EnergiesNet.com 02 16 2022
Oil futures posted a loss of nearly 4% on Tuesday, a day after settling at their highest level in over seven years, as Russia said some troops were returning to their bases after military exercises near the border with Ukraine, easing some fears of an invasion.
- West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery CL.1, 0.42% CL00, 0.43% CLH22, 0.42% fell $3.39, or nearly 3.6%, to settle at $92.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
- April Brent crude BRN00, +0.24% BRNJ22, +0.24%, the global benchmark, fell $3.20, or 3.3%, to $93.28 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. WTI and Brent on Monday posted their highest settlements since September 2014.
- March natural-gas futures NGH22, 2.00% rose nearly 2.7% to settle at $4.306 per million British thermal units.
- March gasoline futures RBH22, 0.39% fell 4% to $2.669 a gallon, while March heating oil HOH22, 0.46% lost nearly 3.5% to $2.86 a gallon.
Fears of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine faded somewhat after Moscow said Tuesday that some units would begin returning to their bases, though Ukraine’s leaders expressed skepticism. The announcement comes a day after Russia’s foreign minister indicated Moscow was prepared to keep talking with the U.S. and its allies about security issues that have led to the Ukraine crisis.
The threat of an invasion was cited as a reason for the recent jump in crude prices that took both benchmarks near the $100-a-barrel threshold.
“The key question for this market is how much Ukrainian war premium is in this market,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The Price Futures Group, in a Tuesday note. “If Russia does pull back, can oil fall $10…or $20 in the event that the Russian-Ukraine situation is diffused?”
“Whatever the answer is, the reality is that when they find that number, oil will resume the rally,” he said. “Global oil inventories were tight before this tension and will be tight after things hopefully calm down.”
In a Tuesday newsletter, analysts at Sevens Report Research pointed out that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, continue to undershoot collective production targets amid strong demand. Given that, the “path of least resistance” remains to the upside with a medium-term price target of $105 a barrel for WTI, they said.
Oil traders also looked ahead to weekly U.S. petroleum-supply data from the Energy Information Administration due Wednesday. On average, analysts forecast a decline of 200,000 barrels in crude inventories for the week ended Feb. 11, according to a poll conducted by S&P Global Platts. They also expect supply declines of 900,000 barrels for gasoline and 1 million barrels for distillates.
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