Senior Market Analyst, Commodities and Energy
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Aug 6, 2015

U.S. refiners find the oil market’s sweet spot: Kemp

LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Low crude prices and strong demand
for gasoline are creating near-perfect conditions for oil
refineries across the United States, especially those geared
towards maximising gasoline production.

Valero, the country’s largest independent refiner, made a
gross margin of more than $13 on every barrel of oil processed
in the second quarter, and a net margin of almost $8.50, both
the highest since 2007.

Aug 4, 2015

Oil industry frets about another lost decade: Kemp

LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Oil is an inherently cyclical
business. The point is remarkably simple but it is amazing how
often it gets forgotten by forecasters and investors.

In the century and a half since the modern oil industry was
founded with the drilling of Edwin Drake’s well in 1859, real
prices have doubled in the space of three years on no fewer than
six separate occasions, and halved on four (

Aug 3, 2015

Caught in the cross-fire – non-OPEC, non-shale producers: Kemp

LONDON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – The biggest losers from the
current price war between OPEC and the shale producers seem set
to be producers outside the Middle East and North America caught
in the cross-fire.

Expensive production from the North Sea, Canada’s oil sands,
offshore megaprojects, weaker African and Latin American members
of OPEC, and frontier exploration areas around the world are all
being squeezed hard by the price slump.

Jul 30, 2015

U.S. oil storage becomes big business: Kemp

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) – Commercial crude stocks across
the United States rose by 105 million barrels early this year to
peak at 490 million barrels, the highest level in eight decades.

Despite some draw downs in recent weeks, which have reduced
inventories to 460 million barrels, stocks are still 92 million
barrels higher than this time last year (

Jul 27, 2015

Hedge funds are most bearish on U.S. oil since 2010: Kemp

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) – Hedge funds are more bearish
about the outlook for U.S. oil prices than at any time for
almost five years, according to data from the U.S. Commodity
Futures Trading Commission.

Hedge funds and other money managers had a net long position
in WTI-linked futures and options equivalent to just 118 million
barrels of oil on July 21, down from a recent high of 294
million barrels 11 weeks earlier (

Jul 24, 2015

U.S. SPR oil sale before strategic review would be a mistake: Kemp

LONDON (Reuters) – “The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is not an ATM,” Lisa Murkowski, chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee warned the Senate this week. “It is certainly not the petty cash drawer for Congress.”

The senator from Alaska was criticizing a proposal to sell 101 million barrels of crude from the government’s stocks to offset a shortfall in funding in the highway trust fund.

Jul 24, 2015

U.S. oil imports rise, WTI contango deepens: Kemp

LONDON (Reuters) – Futures prices are making it increasingly profitable to store surplus crude in the United States, coinciding with a strong period of oil imports and a further build up of already swollen stockpiles.

WTI crude futures prices imply the market is paying more than 61 cents per month to cover the cost of financing and storing oil at the Cushing delivery hub during the fourth quarter of 2015.

Jul 22, 2015

North Dakota oil well completions slow sharply: Kemp

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) – No new well completion reports
have been filed in North Dakota since July 10, the longest gap
this year, according to daily activity records published by the
state’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR).

Completions, rather than wells drilled, provide the best
guide to short-term changes in output, since operators can
always delay completing a well and putting it into production,
either because they are waiting for completion crews to be
available or to wait for better prices.

Jul 21, 2015

California drivers pay dearly for refinery problems: Kemp

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) – California motorists are paying
$1 per gallon more for gasoline than drivers in the rest of the
country as problems at state refineries leave the state fuel
market unusually tight.

The average price of gasoline sold in the state was $3.95
per gallon on Monday, compared with a nationwide average of
$2.89, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration

Jul 20, 2015

Hedge funds turn unusually bearish on oil: Kemp

LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) – Hedge funds and other money
managers have rarely been so bearish about the outlook for oil
prices, according to the latest positioning data from the U.S.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Hedge funds boosted short positions in futures and options
linked to the price of U.S. crude to 138 million barrels by July
14, from 84 million four weeks earlier. Over the same period,
they cut long positions from 340 million to 292 million barrels.

    • 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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