MARKET WATCH: Iraqi refinery fire likely to move oil futures

Crude oil futures hovered around $106/bbl on the New York market June 17 awaiting a weekly US government inventory report while international oil markets remained focused on instability in Iraq where militants attacked a refinery.

Iraq’s Oil Ministry officials confirmed to reporters that parts of Iraq’s largest refinery at Baiji were ablaze June 18. The fire was ignited when Sunni militants seized control of part of the refinery while fighting government troops.

The 310,000-b/d hydroskimming and hydrocracking refinery is in Salahudin province, 200 km north of Baghdad. Baiji refinery has been the scene of violence and at least one attack-related fire previously. Years ago, fighters believed to belong to al-Qaeda were suspected in an attack and fire (OGJ Online, Jan. 8, 2008).

Details were not immediately available regarding what units at the refinery were on fire. FACTS Global Energy analyst Cuneyt Kazokoglu in London told the Wall Street Journal that the Baiji refinery attack and fire had no immediate price effect in early June 18 futures trading.

Kazokoglu believes Iraqi gasoline and diesel imports likely could increase if the refinery were to be closed.

Sunni militants have moved on several northern Iraqi cities and towns recently.

US President Barack Obama has ruled out immediate air strikes by US military on Sunni militants moving toward Baghdad. Hundreds of militants representing the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) oppose the Shiite-dominated government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nour al-Maliki.

Meanwhile, Shiite militias reportedly are mobilizing in support of the Iraqi government.

Meanwhile, the US Energy Information Administration estimated commercial crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased by 600,000 bbl for the week ended June 13 from the previous week.

At 386.3 million bbl, US crude oil inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year, EIA said in its petroleum report.

Before the report was released on June 18, analysts told WSJ that they expected the EIA would report oil inventories fell by 1.1 million bbl for the week ended June 13.

Separately, the American Petroleum Institute said its own inventory indicated an estimated 5.7-million bbl drop in US crude stocks.

Gasoline, propane supplies

Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 800,000 bbl for the week ended June 13, which EIA described as being in the upper half of the average range. Finished gasoline inventories increased while blending components inventories decreased last week.

Distillate fuel inventories increased by 400,000 bbl, and are below the lower limit of the average range for this time of year. Propane-propylene inventories rose 2 million bbl last week and are in the upper half of the average range.

Refinery inputs averaged 15.4 million b/d during the week ended June 13, which was 150,000 b/d lower than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 87.1% of capacity for the week ended June 13, EIA said.

Gasoline production increased last week, averaging 9.8 million b/d. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 4.7 million b/d.

Crude oil imports averaged 7.2 million b/d last week, up by 88,000 b/d from the previous week. Over the last 4 weeks, crude oil imports averaged 7.3 million b/d, 6.6% below the same 4-week period last year.

Total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, last week averaged 766,000 b/d. Distillate fuel imports averaged 106,000 b/d last week and remained same as previous week.

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange July crude oil contract price dropped 54¢ on June 17 to close at $106.36/bbl. The August contract declined by 43¢ to $105.87/bbl.

The natural gas contract for July delivery rose by less than a penny to a rounded $4.71/MMbtu. On the US cash market, gas at Henry Hub, La., was $4.66/MMbtu, down 4¢.

Heating oil for July delivery was up 2¢ to a rounded $3.02/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for July delivery gained a rounded 2¢ to a rounded $3.09/gal.

The August ICE contract for Brent crude delivery rose 51¢, closing at $113.45/bbl. The September contract climbed 57¢ to $112.82/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for July increased $6.25 to $930.75/tonne.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes for June 17 was $108.81/bbl, a 28¢ drop from June 16. OPEC’s Secretariat office is scheduled to be closed June 19.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

Statoil reduces capital budget by $2 billion following 4Q losses

02/06/2015 Statoil ASA has reduced its organic capital expenditure to $18 billion in 2015 from $20 billion in 2014. The move comes on the heels of a fourth qu...

Chinese regulators approve Sinopec’s plan for grassroots refinery

02/06/2015 China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has approved Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China Nation...

BOEM schedules public meetings about draft proposed 5-year OCS plan

02/06/2015 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold the first of 20 public meetings in Washington on Feb. 9 to receive public comments on potential ...

Union strike ongoing at US refineries as negotiations continue

02/06/2015 A strike by union workers at nine US refining and petrochemical production plants remains under way as the United Steelworkers Union (USW) continue...

NCOC lets $1.8-billion pipeline contract for Kashagan field

02/06/2015 North Caspian Operating Co. (NCOC) has let a $1.8-billion engineering and construction contract to ERSAI Caspian Contractor LLC, a subsidiary of Sa...

AOPL releases 2015 safety performance and strategic planning report

02/06/2015 The Association of Oil Pipe Lines is committed to further improvements despite a 99.99% safe petroleum liquids delivery rate, AOPL Pres. and Chief ...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil price bounces back up somewhat

02/06/2015 Crude oil prices on the New York market bounced up $2/bbl to settle slightly above $50/bbl Feb. 5. The positive momentum continued during early Jan...

Congressional Republicans renew bid to halt sue-and-settle maneuvers

02/05/2015 Calling it an affront to regulatory accountability that results in unchecked compliance burdens, US Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and US Rep. D...

Oil-price collapse may aggravate producing nations’ other problems

02/05/2015 The recent global crude-oil price plunge could be aggravating underlying problems in Mexico, Colombia, and other Western Hemisphere producing natio...
White Papers

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

When Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

When Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST


Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected