Total petroleum deliveries in April moved up by 1.7 percent from April 2016 to average 19.6 million barrels per day. These were the highest April deliveries in nine years, since 2008. Compared with March, total domestic petroleum deliveries, a measure of U.S. petroleum demand, decreased 0.3 percent. For year to date, total domestic petroleum deliveries moved up slightly by 0.1 percent compared to the same period last year to average 19.4 million barrels per day.
Preliminary production figures for April 2017 show an average daily production of 2 111 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an decrease of 38 000 barrels per day (approx. 2 percent) compared to March.
Crude oil production from the seven major US onshore producing regions is forecast to rise 122,000 b/d month-over-month in June to average 5.401 million b/d. Gas production from the seven regions is forecast to gain 557 MMcfd month-over-month in June to 51.316 bcfd.
The light, sweet contract for June crude oil delivery gained 50¢ to close at $47.83/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange May 11. The July contract also climbed 50¢ to settle at $48.20/bbl. The natural gas price for June was up 8¢ to a rounded $3.37/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price gained 9¢ to $3.20/MMbtu on May 11. The Brent crude contract for July on London’s ICE was up 55¢ to settle at $50.77/bbl. The August contract increased 51¢ to $51.05/bbl. The June gas oil contract was $449/tonne, up $5.
North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $52 per barrel (b) in April, $1/b higher than the March average and the fifth consecutive month that Brent crude oil spot prices averaged between $50/b and $55/b. EIA forecasts Brent prices to average $53/b in 2017 and $57/b in 2018. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are forecast to average $2/b less than Brent prices in both 2017 and 2018.
Saudi Arabia’s conventional approach to market management is no longer working: crude has fallen back below $50 a barrel, US shale oil output is again on the rise and Saudi-led Opec, if anything, is worse off than when it agreed the supply deal back in November, having cut volumes for little upside on price.
The resurgence of the US shale industry after the oil slump of 2014 was a key factor in how crude prices fell sharply last week, to back below $50 per barrel. The market is concerned about whether efforts by Opec, the producers’ cartel, to tackle a supply glut by curbing output will be undermined by reinvigorated US shale companies.
"The good news is that the market is moving towards rebalancing," Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said at the International Oil Summit in Paris last week. "There has also been a rapid drawdown of floating storage in the first quarter of this year. This is being driven by improving fundamentals and the OPEC deal."
OPEC's largest producer Saudi Arabia averaged 9.97 million b/d in April, according to the survey, below its quota under the deal of 10.058 million b/d.
One of the highest priorities in Russia's gas export and marketing strategy is establishing its own southern corridor for gas exports to Europe, in competition with the EU-backed project.