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  • Yesterday, Uncle Sam reported a 2.76 MMbbl increase in total crude oil stocks, well above the 1.5 ± 0.6 MMbbl seasonal trend and the 1.00 MMbbl build expected by analysts. Regardless, Nymex WTI prices rebounded slightly from a pre-release sell-off (likely due to increases in capacity utilization) — but ended the day significantly lower.

  • Continuing the discussion from yesterday’s issue of The Schork Report regarding the signal the Nymex forward curve is sending, the contango on the front of the Board moved out to over $3 (!) or minus 3½%. Thus, with the term structure offering such a hefty carrot to take barrels off of the spot market, the signal is clear, the deepwater horizon incident notwithstanding, traders anticipate that supply will outstrip demand in the near-term.

  • Oil Executives Ponder the Future Tuesday, 4 May 2010 | 5:42 PM ET

    Talk about timing. As a massive oil spill spreads in the Gulf of Mexico, 70,000 oil industry professionals are gathering in Houston for the Offshore Technology Conference.

  • Energy prices were firm yesterday: Natural gas saw a rally back towards the 4.000 psychological barrier but the bulls lacked conviction. The products performed strongly on the back of positive consumer income and expenditure numbers, while the ICE Brent contract surged. The only laggard was crude oil; could traders finally be taking notice of the contango?

  • Spill Could Threaten Other Oil and Gas Rigs Monday, 3 May 2010 | 6:43 PM ET
    A boat works uses a protective boom to collect oil that has leaked from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico.

    The massive oil spill in the Guld of Mexicso is having ripple effects on U.S.  oil and natural gas production.  Two offshore natural gas platforms have already been shut down.

  • Spill Could Raise Shipping Rates Monday, 3 May 2010 | 5:35 PM ET
    Trade

    Shipping in and around the Gulf of Mexico is business  as usual, in spite of the oil spill, in this heavily trafficked area. But should the oil spill spread, higher shipping rates could result, an analyst told CNBC Monday.

  • Special Chemical Used to Contain Oil Spill Monday, 3 May 2010 | 12:03 PM ET
    Weathered oil collects on surface of water after explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana.

    A chemical compound that breaks down oil into droplets so that bacteria can eat it may be part of the solution to Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

  • Energy prices were mixed last week: Liquids traders ignored a bearish build in stocks to focus on the booming equities markets, a weaker dollar and resurgent consumer confidence. The GoM oil spill and today’s consumer spending figure will likely fuel the bulls further. Natural gas sold off hard on Thursday and has yet to see a rebound — the latest CFTC data suggests traders should not hold their breath.

  • Yesterday (Thursday), the EIA reported a larger than expected 83 Bcf injection in natural gas stocks. Analysts were expecting a 70 Bcf injection and while this is not the first time expectations have been too low, it is the first time that the contract for June 2010 delivery dropped by 8½% within a day. Keep in mind that this contract went prompt in 2004, so even the pop of the commodity bubble did not see drops this large for the contract.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Bears Beware! Here's Why Thursday, 29 Apr 2010 | 1:00 PM ET

    Energy prices were quiet yesterday (Wednesday). Natural gas recovered slightly for the first time this week but was trending lower in after-hours trading. For today’s DOE release, the crowd is looking for a 70 Bcf injection. Meanwhile crude oil was strong despite a larger than expected build, and the products fell on the back of another build in ultra-low sulfur diesel stocks. Expect increased volatility as the products approach expiry.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Good News Hidden in Bad Wednesday, 28 Apr 2010 | 12:04 PM ET

    Last week saw the release of the latest Federal Highway Administration Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) statistics. The report appeared bearish — total miles travelled in February were down 2.9% year-on-year and cumulative travel for 2010 was down by 2.3% year-on-year. While this data is seasonally adjusted, it does not account for...

  • Last week, Hamza Khan, analyst at The Schork Report, examined the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the price paid by urban consumers. We considered the figures positive for consumers as prices grew by just 0.06%, well below the 0.18% increase seen during last year...

  • 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.