OECD’s Crude Oil Inventories: More Pain for Crude Oil Bulls?



OECD’s crude oil inventories

The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) estimates that OECD’s (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) oil inventories fell by 14.5 MMbbls (million barrels) to 3,076 MMbbls in February 2017—compared to the previous month. OECD’s oil inventories fell 0.5% month-over-month, but rose 2.4% year-over-year. The fall in oil inventories is bullish for crude oil (SCO) (RYE) (DIG) (UCO) (IXC) prices. For more on crude oil prices, read Part 1 of this series.

OPEC’s estimate

OPEC’s (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) Monthly Oil Market report stated that OECD countries’ oil inventories rose by 20.1 MMbbls to 3,022 MMbbls in January 2017—compared to the previous month. The inventories are 278 MMbbls above the five-year average.

IEA’s estimate

The IEA (International Energy Agency) estimates that OECD’s crude oil inventories rose by 48 MMbbls to 3,030 MMbbls in January 2017. It’s the first rise in inventories since July 2016. They’re also above the five-year average.

Oil inventories in 2017 and 2018

OECD’s oil inventories averaged 2,860 MMbbls in 2015. The inventories averaged 3,043 MMbbls in 2016. The EIA expects OECD’s oil inventories to average 3,084 MMbbls and 3,099 MMbbls in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Impact of OECD’s crude oil inventories

Oil inventories were at the highest level ever in January 2017. OECD’s near-record oil inventories will pressure crude oil prices. Lower crude oil prices have a negative impact on crude oil and natural gas producers’ revenues such as Marathon Oil (MRO), Chevron (CVX), Synergy Resources (SYRG), and Sanchez Energy (SN). 

Crude oil price forecasts  

Commerzbank expects that Brent crude oil prices could trade between $50 and $60 per barrel in 2017 due to near-record US crude oil inventories and rising US crude oil production. Read Will Crude Oil Prices Test 3 Digits Again? and Hedge Funds Reduced Their Bullish Bets on Crude Oil for more on crude oil price forecasts.

Read What Can Investors Expect in the Crude Oil Market in 2017 for more on crude oil prices.

For related analysis, visit Market Realist’s Energy and Power page.

More From Market Realist