Senior Market Analyst, Commodities and Energy
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Dec 17, 2015

Strong oil imports lift U.S. crude stocks near record: Kemp

U.S. crude oil imports have accelerated over the last four weeks, pushing commercial crude inventories within a whisker of the record set in April.

Crude imports surged to 8.3 million barrels per day (bpd) last week, up from 7.0 million bpd four weeks earlier, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (tmsnrt.rs/1NV47Y4).

Dec 17, 2015

Oil makes only one promise and that’s volatility: Kemp

By John Kemp

LONDON, Dec 15 Just about the only thing we know about where oil prices are headed over the next few years is that most of the forecasts will be wrong.

The oil market has defied every attempt to fix or predict prices in terms of oil’s value to customers, the marginal cost of production, or the price of available substitutes.

Dec 17, 2015

Hedge funds add to record bearish positions in oil

Rather than taking profits, hedge funds continued to add to their record bearish positions after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) failed to reach agreement on a production target at the start of the month.

By Dec. 8, hedge funds and other money managers had accumulated short positions in the main WTI and Brent futures and options contracts equivalent to 364 million barrels.

Dec 17, 2015

Oil makes only one promise and that’s volatility

Just about the only thing we know about where oil prices are headed over the next few years is that most of the forecasts will be wrong.

The oil market has defied every attempt to fix or predict prices in terms of oil’s value to customers, the marginal cost of production, or the price of available substitutes.

Dec 17, 2015

Britain’s motorists should thank Ali Naimi for cheap fuel: Kemp

Britain’s motorists have Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi to thank as the country’s supermarkets cut the price of petrol to less than one pound per liter for the first time in six years.

Morrisons, the country’s fourth-largest grocer, has cut the price of unleaded gasoline to 99.9 pence per liter, the lowest price excluding special promotions since 2009, and other supermarkets are expected follow, according to the BBC.

Dec 17, 2015

Oil producers offset fall in prices by raising output: Kemp

The first response of commodity producers to a drop in prices is normally to increase production – ensuring price falls become deeper and more prolonged.

Producers attempt to make up in volume what they have lost in prices. But what might be rational for one is disastrous collectively.

Dec 17, 2015

Yamani legacy haunts the oil market: Kemp

“All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs,” wrote British politician Enoch Powell.

Saudi Arabia’s veteran Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi may wonder if he is destined to become the scapegoat for the current collapse in oil prices which is inflicting so much damage on the kingdom’s finances and economy.

Dec 17, 2015

Oil storage business is booming: Kemp

By John Kemp

Dec 3 Oil producers may be struggling as a result of low prices but the oil storage business has never been in better shape.

U.S. refiners, traders and logistics companies added an extra 11 million barrels of working storage capacity for crude oil between March and September, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Dec 17, 2015

Expensive oil options point to fear of sudden price move: Kemp

Oil options are becoming increasingly expensive as the market waits nervously for the outcome of the OPEC meeting in Vienna and eyes the large concentration of bearish bets by hedge funds.

Most oil analysts and investors expect OPEC will leave its production target unchanged at 30 million barrels per day or even increase it slightly to accommodate the return of Indonesia to membership.

Dec 17, 2015

Shorting OPEC, hedge funds leave crude prices at risk from recoil: Kemp

As ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries head to Vienna, hedge funds have almost never been more bearish about the outlook for oil prices.

Hedge funds and other money managers held short positions in the main WTI and Brent crude futures and options contracts amounting to 294 million barrels on Nov. 24, according to regulators.

    • About John

      "John joined Reuters in 2008 as one of its first financial columnists, specialising in commodities and energy. While his main focus is on oil markets, he has written broadly on the emergence of commodities as an asset class, regulatory issues and macroeconomic themes. Before joining Reuters, John spent seven years as a senior analyst for Sempra Commodities (now part of JP Morgan) covering base metals and crude oil. Previously, he worked as an analyst on world trade, banking and financial regulation for consultancy Oxford Analytica."
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