Daily Blog

Into 2013 - Tracking the Big Trends in Hydrocarbon Markets: Spotcheck

Fundamental to our approach to energy markets at RBN is a view that natural gas, crude oil and NGLs have become much more interdependent than in the days before shale.  What happens in gas impacts NGLs, which influences crude oil, which loops back to the natural gas market.  We’ve written about these cross-commodity relationships in a number of RBN blogs during 2012, showing the calculations and walking through several spreadsheet models.  Now we are taking our analysis one step further.  Starting on December 31, 2012, we are launching a new RBN website feature called Spotcheck that displays daily updated graphs of these relationships.  Today we’ll describe what is coming next week, and how you can interpret the trends to better understand developments in North America hydrocarbon markets.

In developing this first iteration of Spotcheck we selected twelve market relationships that track some of the most significant developments across gas, oil and NGL markets.  Most are based on models or ratios that we’ve described in blogs over the past few months, like petrochemical margins or frac spreads.  We show blocks of 6 “postage stamp” size graphs at a time on a newly formatted home page, displaying only the past 10 days of data.  See the graphs for Dec., 24, 2012 below. Note that due to space limitations there are no axis labels.  However, you can mouse over the lines and see the point description and value (shown in the Crude to Gas ratio). The first six postage stamp graphs are shown below. 

(click on image to expand)

Before you jump to any conclusion that this stuff is incomprehensible, bear with us for a moment. This is a snapshot view designed for a quick glance, and only if you are familiar with the history of each series.  If you just click on any of the titles, it takes you to an expanded view of the six, with data on each graph going back a year.  You can see what that looks like below.

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