The Energy Report: Falling Apart

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The Biden administration’s warped energy policy is continuing to fall apart as they lose in the courts and lose with scientific realties. This comes as hurricane risk and geopolitical risk factors are adding to the bullishness in the market. Fox Weather is reporting that Hurricane Beryl has been upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane in the Caribbean with sustained wind speeds at 160 mph. This storm is ‘extremely rare and extremely dangerous’ and the earliest category 5 on record.

Yet storm risk is taking a back seat to geopolitical risk factors and signals of the potential for record breaking holiday demand. Not only do we have US military bases on high alert for a credible threat of terror attack now we have the Iranian backed Houthi rebels daring the US to defend international waters tweeting that, “The next Aircraft Carrier that comes into the Red Sea will be our primary target”.

Even without the storm, the markets are starting to price in a global oil supply deficit as the spreads are suggesting that the markets are already starting to tighten significantly. In the big picture, the market is realizing that the lies that alternative fuels and electric cars would lead to a demand slowdown was greatly exaggerated. Demand is on track to hit a record high and massive Energy Information Administration (EIA) Adjustments could be swinging back which could lead to some big-time crude draws in the coming weeks. Fox News reports that, “AAA forecasts a record 71 million people traveling 50 miles or more through the weekend after the holiday, beating pre-pandemic numbers. Over 60 million people will hit the road. More than 57 million will take to the air, and almost 5 million will be cruising or taking buses and trains.

Tonight, we get the American Petroleum Institute (API) supply report and we expect crude to draw by 3 million barrels. I also think that Gasoline supply and Distillate supply should fall by about 3 million barrels as well.

At the same time world events along with the Biden administration ceding more power to the OPEC Plus Russia cartel are looking more dangerous. Biden seems to want to clamp down on US and oil and gas producers but continues to offer oil production opportunities to Iran and Venezuela. After the Biden administration reimposed sanctions on Venezuela after they failed to follow through with their promise to allow free and fair elections, they are now concerned about the possibility of sharply rising gasoline and diesel prices going into the election. So why not go back to their favorite neighborhood dictator?

Oil Price is reporting Venezuela’s president, Nicolas, Maduro, has accepted a U.S. proposal for a new round of talks on local policies and the future of U.S. oil sanctions on Caracas. “I have received the proposal during two continuous months from the United States government to reestablish talks and direct dialogue,” Maduro said on Venezuelan television, as quoted by the Associated Press. “After thinking about it for two months, I have accepted, and next Wednesday, talks will restart with the United States government to comply with the agreements signed in Qatar and to reestablish the terms of the urgent dialogue,” the Venezuelan president said.

And based on what we’re seeing in the crack spreads here in the United States, you can see why the Biden team might be getting nervous. While today’s national average at $350.1 a gallon is slightly lower than a year ago and the lowest since 2021. The signs are that prices could jump higher as the week continues. So, the upside risks that we’ve been warning about are starting to come to fruition. We need to hold on to our hat as we get closer to the holiday weekend and the end of the week.

The EIA natural gas report will be released a day early. We are looking at a 33 bcf injection. Weather will continue to be the major factor driving prices.

Reuters is reporting that Federal judge halts US government’s ban on LNG permits. “A federal judge on Monday blocked the U.S. government’s ban on approving applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG), in response to a lawsuit by Republican-led states. U.S. District Judge James Cain Jr, in Louisiana, a Trump appointee, ruled that the LNG export ban “be stayed in its entirety, effective immediately.” A coalition of 16 Republican-led states, including Texas, Louisiana and Florida, had filed suit in March in Lake Charles, Louisiana, arguing that the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden lacked the authority to broadly deny the permits. They claimed the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) pause on exports would harm the U.S. economy and undermine efforts to supply foreign allies in Europe with steady supplies of LNG as the region seeks to wean itself off piped gas from Russia.

The Biden administration said in January the pause would allow officials to review the process for analyzing economic and environmental impacts of projects seeking approval to export LNG to Europe and Asia where the fuel is in high demand. The January move was cheered by climate activists, an important part of Biden’s base, and could have delayed decisions on new plants until after the Nov. 5 presidential election, when Biden will face off against Republican former President Donald Trump.

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