Energy Report: Heartbreaking

Today, like many Americans, I feel anger, sorrow, pain over the deaths of 13 American servicemen as well as many innocent men, women, and children of Afghanistan that were killed or injured in the bomb blast yesterday. Right now, it would be so easy to lash out and assign blame but today is not that day. Today should be a day of prayer. Prayer for the families of those who lost their lives and prayers of protection for those that are still in harm’s way. Please pray that we can get the rest of the Americans and the Afghanis that helped us out of there safely with no more loss of life.

Photo by Timothy Newman on Unsplash

We should also pray a prayer of protection from what could be a devastating hurricane that could be on the same track as Hurricane Katrina. Tropical storm Ida has the potential to become a major hurricane, potentially a category 3. Oil platforms are already shutting down. Reports are stating that BP evacuated four oil production platforms and shut down U.S. Gulf of Mexico production. The storm will also slow down petroleum and natural gas exports and imports as well. Gulf of Mexico offshore wells account for 17% of U.S. crude oil production and 5% of dry natural gas production. Over 45% of the total U.S. refining capacity is along the Gulf Coast.

For the crude oil market, there is still a significant upside risk going into winter. The market of course is going to focus today on not only the storm but what comes out of the meeting at the Jackson Hole symposium. More Fed officials are calling for a taper, perhaps as early as October which should give the dollar more strength. This could also cause a headwind for oil prices. Still, our expectations are that OPEC next week will pause their production increase because of the concerns about the delta variant of COVID-19, and because of that, we still believe the market is going to be undersupplied going into the end of the year. Product demand right now for gasoline and diesel is exceptionally strong and that may be one of the reasons why the Fed believes they're going to have to start to remove some of the extraordinary stimuli they've pumped into the system. Inflation fears are becoming real for the Fed and with more government spending coming, they may want to put on the brakes.

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