One of the misconceptions concerning the lifting of U.S. export ban is that it would add new demand. In the short term the U.S. will simply send out crude in place of the products of distillation which were already legal to export. So no immediate net boost.
Front (Feb) WTI futures: $33.88, down $2.09. If memory serves, the December 2008 low was something like
From Reuters Africa:
UPDATE 8-Crude oil slides by 5 pct as gasoline spike paints bleak outlook
* U.S. gasoline stocks spike, largest build since 1993
* China Dec services sector expands at slowest pace in 17 mths (Adds details on U.S. oil inventory report, market comment, updates prices; Changes dateline from LONDON)
By Catherine Ngai
NEW YORK, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Crude oil prices were more than 5 percent lower on Wednesday after tumbling below $35 per barrel for the first time since 2004, as a sharp rise in U.S. gasoline stocks reinforced a bleak picture that the market was awash with plenty of oil.
U.S. government data showing an unexpected 5.1 million-barrel fall in crude stocks last week was overshadowed by a 10.6 million-barrel surge in gasoline supplies, the biggest build since 1993. Demand for the motor fuel showed its first week-on-week decline of more than 1 million barrels per day.
"As big as the crude oil drawdown was, the build in gasoline was even more spectacular and crushing to the market," said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital, an energy hedge fund in New York. "Gasoline was the sole source of strength within the complex, and that looks to have ended."...MORE