Thursday, April 9, 2015

Oil Output Continues To Gush (excerpt)

Yesterday, the price of a barrel of oil gave back recent gains after Saudi Arabia reported record production of 10.3mbd in March, a figure the country's oil minister said was unlikely to fall by much. They are obviously aiming to keep oil prices down to hurt Iran, and Russia too. In addition, yesterday we learned that US crude oil inventories soared to a record-high 482.4 million barrels during the week of April 3, 2015, up 26% y/y.

The Saudis are also hoping that low crude oil prices will significantly reduce the output of US frackers. There is no sign of that happening just yet. US oil field production remained at 9.4mbd during the first week of April, following a seven-week climb. The US still imports 9.6mbd, though that’s about as low as levels were during 1996. Furthermore, US exports of petroleum products are at a record 4.3mbd.

US merchandise trade data show that in current dollars, US oil imports have dropped by a whopping $274 billion (saar) from the most recent high of $470 billion during May 2011 to $196 billion during February. The trade deficit in crude oil and petroleum products has dropped by $258 billion to $97 billion over this period. In current dollars, US oil exports are down $70 billion over the past six months through February as lower oil prices more than offset the increase in exported barrels.

Today's Morning Briefing: The Obama Doctrine. (1) The Middle East is flat. (2) Seeking peace in our time for a troubled region. (3) Let the Arabs fight their own fights. (4) Can we all get along? (5) Obama’s utopian dream. (6) Postponing Armageddon. (7) Kicking the bomb down the road. (8) Game of the Saudi throne. (9) Talking Fed head says first rate hike may or may not be coming soon. (10) Dudley’s staff assigned snow job. (11) Transportation in the ditch. (More for subscribers.)

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