Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oil market "teetering on the edge," warns Verleger (44% Drop?!)

Note on weather below links.
We saw Mr. Verlager quoted at Bloomberg last week, here he is at Platt's The Barrel blog:
Are oil prices about to take a dive? Analyst Philip Verleger thinks so. "The oil market is teetering on the edge," Verleger said in a report. "Prices will fall sharply absent immediate and dramatic action."

Citing poor refinery margins, Verleger argued that producers need to cut crude production. "Some country or combination of countries needs to reduce output two million barrels per day," he said. "The cuts should take effect October 1, 2009."

Because margins are so poor, demand for crude will sink, and prices will not hold in the $65-75/barrel range cited by technicians. "OPEC, the IEA, and the 'experts' cited by the major financial newspapers may see balance in the world crude market. Refiners do not. To be exact, they see nothing but red ink," Verleger said. "In these circumstances they curtail runs."...MORE

HT: Environmental Capital

Here he is in Bloomberg, Sep. 21:

Oil Options Hit Highs as Verleger Predicts 44% Plunge

Oil traders are paying more than ever in the options market to protect against a plunge in crude prices.

The gap between prices of options betting on a decline and those that would profit from a rise in oil widened to a record 10 percentage points, according to five years of data compiled by Banc of America Securities-Merrill Lynch. Crude stockpiles in the U.S. are 14 percent larger than a year ago and OPEC is pumping 600,000 barrels a day more than the world needs, according to the International Energy Agency.

While the recovery from the first global recession since World War II pushed oil up 62 percent this year to $72.04 a barrel in New York, growth alone isn’t likely to erode the glut by the end of next year because production exceeds demand, data from the Paris-based IEA shows. A drop in prices would penalize companies from Exxon Mobil Corp. to BP Plc and exporters Russia and Saudi Arabia.

“If ever there was going to be a retreat below $60 a barrel, it is now,” Stephen Schork, president of consultant Schork Group Inc. in Villanova, Pennsylvania, said in a telephone interview. “It was a very weak summer. We came out with more gasoline than we started.”...

...“There’s all this heating oil with no place to go,” Philip Verleger, a professor at the University of Calgary and head of consultant PKVerleger LLC, said in a phone interview. “I’m fairly certain we’ll see prices in the $30s this year.”>>>MORE
Some smart commodity meteorologists are forecasting the coldest winter in ten years for the U.S. Northeast, and a more moderate winter for the Midwest, which mainly heats with natural gas.