports in December "fell steeply" from November to less than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) due to USA sanctions - lower than some other estimates. While a cutoff of Venezuelan imports would raise prices for refiners in the Gulf Coast, the market is competitive enough that producers are unlikely to pass along much of the cost to consumers, experts said. They'll have to find heavy crude elsewhere.

The EIA reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas fell by 163 billion cubic feet for the week ended January 18.

And Venezuela relies on U.S. products to keep its oil industry afloat.

Analysts said tough U.S. penalties on Venezuela's oil industry would be bullish for prices.

In a news conference, Guaido, who this week declared himself acting Venezuelan president, said he is preparing to dismiss the head of state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA as well as the board of its Houston-based refining arm, Citgo Petroleum Corp, taking on two of the power centers that help to bankroll the Maduro government. Gulf Coast refiners can't operate on USA shale oil alone.

"The road back for Venezuela will be extremely arduous given the depths of the economic and humanitarian disaster", she said.



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