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  • What a difference a year makes. Last year, we were witnessing a massive decline in industrial demand for natural gas, especially in the metal-bending states, as GM and Chrysler were in the process of shuttering factory floor space — the equivalent of around 450 football fields by one estimate...

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Can You Really Trust History? Thursday, 22 Apr 2010 | 11:02 AM ET

    Yesterday (Wednesday), the DOE reported a 1.89 MMbbl build in crude oil stocks, blowing away analyst expectations of a 0.75 MMbbl draw. Nymex crude prices dipped after the release but, surprisingly, recovered in the afternoon to end the day close to the open. But the bulls should not get carried away...

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Gasoline Demand/Prices Out of Sync Wednesday, 21 Apr 2010 | 1:06 PM ET

    Yesterday we discussed the small increases seen by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Prices in March grew by just 0.1%, leading to a cumulative gain of 0.7% since the start of the year. Did consumers, who saw income increase by 0.09% over the same period, respond to increased purchasing power by spending more?

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Good Gasoline News—But for Whom? Tuesday, 20 Apr 2010 | 11:09 AM ET

    Energy prices were weak yesterday. Turns out that a giant cloud of volcanic ash can put quite the damper on jet fuel demand. On the other side of the Atlantic, the Star Quarterback for Team Bulls has been hit hard. Meanwhile, natural gas was weak and dropped below 4.000; thus it seems having an enormous supply glut doesn’t help prices much either. Who knew?

  • British Airways screen

    The sell-off in oil has intensified as much of Europe is still paralyzed by air travel disruptions caused the the volcanic ash cloud hovering above parts of the continent.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Goldman Fallout and Energy Futures Monday, 19 Apr 2010 | 10:38 AM ET

    By now our readers have likely heard about and discussed the SEC’s lawsuit against Goldman Sachs for fraud. The details are across the Internet, but what effect will the allegations have on the energy complex?

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Gas Is a Dog...For Now Friday, 16 Apr 2010 | 10:58 AM ET

    Energy prices were mixed yesterday. Nymex natural gas sold off hard after the EIA reported a seasonally (and absolutely) huge injection. On the other hand, a spate of economic headlines did little to incite action in the liquids markets — crude oil and gasoline fell while heating oil marched higher. As for today, expect little volatility as traders anticipate the evening’s CFTC release.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Refiners Under Pressure Wednesday, 14 Apr 2010 | 2:19 PM ET

    Yesterday (Tuesday), the IEA upped its supply outlook for non-OPEC producers an extra 220 Mbbl/d from last month’s estimate. Led by Soviet-era (or as Putin calls it, "the good old days") production levels from Russia, as well as increased output from Canada and the UK, non-OPEC production is expected to average 52 MMbbl/d this year.

  • Last week the DOE released its petroleum supply monthly report, a lagging—yet highly detailed- breakdown of America’s supply disposition. Thus, the report only covers data up to January 2010, but provides a closer look at our trading partners.

  • In their weekly update yesterday, the EIA referenced the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy confirmation that gas hydrate occurs in high saturations within reservoir quality sands in the Gulf of Mexico. The DOE’s findings are the initial result of an expedition that the National Energy Technology Laboratory conducted in May 2009.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Do Gasoline Bulls Have Any Hope? Thursday, 8 Apr 2010 | 12:41 PM ET

    Yesterday’s support above $85 notwithstanding, a steepening contango over the last week on the NYMEX is indicative of waning concerns of demand, relative to supply. Thus, as the contango grows, the incentive to store, rather than boil, crude oil grows.

  • Energy prices were mixed yesterday. The liquids maintained Monday’s gains, but could not parlay them any higher. With a lack of macro releases this week, traders will be looking very closely at today’s DOE numbers. The crowd is looking for a 1.4 MMbbl build in crude oil, while last night the API reported a 1.1 MMbbl build. Meanwhile, natural gas gave up almost all of Monday’s gains — so much for the comeback…

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Crude Aiming for $100? Tuesday, 6 Apr 2010 | 12:30 PM ET

    Yesterday’s strength in crude oil price was not based on concerns of a shortage. Russia announced on Sunday that it produced 123.86 million tons of crude and gas condensate in Q1 2010, 3.2% above Q1 2009 and its highest output level since the breakup of the Soviet Union. OPEC is not willing to cut back its production in response...

  • Speculation Driving Oil Prices: Qatar Oil Minister Tuesday, 6 Apr 2010 | 11:33 AM ET

    Qatar's oil minister says crude's recent rally is driven mainly by speculation, not a shortage of supply.

  • Last week, for the first time since the week ending February 5, natural gas prices closed higher. The 5.5% rise was modest considering prices are 25.9% lower since the start of February, but at this point the bulls will take what they can get.

  • First things first: The President’s alleged reality check was highly recognizable a year ago. Be that as it may, we will put politics aside and cheer the White House’s rather abrupt 180° about-face; although, one does acquire a sense that the Administration’s heart is not going to be fully invested in this one. On its surface, the press release reads great…

  • Obama’s Offshore-Drilling Plan: A Start Thursday, 1 Apr 2010 | 9:32 AM ET
    off shore oil rig

    In some sense, I’m glad President Obama is opening the door to offshore oil drilling. But in the spirit of free-market deregulation, I do think that much, much more should be done in the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific, and Alaska.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Why We're Still Bearish Wednesday, 31 Mar 2010 | 12:48 PM ET

    Yesterday the S&P/CaseShiller 20 City Home Price Index for January was released, increasing 0.32% month-on-month to 146.32. In comparison, August last year saw a 1.08% increase in the index as buyers rushed to take advantage of an $8,000 tax credit due to expire at the end of November. Why does this matter for energy prices..?

  • Yesterday (Monday) saw the release of the latest consumer expenditure and income figures. The short story is bearish — total consumer spending was up but gasoline spending was down — (maybe?) bad news for the RBOB contract. The long story is more involved, as we attempt to account for the weather and the true state of the economy.

  • A break outside of our Confidence Interval often implies trend because a new external factor is influencing the behavior of the markets — whether that is the Total SA refinery workers striking in Paris or China altering the Renminbi’s peg to the dollar.