Oil tops $100 . . . first time since July 2014

Oil tops $100 for first time since July 2014; SPR at a 19-year low; total oil + product supply at a 7 3/4-year low

RJS, Focus on Fracking

US oil price tops $100 for first time since July 2014; SPR at a new 19 year low; total oil + products supplies, including SPR, at a 7 3/4 year low; distillate supplies at 26 month low; natural gas drilling at a 26 month high

You already have the petroleum status report part of this posted (ie, “EIA, Latest US Oil Supply and Disposition Data”) and the rig count report is less interesting than last weeks…so i’ll just include my opening section on oil & natural prices below…although oil hit $100, it fell back & was only up slightly on the week…almost all the price movements in oil were market reactions to various news relating to Russia/Ukraine…prices fell back because there were no sanctions on energy, wisely i think, as they’d hurt the NATO countries more than Russia..

Here is an interactive graph that can be reset to view anything from one day of prices to the entire history: Crude Oil WTI Apr ’22 Futures Interactive Chart – Barchart.com

US oil price tops $100 a barrel for first time since July 2014

oil prices increased for the ninth time in ten weeks this week and hit a new 7 1/2 year high after the Russian police action in eastern Ukraine turned into a full scale invasion…after falling 2.2% to $91.07 a barrel last week as oil traders were disheartened by the possibility of a nuclear peace deal with Iran, the contract price for US light sweet crude for March delivery jumped more than 3% to as high as $96 a barrel in off-exchange trading Monday, as Russia moved troops into two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine, and Putin announced he would recognize their independence . . . hence, oil prices opened higher and  rallied more than 3% to a 7-1/2 year high shortly after NYMEX opened on Tuesday, reflecting concerns that Russia is a major exporter of oil to the US, and also supplies more than a third of Europe’s natural gas, much of it via Russian pipelines through Ukraine, before they pulled back to settle $1.28 higher at $92.35 a barrel, after analysts determined new sanctions announced by the US and the EU would have just a limited impact on the Russian economy…at the same time, the benchmark contract for US crude for April delivery settled $1.70 higher at $91.91 a barrel, as trading in the March oil contract expired…with the price for April oil now being quoted by the media, oil prices drifted lower early Wednesday as traders weighed the impact of US-Iran talks, after it became clear the first wave of U.S. and European sanctions on Russia would not disrupt oil supplies, and later steadied below the 2014 highs with a 19 cent gain to $92.09 a barrel, as sanctions imposed by the US, the EU, Britain, Australia, Canada and Japan were focused on Russian banks and elites, and not on energy . . . however, oil prices opened higher and shot to above $100 a barrel on Thursday, with European oil prices topping $105after Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea, but pulled back later after weekly inventory data released by the EIA showed a second consecutive build in domestic crude oil inventories to settle just 71 cents higher at $92.81 a barrel amid signs that the United States and European allies would not consider sanctioning Russia’s oil and gas exports, in order to ensure adequate supplies on the global market, but would instead go after its financial, military and industrial sectors . . . after rising sharply early in the Friday session on concern over the potential for global supply disruptions from sanctions on major crude exporter Russia, oil prices turned lower as oil traders were forced to grapple with a fluid market environment, and settled down $1.22 at $91.59 a barrel after the US, the EU, and the UK signaled they have prepared a third package of sanctions against Russia, including on Russian President Vladimir Putin . . . but even given the impact of the invasion, oil prices only finished 0.6% higher on the week, while the April contract for US crude, which had ended the prior week priced at $90.21, settled with a 1.5% gain…

Natural gas prices also finished higher, despite a midweek switch to the lower priced April contract, on raging European gas prices and another spate of natural gas well freeze-offs… after rising 12.4% to $4.431 per mmBTU last week on forecasts for cold weather to persist into early March. the contract price of natural gas for March delivery opened more than 3% higher on Tuesday on forecasts for higher heating demand over the next two weeks, and on a 10% jump in European gas futures that could keep U.S. LNG exports near record highs, before settling 6.7 cents higher at $4.498 per mmBTU….gas prices then rose 12.5 cents or nearly 3% to $4.623 per mmBTU on Wednesday, as sub-freezing temperatures descended into the Lower 48 and resulted in a precipitous decline in production due to gas well freeze-offs, but pulled back and fell 5.5 cents to $4.568 per mmBTU on Thursday, despite a 60% jump in a key European natural gas benchmark, as trading in the US March natural gas contract expired with the end of winter weather in clear view and March forecasts far from threatening….with natural gas quotes now referencing the contract price of natural gas for April delivery, which had closed Thursday priced at $4.641 per mmBTU, natural gas fell 17.1 cents to $4.470 per mmBTU on Friday, weighed down by forecasts for lower demand over the next week and a sharp drop in European gas prices…natural gas still managed to end the week 0.9% higher, while the April contract, which had ended the prior week priced at $4.377 per mmBTU, finished with a 2.1% gain…

The EIA’s natural gas storage report for the week ending February 18th indicated that the amount of working natural gas held in underground storage in the US fell by 129 billion cubic feet to 1,782 billion cubic feet by the end of the week, which left our gas supplies 209 billion cubic feet, or 10.5% below the 1,991 billion cubic feet that were in storage on February 18th of last year, and 214 billion cubic feet, or 10.7% below the five-year average of 1,996 billion cubic feet of natural gas that have been in storage as of the 18th of February over the most recent five years….the 129 billion cubic foot withdrawal from US natural gas working storage for the cited week was in line with the average forecast for a 128 billion cubic foot withdrawal expected by an S&P Global Platts survey of analysts, but it was dwarfed by the 324 billion cubic feet that were pulled from natural gas storage during “winter storm Uri” during the corresponding week of 2021, and was also much less than the average withdrawal of 166 billion cubic feet of natural gas that have typically been pulled out natural gas storage during the same week over the past 5 years…