Despite easing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in some regions, new data suggests that oil demand may be approaching its peak for 2020.
Chart of the Week
– In the first six months of 2020, henry hub natural gas prices averaged just $1.81/MMBtu, the lowest first half on record.
– For the month of June, prices averaged $1.63/MMBtu, the lowest monthly average since 1989.
– Factors include warm weather, high production, high inventories, Covid-19 related demand destruction, and the curtailment of U.S. LNG exports.
– The EIA expects spot prices to average $2.05/MMBtu in the second half of the year.
– Tellurian (NASDAQ: TELL) has failed to qualify for a tender for competitively priced LNG in India, as the $2.5 billion stake proposed by Petronet expired. The original announcement that the deal was in trouble caused Tellurian’s share price to crash several months ago. Breaking ground on the Driftwood LNG project was previously pushed off until 2021.
– Hi-Crush (NYSE: HCR), a frac sand supplier, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The severe slowdown in drilling activity has sapped demand for sand.
– Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMI) sent a request to FERC to begin service on its seventh LNG train at its Elba Island export terminal. The company said Train 8 would be ready by July 13. Meanwhile, Kinder Morgan was recently downgraded to Sell by Goldman Sachs.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Oil prices retreated on Monday over concerns about more OPEC+ production and worrying Covid-19 numbers in the U.S., although crude regained some ground in early trading on Tuesday. Oil prices remain stuck at about the $40 and $43 price levels for WTI and Brent, respectively, awaiting more direction.
OPEC+ leans towards easing cuts. OPEC+ is right now leaning towards allowing the production cuts to drop from 9.7 mb/d to 7.7 mb/d beginning in August. The group’s technical committee meets this week. The challenge for the group is that while they don’t want to cede market share to other producers bringing production back, if they ease the cuts they risk pushing oil prices down. Other analysts believe that because the market is technically seeing a supply deficit, there is room for the group to ease.
Is this the end of the pipeline boom? The cancellation of the Atlantic Coast pipeline and the potential death blow by a court to the Dakota Access pipeline – a pipeline that was already online – raises the investor risk to long-distance pipelines everywhere. Is the pipeline building boom over?
Oil write-downs on the rise. The oil majors have announced a slew of impairment charges as they revise down their long-term oil price assumptions, with an eye on energy transition. The companies are dealing with this challenge in different ways, but impairments may continue to rise for a while. On Tuesday, Woodside Petroleum (ASX: WPL) announced a US$4.37 billion write-down.
IMF: Middle East loses $270 billion on downturn. Oil-producing countries in the Middle East are set to earn $270 billion less in oil…