Analyst Insights

RBN Headliner: Oil Market Has High Hopes for Thursday OPEC+ Meeting, WTI Up 1.9%; January Natgas Down 3.3 cents/MMbtu

The OPEC+ ministerial meeting rescheduled for tomorrow (Thursday, November 30) seems to be inspiring high hopes from oil markets.  WTI moved up again on Wednesday by $1.45/bbl (+1.9%) to settle at $77.86/bbl.  Most of the increase is being attributed to expectations for a fresh round of supply cuts out of the OPEC+ meeting.  Crude prices were also supported by reports from the Black Sea that storms have disrupted about 2 MMb/d of oil shipments out of Russia and Kazakstan.

Oil markets basically ignored EIA stats out today showing crude inventories up by 1.6 MMbbl for the week ended November 25. Market expectations were for a 0.9 MMbbl increase.  Diesel stocks were up by 5.3 MMbbl versus expectations of a 0.8 MMbbl decline.  Production was unchanged.

January, the new front month natural gas contract was down on Wednesday by $0.033/MMbtu to settle at $2.884/MMbtu.   But that is up versus the closing price of the December contract yesterday, so the prompt month data series will show an increase.  Lower 48 production was lower than recent record volume numbers but still clocking in at a highly respectable 103.9 Bcf/d.  Natgas EIA stats are out tomorrow.

RBN has revised its estimate for this week’s EIA storage report to a withdrawal of (21)-Bcf for the week ended 11/24, from (30) Bcf previously, as wind generation and pipeline data indicate a smaller withdrawal than previous model runs suggested. That revision makes the storage change even more bearish vs. previous years. The market last year withdrew (81) Bcf in the same week, while the 5-year average is a withdrawal of (45) Bcf.