Perhaps the most disturbing slap in the face to the oil industry by the most anti-energy US President in history was made with the statement by Obama in his denial of the application for the building of the Keystone Pipeline when he said, "Under my Administration, domestic oil and natural gas production is up, while imports of foreign oil are down." Yet anyone that follows the energy industry knows that this is not because of the President, but in spite of him. The President claims that he wants to continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security, including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Okla. to the Gulf of Mexico, even as we set higher efficiency standards for cars and trucks and invest in alternatives like bio fuels and natural gas. And we will do so in a way that benefits American workers and businesses without risking the health and safety of the American people and the environment. Obama has squandered a golden opportunity to make our country economically stronger and safer from a national security sense. He has not sought to partner with the energy industry but with the powerful green energy lobby.
In the meantime, while the denial or the delay of the Keystone pipeline is a bearish event, oil had more pressing issues to deal with. Refiners are falling like flies. Gas exploded on word that the St. Croix and other East Coast refineries have met their demise. Hovensa LLC said it will shut its St. Croix refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which according to Bloomberg, supplied 2.7 percent of U.S. East Coast gasoline demand in October. Of course it was just recently that two Pennsylvania refineries by Sunoco Inc. and ConocoPhillips were shut down as well.
That came after we saw signs that gas demand was starting to improve. DTN reported that gasoline demand in the United States jumped 326,000 bpd or 4.1% to 8.370 million bpd during the week-ended Jan. 13, according to data released today by SpendingPulse.
SpendingPulse reported 58.588 million bbl of gasoline was sold at retail outlets during the week reviewed, an increase of 2.282 million bbl versus the prior week.
At the same time the Brent crude is coming back in line with WTI as Libya oil production continues to rise and Saudi production is at a 30-year high. This has brought in heating oil as well.
Phil Flynn is senior energy analyst for PFGBest Research and a Fox Business Network contributor. He can be reached at (800) 935-6487 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.