Thursday, September 13, 2012

Why Gasoline is More Expensive at $97 WTI Than it Was at 2008's $147

Izabella Kaminska at FT Alphaville:
The IEA’ September Oil Market report paints an interesting picture of developments in the global refining industry. In short, having restructured intensively over the past few years — by closing off a lot of unprofitable capacity — the industry is now in a position to respond to the product tightness it itself created (as a result of its restructuring).

Which is important because product tightness persists despite an overhang of crude in many regions.
As the IEA notes:
Given wide disparities in OECD stocks between regions and products, whether reported inventories look tight or comfortable may depend on one’s point of view. An apparent overhang in US crude stocks offered meager protection against supply disruptions when those stocks were landlocked and not easily accessed by the market. High OECD crude stocks in recent months have hidden uncomfortably tight product inventories, notably for middle distillates....MUCH MORE