Energy report: Bears' ship may come in

Come all ye young fellows that follow the sea, to my way haye, blow the oil down, and pray pay attention and listen to me, give me some time to blow the oil down. Those deep water tankers just in from the sea, to my way haye, blow the oil down, if you give me some grog, I’ll sing you a song, give me some time to blow the oil down.

Ahoy there matey! If you have been sitting on the dock of the bay waiting for your ship to come in well baby it has just arrived. Yo-ho-ho a grand booty hit our shores. Oil prices fail at $75 a barrel looking suspiciously like a double top and closing below the 20-day moving average as the market seemed to be fearful to advance ahead of what turned out to be a reversal of fortune from last week’s surprise drawdown in supply. Traders, or gentlepeople of fortune, for the second week in a row seemed to price in the results of the American Petroleum Institute report before it was released as it appears some of them have a good handle on what ships are or are not coming into the Gulf Coast. And shiver me timbers, once again the scallywags had it right.

After the close the API reported by all the powers that be that U.S. crude oil supplies increased by 4.3 million barrels, helped in part by a big rebound in crude oil imports. Those imports rose by 475,000 barrels a day back up to about 9.35million barrels a day a surge that seemed to suggest that last week’s big build was an aberration. If the Department of Energy confirms this sweet trade then oil bulls will be forced to walk the plank as the bears declare mutiny on this latest bull oil trend.

Why was the oil delayed last week? The three obvious conclusions was weather, the contango and the diversion of supply to other ports that promised greater treasure. Last week's supply drop seemed to separate oil somewhat from the ties it had bound to other markets at least temporarily. Oil closed lower as the stocks close higher and its direct inverse relationship to the dollar has been weaker. If the market breaks away from these ties it leaves the market more vulnerable for further downside pressure as the market will start focusing on weak seasonal demand and oversupply.

And speaking of demand, Bloomberg News reports that according to the MasterCard Inc. survey gasoline use slipped last week for the first time in four weeks as an unemployment rate above 9% and a hurricane that closed East Coast beaches reduced demand before the Sept. 7 Labor Day holiday. MasterCard Inc. reports that motorists bought an average 9.373 million barrels of gasoline a day in the week ending Aug. 21,That’s 2.2% less than a year earlier and 1% less than the week before. Bloomberg quotes Michael McNamara, Vice President at MasterCard Advisors as saying, “Although Hurricane Bill did not make landfall in the U.S., it did close a lot of beaches because of the riptide. And there are fewer people commuting this year and fewer taking long summer trips. From a pumping standpoint, we haven’t seen it this slow in August since 2004,” McNamara said. The API reported that gas supplies fell by 1.8 million barrels last week and distillates down 146,000 barrels.

The oil market seas are getting more choppy.

About the Author
Phil Flynn

Senior energy analyst at The PRICE Futures Group and a Fox Business Network contributor. He is one of the world's leading market analysts, providing individual investors, professional traders, and institutions with up-to-the-minute investment and risk management insight into global petroleum, gasoline, and energy markets. His precise and timely forecasts have come to be in great demand by industry and media worldwide and his impressive career goes back almost three decades, gaining attention with his market calls and energetic personality as writer of The Energy Report. You can contact Phil by phone at (888) 264-5665 or by email at Learn even more on our website at


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