Strained - Energy Report For Friday, April 30, 2021

Oil prices are under strain as reports of a new strain of the covid 19 virus that was found in India may have made its way into some limited parts of China. The story broke yesterday and it broke oil, yet the market seemed to come back and shrug it off. Now overnight as the story became widely reported, it caused another wave of selling based on fear, not on real demand destruction, at least not yet. The covid fear trade must balance a larger reality that in the near term we will see a major snap back in oil demand. That surge will further dwindle global inventory as OPEC keeps the breaks on production.

Still, traders are worried about a new surge in Iranian output if U.S. sanctions on them are lifted. Iran continues to talk about progress in talks and the U.S. is willing to lift some sanctions so most believe that it will only be a matter of time before Iran is free to flood the market with oil, while U.S. shale producers remain sanctioned on federal land from the Biden administration. Hey Joe, lift the sanctions on U.S. oil producers and make it a fair game!

The Biden administration’s anti-oil policies are not sitting well with our Canadian neighbors. Canada is still angry with the unjustified canceling of the Keystone pipelines, which will have no material effect on climate change, and now there's Michigan Governors Gretchen Whitmer's plan to kill another Canadian Pipeline that has operated safely for 60 years. The governor gave an order demanding that Enbridge shut the pipeline down by May 12. Enbridge (ENB) will ignore the order as they claim that the governor does not have the authority to tell them to shut it down. But why does the law matter when the climate is concerned?

There is more talk of labor shortages and inflation as a risk to oil prices. A widely reported piece on a shortage of certified gas tank truck drivers is a risk to gasoline prices. Labor shortages are a sign that inflation may not be as transitory as the Fed thinks. Joe Biden's massive spending proposal that does not focus on work but incentives people not to work is a growing risk to the overall health of the US economy. High taxes on the wealthy and a higher corporate tax will not increase revenue, and it will slow the economy. That will make Biden's massive spending proposals unsustainable because without the incentive for profit and growth, we will see the economy go from record growth into a major contraction. That will cause pain for many Americans that are going to be forced to become more dependent on the government for their paycheck. Just remember a dollar invested in the private sector returns five dollars. A dollar invested in the government returns 50 cents. You do the math.

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