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Chevron Shares Slide After Recording Historic Quarterly Loss

Chevron Shares Slide After Recording Historic Quarterly Loss

Chevron Corporation reported a loss of $8.3 billion for the second-quarter 2020, the worst quarterly decline in a generation, and warned: “COVID-19 significantly reduced demand for our products and lowered commodity prices.” 

Chevron lost $1.59 per share on an adjusted basis while recording revenues around $13.49 billion. In the same quarter last year, the oil giant earned $2.27 per share on $36.32 billion. 

The earnings bloodbath was mostly due to a collapse in demand for the company’s energy products and a 60% YoY plunge in its average price per barrel of oil and natural gas liquids. h/t Bloomberg 

The quarterly loss was also due to a massive write-down of $1.8 billion in energy assets. The company fully impaired its $2.6 billion Venezuela operations from its books following U.S. sanctions. 

Chevron shares slid 3% on the earnings announcement. 

“The past few months have presented unique challenges,” said Michael Wirth, Chevron CEO, in a statement.

 “The economic impact of the response to COVID-19 significantly reduced demand for our products and lower commodity prices. Given the uncertainties associated with economic recovery and ample oil and gas supplies, we made a downward revision to our commodity price outlook, which resulted in asset impairments and other charges,” said Wirth. 

Chevron warned, “demand and commodity prices have shown signs of recovery, they are not back to pre-pandemic levels, and financial results may continue to be depressed into the third quarter of 2020.” 

Despite the considerable loss, Wirth claimed the company would “protect the dividend, invest for long term value, and maintain a strong balance sheet.”

But, it is hard to believe Chevron can justify maintaining its dividend at such a high cost with the economy now reversing and demand for energy products likely to falter in the back half of the year. 

Update on the WTF Collapse of Demand for Gasoline, Jet Fuel, and Diesel

Update on the WTF Collapse of Demand for Gasoline, Jet Fuel, and Diesel

No “V-shaped recovery back to normal.”

Demand for gasoline collapsed in a stunning and historic manner, starting in mid-March when the measures to slow down the spread of the pandemic took effect, when working from home became the new thing, and when millions of people lost their jobs on a weekly basis and stopped driving to work. Gasoline consumption, after bottoming out in the week ended April 3 with a year-over-year plunge of -48%, to 6.7 million barrels per day, the lowest in the EIA’s data going back to 1991, the great recovery began – and fizzled.

Gasoline consumption in the week ended June 12, at 7.87 million barrels per day, was still down 20.7% year-over-year, according to data reported by the EIA today. It has been about the same 20% year-over-year decline four weeks in a row:

The EIA measures weekly consumption in terms of product supplied, such as by refineries and blenders, and not by retail sales at gas stations.

The level of gasoline consumption of 7.87 million barrels per day is still below any pre-pandemic consumption levels since the week in September 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. The WTF moment came in late March and April, when gasoline consumption collapsed. Even now, gasoline consumption remains below the low points during the Great Recession. And this is the beginning of driving season!

Gasoline hasn’t been exactly a booming business since around 2005. The decline in consumption during the Great Recession was followed by a recovery and finally new records starting in 2016. In other words, no growth for a decade.

Jet fuel.

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Is Gasoline Demand Really Slipping?

Is Gasoline Demand Really Slipping?

Gas pump

Genscape’s Weekly Gasoline Demand Report data shows relatively flat growth in weekly year-on-year demand for September through November. On the other hand, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Weekly Products Supplied data has shown year-on-year declines over the same period despite lower gasoline prices.

Our data shows U.S. total motor gasoline spot prices averaged $1.56/gal on November 28, down almost $0.70/gal from the high of $2.25/gal on October 2, pushing prices to the lowest level since June 30, 2017. Gasoline demand generally increases during prolonged periods of low prices, casting doubt on the demand declines.

What’s Going On?

Genscape analyzed this discrepancy and found the root cause lies in the methodology differences between our data and the EIA. While our data is based on actual gasoline liftings from rack locations headed to gas stations/consumption points, EIA Product Supplied data, both weekly and monthly, is a calculation of implied demand for refined products. The EIA uses a combination of survey components, production, inputs, stock change, ethanol adjustment, imports, and exports in a formula to estimate demand.

