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Refined Products

Recap:  After settling higher for the first time in 5 sessions, oil prices experienced a late session rally after the API stats indicated a 5.1 million barrel draw in U.S. crude oil inventories. Both Brent and WTI achieved new session highs after the NYMEX settlement. July Brent settled at $48.61, up 26 cents, but jumped 1.2% to a new high of $49.24. July WTI, which settled at $48.62, up 54 cents, added an additional 65 cents, jumping to a high of $49.27.

June RBOB rose nearly a penny to $1.654 a gallon, while June heating oil added 1.1 cents, or 0.8%, to $1.489 a gallon.

Fundamental News:   The EIA reported that the US remained the world's top producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons in 2015.  US petroleum and natural gas production first surpassed Russia in 2012.  Increases in US petroleum and natural gas production over the past several years are directly attributed to production from tight oil and shale gas formations.

Bloomberg reported that crude oil stocks held in Cushing, Oklahoma fell by 400,000 barrels to 68.7 million barrels in the week ending May 20th

According to Bloomberg, preliminary US waterborne crude imports into the US fell by 607,100 bpd to 4.47 million bpd in the week ending May 19th

IHS reported that crude and refined product exports from the US fell to 3.76 million metric tons on 89 ships in the week ending May 19th.  It is down from 3.92 million metric tons on 95 ships the previous week. 

US crude inventories monitored by Genscape in Texas, Louisiana and Cushing, Oklahoma increased during the week ending May 13th, in contrast to market expectations that stocks would fall following recent oil sands production disruptions.  Meanwhile, Canadian crude barrels were taken out of storage to compensate for lower output due to the wildfires.  During the week ending May 13th, total stocks in Houston, Beaumont-Nederland, Texas and Corpus Christi, Texas increased by 2.46 million barrels to 83 million barrels.  Cushing stocks reached a record during the week ending May 13th of about 71 million barrels.  Western Canadian stocks fell by 1.223 million barrels to below 25 million barrels. 

All of the Canadian oil sands facilities that workers fled last week are begin allowed to prepare for restart as cool, humid weather had helped contain the wildfire.  Suncor Energy Inc began the remobilization process of its employees to support the staged restart of its operations in the region municipality of Wood Buffalo.  Evacuation orders were lifted on May 20th.  It stated that there was no damage to Suncor's assets and enhanced fire mitigation work has been conducted at all sites.  It reported that Syncrude is in the process of planning the return of its operations.  Separately, Athabasca Oil Corp resumed operations at Hangingstone following a shutdown on May 5th due to the wildfires in the Fort McMurray region.  There was no damage to its assets.  It expects its reservoir to re-pressurize to normal operating levels over the next several weeks with no anticipated long term impacts. 

According to Euroilstock, European refinery crude intake fell again in April.  Europe's refinery output in April totaled 10.643 million bpd, down 0.5% on the month but up 0.7% on the year.  European gasoline output fell by 1.3% on the month but increased by 6.9% on the year to 2.537 million bpd while middle distillate output fell by 0.3% on the month and by 1.4% on the year to 5.48 million bpd and fuel oil output fell by 2.4% on the month and by 3.1% on the year to 1.079 million bpd.  European crude intake fell by 0.8% on the month and by 1.2% on the year to 10.081 million bpd in April.

Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - July $49.05, up 43 points

RBOB - June $1.6395, down 1.49 cents

HO - June $1.5061, up 1.74 cents 

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Natural Gas

Tuesday, May 24th, saw the front-month NYMEX Natural Gas Futures Contracts open at $2.060, slightly above Monday’s closing price of $2.055.  Continuing Monday’s weather-induced decline, prices continued lower to $2.025 by 10:00AM.  Cascading lower into the morning, the contract dipped below the $2.00 mark at noon.  Posting additional losses through the afternoon, June fell to the intraday low of $1.977 at 2:20PM before closing down on Tuesday at $1.980.

This morning in Globex, WTI Crude was up 37 cents; Natural Gas was up two cents; Heating Oil was up one cent; and, Gasoline was down one cent.  Additionally, cash prices were higher in both regions.

Natural Gas Glossary

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