Analyst Insights

RBN Headliner: Oil Prices Stable after Russia Modifies Fuel Ban and Market Focuses on Supply

In early Monday trading, WTI is up a tiny $0.15/bbl, with the market returning to a focus on tighter supplies due to Saudi/Russia cuts versus worries about the global economy.  Last week attention was on Russia's temporary ban on petroleum product exports which looked to further tighten supplies, but today Russia has backed off some restrictions on high sulfur diesel used for bunker fuel and some other deals accepted for export before the ban went into place.   On Thursday Russia's Transneft suspended exports of petroleum products to all countries other than Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan in order to “stabilize” the fuel markets. Recently Russia has been experiencing shortages of gasoline and diesel.

On Friday, WTI increased slightly by $0.40/bbl to settle at $90.03/bbl (+0.4%). Despite this gain, for the week WTI decreased by 0.8% or $0.74/bbl, marking its first weekly decline in the past four weeks.

October natural gas increased by $0.027/MMbtu on Friday to settle at $2.637/MMbtu (+1%). This price bump was attributed to continuing power generation demand, strong Mexico exports and recovering LNG exports.  For the week, natgas was effectively unchanged.   In early Monday trading, natgas is essentially unchanged again with October in the $2.60/bbl range while November is more than $0.20/MMbtu higher. October natgas rolls off the board on Wednesday.