As of Thursday, September 15, 3:00 pm
According to the Minerals Management
Service (MMS), as of 11:30 September 15, Gulf of Mexico
oil production was reduced by 842,091 barrels per day as a result
of Hurricane Katrina, equivalent to 56.14 percent of daily Gulf
of Mexico oil production (which had been 1.5 million barrels
per day). The MMS also reported that 3.411 billion cubic feet
per day of natural gas production was shut in, equivalent to
34.11 percent of daily Gulf of Mexico natural gas production
(which had been 10 billion cubic feet per day).
EIA released its monthly Short-Term
Energy Outlook on Wednesday, September 7, taking into consideration
three Hurricane Katrina recovery scenarios.
As of the close of trading on Thursday, September 15, crude
oil and petroleum product prices were lower, compared to the
closing prices from Wednesday, September 14. The gasoline near-month
futures price was down by 3.9 cents per gallon from Wednesday,
settling at 189.9 cents per gallon, while the heating oil near-month
futures price was down 1.3 cents per gallon, settling at 191.2
cents per gallon. The NYMEX West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude
oil futures price was down $0.34 per barrel from Wednesday,
settling at $64.75.
Currently, there are four refineries (ChevronTexaco, located
in Pascagoula, MS; ConocoPhillips, located in Belle Chasse,
LA; ExxonMobil, located in Chalmette, LA; and Murphy Oil, located
in Meraux, LA) that remain shut down, and expectations are that
these refineries, which represent about 5 percent of total U.S.
refining capacity, could be shut down for an extended period.
On September 12, DOE released the weekly Gasoline
and Diesel Fuel Update. As of September 11, the average
weekly retail gasoline price decreased to $2.95 (down 11.4 cents
from the previous week). Diesel fuel prices decreased 5.1 cents
As of September 9 (the
most recent data available), the end of the second week
following Hurricane Katrina, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories
(excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) fell by
6.6 million barrels from the previous week. At 308.4 million
barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories remain above the upper end
of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline
inventories rose by 1.9 million barrels last week, putting them
at the bottom end of the average range. Distillate fuel inventories
decreased by 1.1 million barrels last week, and are above the
upper end of the average range for this time of year. Total
commercial petroleum inventories dropped by 4.1 million barrels
last week, and are in the upper half of the average range for
this time of year. Total product supplied over the last four-week
period has averaged nearly 21.0 million barrels per day, or
0.4 percent more than averaged over the same period last year.
The natural gas futures price for October delivery was up
$0.17, to reach $11.34 per million Btu as of the close of trading
today, Thursday, September 15. In trading on the Intercontinental
Exchange, the Henry Hub spot price was $11.24 per MMBtu, up
$0.44 from Wednesday, September 14. This price is $1.44 above
the average spot price of $9.80 per MMBtu for the week ending
Friday, August 26, before the storm. At market locations across
the Gulf region, price increases today ranged up to $0.74 per
MMBtu with an average increase of $0.43 per MMBtu. The overall
average increase in price was $0.32 per MMBtu.
In its Natural
Gas Weekly Update, EIA today reported that natural gas spot
prices have increased across much of the Lower 48 States since
last Wednesday, September 7, as continued reduction in natural
gas production supported price increases on most spot market
locations outside the Gulf coast region. On the week, the largest
increases tended to cluster in the Midwest, Northeast, and Midcontinent
regions. EIA also reported that working gas in storage increased
to 2,758 Bcf as of Friday, September 9, which is 3.7 percent
above the 5-year average inventory level for the report week.
The implied net injection of 89 Bcf is 3 percent above the 5-year
average of 86 Bcf. It is also the largest net injection since
the beginning of July, and marks the first time since late June
that the implied net injection has exceeded the 5-year average.
Ports and Pipelines
While the Colonial and Plantation petroleum product pipelines
are back up and able to run at 100 percent of capacity, supplying
the pipelines with products may become an issue as long as some
of the refineries that supply product into these pipelines remain
shut down. The Capline, a major crude oil pipeline that supplies
crude oil from the Gulf Coast to some Midwest refineries, is
now operating at more than 90 percent of its capacity.
The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) is still expected to
be at 100 percent of capacity by the end of this week, after
Port Fourchon becomes operational. More than 10 percent of the
nation's imported crude oil typically enters via the LOOP.