Demand Fears Still Holding The Crude Oil Market Back

May 3, 2021 12:00 PM
There are signs that U.S. gasoline demand is surging, yet volume is being reduced
Outside commodities are performing well, which should lend support despite Covid-19 fears
Bullish momentum for natural gas proved resilient last week
Energy Report

Energy Report

The Phil Flynn Energy Report 

Demand Fears

Demand fears are still holding back the crude oil market, along with the prospect of a deal to get Iranian oil back on the market. Drone attacks on Saudi oil fields suggest that Iran is still not worthy of having sanctions lifted, but the Biden administration doesn’t seem to care. 

TankerTrackers says that another 1.5 million barrels of Iranian crude oil are expected to arrive this week in Baniyas, Syria. In the meantime, there are signs that U.S. gasoline demand is surging, yet volume is being reduced. That should lead to big draws in crude in the coming weeks. Outside commodities are rocking, so that should lend support despite Covid-19 fears. We think breaks should be bought today!

Bloomberg News reports the following:

Iraq, OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer, said crude prices would probably remain around $65 a barrel in the coming months and announced it’s considering buying Exxon Mobil Corp.’s stake in one of the world’s biggest fields.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies -- a 23-nation grouping known as OPEC+ -- will continue trying to keep crude prices “within normal averages,” Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar told reporters in Baghdad. “There is no concern about a drop in prices.”

The comments suggest OPEC+ remains confident about the outlook for energy demand, despite the surge in coronavirus cases in India, the third-largest oil importer. The group of major exporters began unprecedented supply cuts last year to bolster prices as the pandemic spread. It plans to ease the restrictions between May and July and increase daily output by just over 2 million barrels.

Baghdad may end up buying Exxon’s 32.7% stake in the West Qurna-1 oil field in southern Iraq, the minister said. If so, the Iraqi government would probably purchase it through state-owned Basra Oil Co., he said.

Andrew Weissman of EWB Analytics reports, "bullish momentum for natural gas proved resilient last week, overcoming a 9.7 Bcf/d [WoW] decline in weather-driven demand. The May contract rolled off the board at $2.925/MMBtu and the June contract shook off a bearish Storage Report to retain its gains as the front month. After soaring 32.6¢/MMBtu (12.5%) in 3 weeks in the midst of the shoulder season, however, with large 95 Bcf/week injections projected during May, the rally may be due for a near-term pause before robust fundamentals carry higher into early summer.”

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About the Author

Phil Flynn is a senior energy analyst at The PRICE Futures Group and a Fox Business Network contributor. Phil 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.