This disparity between the two numbers appears to be related to the recent decrease in gasoline imports and increase in gasoline export levels, two factors that the EIA includes in its formula to calculate Products Supplied. By adding imports and subtracting exports, this shift change in recent import/export patterns has had a depressive effect on the Weekly EIA Products Supplied level, showing declining year-on-year demand during a time of sharply falling prices at the pump. The basis for the Genscape Weekly Gasoline Demand Report is total U.S. rack liftings, sourced from our Supply Side data. These rack liftings represent the movements of gasoline from secondary (rack) terminals to retail stations.

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Hurricane Michael’s Impact On Gasoline Demand

Hurricane Michael’s Impact On Gasoline Demand

Fuel pump

Gasoline demand increased in the Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia, and South Carolina ahead of Hurricane Michael’s arrival to the areas, but repercussions to demand appeared to focus on rack cities in the direct path of the storm, according to our Supply Side daily rack volume data. The increased rack activity provided some uplift to PADD 1C demand Oct. 7 to 10. Daily rack activity on Oct. 9 jumped to the highest daily level since the approach of Hurricane Florence to the Carolinas in September.

Michael’s long-term ramifications to supply are not yet obvious. Ports along the upper Gulf Coast and southern Atlantic Coast closed either completely or to inbound traffic starting Oct. 9. Restrictions on ports in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia remained as of Oct. 12, with Savannah and Charleston reopening Oct. 11. Gasoline supply in these five states relies upon waterborne barge movements from the U.S. Gulf Coast (PADD 3) and cargo imports. To add to the constrained inflows, Colonial Pipeline reported power outages at delivery facilities in southern Georgia on Oct. 11. Colonial assessed damages and impacts to Line 17, which runs from Atlanta to Bainbridge, GA, off Colonial’s 2.6mn bpd mainline system.

Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Oct. 10 near Mexico Beach, FL, with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph—the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the Florida Panhandle in recorded history and the fourth strongest Atlantic tropical cyclone to hit the U.S. mainland. When Michael moved into Georgia on the evening of Oct. 10, the storm became the most intense disturbance to hit the state since 1898. The cyclone made its way through Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. As of Oct. 12, Michael was a post-tropical cyclone off the coast of Delaware, heading northeast towards open water.

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Refiners Boost Output, But Irma Could Dent Demand

Refiners Boost Output, But Irma Could Dent Demand

Refinery

Texas continues to recover from Hurricane Harvey, and many of the disrupted refineries are ramping up production once again. But the ripple effects from the outages are still being felt, and some Midwestern refineries are benefitting from surging margins stemming from the havoc.

Bakken Midwest refining margins more than doubled between August 23 and September 1, according to S&P Global Platts, jumping from $9 per barrel to temporarily over $20 per barrel, although they have since fallen back a bit.

The margins are inflated because of gasoline shortages in certain parts of the country, the unfortunate consequence of the massive refinery outages along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Harvey. Refining margins were also helped along by the initial downward pressure that WTI exhibited as crude oil backed up without any place to go.

That means that refineries outside of the Gulf Coast could temporarily enjoy super profits. September is typically a time of the year when refineries undergo some maintenance and retool to prepare for winter fuel blends, but few are likely to take their plants offline in this market. “Nearly every refinery outside Louisiana and Texas is operating near full capacity,” Thomas Pugh, commodities economist at Capital Economics, told the Wall Street Journal.

“Refineries outside the affected area may delay maintenance to benefit from high processing margins,” Commerzbank oil analyst Carsten Fritsch said in late August. “Hence, the negative impact on crude oil demand and oil product supply might be less severe than feared.”

Indeed, refineries unaffected by Hurricane Harvey have been called into action, but the ramp up has its own consequences. As Midwestern refineries scramble to produce at max capacity, the demand for crude is pushing up benchmark prices in the region. Bakken crude started trading at a large premium relative to WTI as supplies tightened. From S&P Global Platts:

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Largest East Coast Pipeline Reveals Demand For Gasoline Is Crashing

Largest East Coast Pipeline Reveals Demand For Gasoline Is Crashing

There’s a reason this week’s EIA survey showing gasoline and oil supplies declining has failed to stop RBOB prices from collapsing to 7-month lows: The start of the summer has done nothing to revive sluggish demand. That’s because despite what the EIA survey said, little has been done to reduce record fuel inventories.

