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The Energy Report: Shoulder Season Meltdown

Published 10/06/2023, 03:23 PM

The energy complex continued its shoulder season meltdown because when interest rates hit a 16-year high, it solved all the oil and product supply issues around the globe. The crushing oil correction and the collapse in prices did not deter Saudi Aramco from raising the official selling price of its crude oil for November and there are reports that the OPEC Plus Cartel, after the sharp price drop, may extend their voluntary production cut into the New Year as opposed to ending it in December.

Still, the price drop is a welcome development for consumers, but they had better enjoy it while they can because shoulder season only comes twice a year. The sharp break in oil could mean that the retail prices could get close to $3.00 a gallon again and maybe even dip below it.

The diesel collapse came as a report that Russia was going to and has now lifted, its ban on diesel exports for supplies delivered to ports by pipeline, under the provision that companies sell 50% of their production to the domestic market. That eased panic buying but the underlying tightness of this market has not gone away. Besides Russia did expand a prohibitive export duty on fuels until 2026 so even though the export ban has been lifted, the number of exports is still going to be somewhat tight.

Gasoline has finally broken. The EIA crash in demand strategies is way off but there is some resistance to higher prices at the pump, the really surprising part is that there hasn’t been more.

Natural gas had another breakout day ignoring the turmoil that we have seen in the rest of the complex and instead focusing on the possibility of an incoming winter blast. Also, the fact that producers may have to cut production because the basis has been losing money also gave support to the breakout. For today’s natural gas that means Baker Hughes Rig count will be big. If we lose more rigs, then natural gas can continue with its upside breakout.

The oil market also seemed to pull back on reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin is bragging about deploying a new nuclear-powered missile that seemed to give oil a bit of a risk-off situation even though we did not see too much of a flight to quality in the overbought oil.

You know that this is coming and there will be more. Reuters is reporting that:

“Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) is in advanced talks to acquire Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD.N) in a deal that could value the Permian shale basin producer at about $60 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The acquisition would be Exxon’s biggest since its $81 billion deal for Mobil in 1998 and would expand its footprint in one of the most lucrative regions of the U.S. oil patch. Pioneer’s shares rose nearly 12% to $240.47 in premarket trading on Friday while Exxon (NYSE:XOM) slipped 1.7%.

How about those Chicago Bears? The Bears are finally who I thought they were! Rest in Peace, Mr. Butkus. I am sure you were smiling at us.

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