U.S. Petroleum Weekly – March 24, 2011

(For The Week Ending March 18, 2011)

I was wrong on the assumption that West will let Gaddafi win the war in Libya. U.N. approved military intervention will keep the Libyan oil out of the markets for longer then previously thought. This is positive for crude oil price.

Concerning Japan it is reasonable to assume increased derivatives demand, also positive for oil price.

In the U.S. the gasoline draw is looking quite impressive (although it is not demand driven, rather a product of refiner discipline). This could help clear Cushing stockpile glut and close the WTI – Brent pricing gap.

Brent – WTI price spread closing fast.

Crude oil stocks rose 2.1 million barrels; Gasoline stocks fell 5.3 million barrels; Distillate stocks were unchanged; Propane/propylene stocks were down 0.4 million barrels; Other oils stocks rose 3.2 million barrels; Total crude oil and petroleum stocks were 0.9 million barrels lower for the week.

Refining industry discipline and seasonal demand patterns are (very slowly) bringing down stockpiles.

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