The squeeze has gotten so bad, Northeast Colonial Pipeline Co., the operator of the biggest US fuel pipeline system, said that demand to transport gasoline to the country’s populous northeast is the weakest in six years, the latest symptom of a global oil market grappling with oversupply. It’s notable that this peak has arrived despite the advent of the summer driving season, which has seen gasoline demand pull back from last year’s record highs, according to Reuters.

Because of the oversupply in the northeast, “line space”… the cost of renting “space” on the pipeline to assure one’s ability to get supplies of gasoline when necessary… has gone negative, according to Reuters. What can be more exemplary of excess inventories and of reduced demand for gasoline than this?

Refiners are in part to blame for the problem – they have continued to pump motor fuel at record levels for the second year in a row, worsening the oversupply problem, for fear of losing access to pipeline capacity.

More broadly, attempts by large producers to reduce global supplies have failed to meaningfully raise the price of oil.  And with good reason: Traders have been skeptical of an agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers, including Russia, to extend last year’s supply cut, and already they’re concerns are being validated: Iraq has said it plans to increase production later this year despite the agreement.

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America’s “Soaring” Gasoline And Oil Demand Was Just An Illusion: How The EIA Fooled The Algos

America’s “Soaring” Gasoline And Oil Demand Was Just An Illusion: How The EIA Fooled The Algos

When it comes to “real-time” measurements of crude demand and supply, the data is notoriously bad (and perhaps, according to some, intentionally manipulated). We pointed this out most recently in early March when we that according to IEA data, crude oil production exceeded consumption by an average of 0.9 million barrels per day in 2014 and 2.0 million bpd in 2015. Of this 1 billion barrels which the IEA said was produced but not consumer, some 420 million are said to be stored on land in OECD member countries and another 75 million can be found stored at sea or in transit by tanker somewhere from the oil fields to the refineries. This means that as of this moment, about 550 million “missing barrels” are unaccounted for “apparently produced but not consumed and not visible in the inventory statistics.

However, it is not only data at the annual level that is flawed: monthly, and especially weekly data is just as, if not even more distorted. In fact, as Bloomberg’s oil energy analyst Julian Lee asks, “could it be that the U.S. demand that’s helped drive a near doubling of oil prices since mid-February was illusory?

Lee is referring to a major discrepancy in DoE reporting which through the Energy Information Administration, produces two sets of U.S. demand data that drive sentiment and influence trading. The first shows monthly figures. They’re two months out of date, but they give the most accurate assessment of what’s going on in the world’s largest oil-consuming country.

The second set of numbers come out each Wednesday, giving preliminary estimates for the previous week. For crude markets these weekly figures – though less reliable – are arguably more important, largely because they’re bang up to date.

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Drilling Efficiency To Keep Oil Prices Low

Drilling Efficiency To Keep Oil Prices Low

Economics 101 tells us that prices in a free market are set by the interaction of supply and demand. The world oil markets have gotten a graphic lesson in that truth over the last year, as the dramatic surge in US oil production has met stagnant demand. This, in turn, has pushed down spot prices by nearly half.

The recent uptick in oil prices, however, has buoyed hopes among market watchers that a strong oil price rally is in order. Unfortunately economics is working against these investors.

Related: $50 Billion Mega Project Could Change South America Forever

Gasoline demand is starting to rise as prices have reached multiyear lows. As it continues to rise, motorists around the world will begin to suck up extra all of that extra supply. That would normally lead to a strong rebound in prices.

But unlike the 2008 fall in oil prices, which was driven by a collapse in demand across the industry, the current price quandary is supply based. And the massive expansion in supply is overwhelming the newfound demand. That may make it more difficult for prices to bounce back.

Over the past few years exploration companies have unlocked extraordinary new unconventional resources like the Alberta oil sands and US shale, leading to a historic increase in supply. More impressive is the fact that even at today’s low prices, there is likely to be some small production increase in 2015.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

 

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