After yesterday’s RBOB gasoline futures expiration blowout, the Trump Administration is pulling out all the stops to try to reduce shortages of gasoline and try to calm down soaring prices. Driven by massive refinery outages and fears of deliverable supply, gas was on high octane. The September RBOB gasoline futures surged at one point higher by more than 28 cents a gallon, driving the wholesale price of gasoline to the highest level in over two years.
The oil drama continues as Repsol and Statoil move to pull oil workers from Venezuela as the country becomes less stable and may be on a path toward civil war. Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Aramco said it is cutting supply to its customers by at least 520,000 barrels per day in September raising expectations that OPEC will get its compliance issues under control and start to rein in Libya and Nigerian production.
Crude oil is lower as the market has a lot to watch as the seasonal summer peak demand time is here. Seasonal wekness in August seems to be overshadowing a jammed packed oil news day. OPEC meets about compliance as the U.S. oil rig count slows. Storms in the Atlantic could impact shipping and Mexican oil production. Gas Buddy reports retail gas prices hit an eight-week high as the Venezuelan military puts down a coup.
Crude oil prices turned lower as the long-time oil bull, formally known as the "oil god,” threw in the towel on his largest Astenbeck Capital Management LLC commodity fund. Not only did he close the fund, he shook his bullish followers with a blasphemous statement that oil may be stuck around $50 a barrel or lower, I guess, forever. Yet, is this former oil deity, who has been brought back down to mere mortal status, getting out when it is really time to get in?
Crude oil prices must find new balance as global oil stock piles are falling against surging global demand and an increasing amount of geopolitical risk. Russia and Venezuela are the hot issues, with Iran and North Korea lurking in the background.
Crude oil prices sold off almost 5% on what many people attributed to a story that some unnamed Russian oil company source said that Russia was against a production cut. Today those sources are still unknown, but really the sell-off in oil probably had more to do with the fact that Saudi Arabia cut prices to Asia as the kingdom was losing market share to Iraq and Iran that has been raising output and taking away business from the Saudis.