Energy Report: $75 or Dive

August 24, 2009 07:00 PM

Phil Flynn, Alaron

Can Big Ben Bernanke, the savior of the global economy, keep oil from falling? Obama says that the Federal Reserve Chairman is coming back (like he had a choice) yet signs of bank tightening in China and weak Asian markets has oil still reluctant to test new highs.
Yesterday oil prices failed to pass $75 a barrel as the stock-market rally started to sputter and gold looked awfully heavy. Now I know that technically oil made a new high for the year because of the contango and the rollover, yet the October crude has yet to make a new high for the year. In fact the high for the October crude was made on June 11 at 7527. Oil, as bullish as the trend has been, still struggles to follow through decisively with an upside breakout. Is oil destined to make new highs or is it just a matter of time before we see a correction of massive proportions.
Product prices seemed strong especially gasoline. Barbara Powell of Bloomberg News reported that gasoline prices rose the most since July 30 as refining profit margins jumped 21 percent as summer-grade fuel supplies tightened in the New York Harbor market because of refinery outages and lower imports. Ms. Powell says the amount of crude and feedstock processed in East Coast refineries fell 7.9 percent from a year earlier as Sunoco Inc. shut a fluid catalytic cracker at its Philadelphia refinery. She went to say that sources are reporting that seasonal switch futures are benefiting from tightness in supplies in New York Harbor and regional tightness may be exacerbated next month when Irving Oil Corp. shuts units at its St. John, New Brunswick, refinery in Canada for planned repairs that will last into the fall.
Also it is important to point out that refiners on the Gulf Coast are beginning to reduce stocks of summer-grade fuel to prepare for the switch to the cheaper winter grades. Winter-grade gasoline has more butane and is less-expensive to produce than summer grades. New York Harbor, fell 784,000 barrels during the week ended Aug. 14 to 27.8 million, 12 percent below a year earlier. Supplies on the Gulf Coast were 12 percent above the year before, according to the Energy Department. Pipeline Full Colonial Pipeline on Aug. 20 limited orders to ship gasoline from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast because demand for line space exceeded available space as traders on the Gulf Coast tried to send excess supplies to New York.
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Republished with permission from Alaron's Energy Report Daily.

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