The Phil Flynn Energy Report
A New Day In America
It’s a new day for America as Joe Biden becomes president. For the crude oil market, the outlook under his administration is very bullish. The disdain for fossil fuels and intense focus on climate change will restrict U.S. supply and cause prices to rise.
The incoming president has already signaled that on his first day in office he'll sign executive orders to revoke the permit for Canada to build the Keystone XL pipeline, rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, and put a temporary moratorium on oil leasing in the Arctic refuge. Oil prices are responding, moving higher even as the U.S. Dollar starts to rise. The era of higher oil and gasoline prices is here and Americans can look forward to higher prices at the pump.
Gas prices on the retail side have already been rising, which is unusual for this time of year. With refinery shutdowns and adjustments, this summer driving season will see gas prices rise even if demand disappoints. Look to get hedged if you use gasoline.
Diesel is still an issue as jet fuel demand continues to lag. Still, we’re seeing jet fuel demand recover to its highest level since the first lockdowns began. Diesel could surprise.
While it might seem cold outside, natural gas prices are falling because the trend has been warmer than normal. John Kemp at Reuters writes the following:
"In the [U.S.] heating degree days have remained consistently below the long-term average this winter, as the United States has enjoyed a mild winter, in contrast to Northeast Asia. With the heating season now at its normal half-way point, population-weighted heating degree days are running -11% below the 1981-2010 average.
North America has reported generally warmer-than-normal temperatures over the 30 days to Jan 17, in contrast to Eurasia where temperatures have been below the long-term average, with the biggest temperature deviations in the central and eastern parts of the combined continent. While it is a much different story in Asia, the truth is that natural gas prices are being held back by a warm [U.S.] winter.”
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