Global refinery capacity increases vastly; typhoons deplete Japan oil stocks; and Qatari marketing sends signals on price direction, reports PIRA Energy Group's latest 'Weekly Oil Market Recap'.
Big Increase in 2014 (and 2015) Global Refinery Capacity
The biggest capacity increase over the two years comes from new construction projects in China and the Middle East. Despite the fact that the world currently has a surplus of refining capacity, new additions are on the way. In comparison to beginning-year 2013, world refining distillation capacity is set to increase by about 5%, or 2.6 MMB/D, by the end of this year; another 2.1 MMB/D will come online in 2014.
Storms Disrupt Operations
Storms and typhoons continue to track toward Japan with a fair bit of regularity, with Typhoon Danas impacting Okinawa, followed by Typhoon Wipha impacting the Tokyo area. Yet another typhoon (Francisco) is tracking toward Japan. Gasoline stocks drew modestly, while gasoil stocks drew to a new record low. The implied crude import figure was very low and this allowed crude stocks to draw. Refinery margins remain weak.
Qatari Marketing Flexibility Provides Key Signals for Price Direction
Qatar has benefitted financially from placing more LNG into Asia and has managed to do so at a premium to Atlantic Basin spot prices in Asia. To date, Qatar has been able to place incremental volumes into Japan, Korea, and China at, or close to its relatively strong oil-linked prices. How much more gas Qatar can (or will) divert to Asia from Europe this winter is a key question for AB spot players, who have the most to lose if there turns out to be more “wiggle room” on the supply side than anticipated.
Source PIRA Energy Group