Word that the Citgo Lamont Refinery was listing raised fear in the Chicago cash market as well as the broader RBOB futures (NYMEX:RBZ13) market that that refinery could be down for many months. That void seems larger as other reefing issues seemed to pile on. Bloomberg reported that Delta reported that their Trainer 53,000 barrel a day catalytic cracker would be shut for 48-60 hours starting yesterday. There was also talk of a refining issue at a Valero Refinery in Louisiana. But perhaps the most amazing part of this story is that today is Fed day and I am talking about supply and demand and not about the Fed! Is that not refreshing?
Still the refining issues may slow our gasoline price crash. AAA said that prices at the pump are averaging just under $3.35 a gallon still the lowest point since late January, according to AAA. Brent crude rallies as the St. Jude storm battered England and Libyan oil production fears sparked a rally in the Brent market. Bloomberg News reported that production at Libya’s Sharara oil field fell almost 50% from approximately 300,000 barrels a day because of a stoppage yesterday, Mohamed Elharari, a spokesman for the state-run National Oil Corp., said by telephone from Tripoli. Libya was pumping 600,000 barrels a day, Mustapha Sanalla, board member of the National Oil Corp., said Oct. 22.
They reported that Libyan output tumbled 275,000 barrels to 300,000 barrels a day in September, a Bloomberg survey of oil companies, producers and analysts showed. It was the sixth straight decrease and sent production to the lowest level since September 2011. Two years after the war that deposed Muammar Qaddafi, efforts to revive output are being stymied by feuding militias and protests.
Bloomberg also reported that Iraq’s crude exports last month dropped to 62.1 million barrels, or 2.07 million barrels a day, in September amid maintenance work, Asim Jihad, an oil ministry spokesman, said in an e-mail yesterday. A series of car bombs in Shiite areas of Baghdad yesterday killed at least 39 people and wounded dozens of others, the Associated Press said, citing police and health officials.
Still the WTI contract should struggle. Tonight we will start to get the inventory reports with the American Petroleum Institute leading the way.