WTI and Brent crude futures are little changed on the day, with buoyant regional equity indices providing some cushion for crude during Asia-Pac dealing. This has allowed crude futures to consolidate Thursday’s $3.00+ gains, with continued worry surrounding tight U.S. refined product markets ahead of driving season and the bid in equity markets cited as the major drivers behind yesterday’s gains. Note that WTI is on course to lodge a fifth straight round of weekly gains based on current price levels.
- When it comes to tight U.S. product markets, BBG sources have reported that “the Biden administration is reaching out to the oil industry to inquire about restarting shuttered refineries, as the White House scrambles to address record high- gasoline prices that are setting off political alarm bells ahead of the midterm elections.”
- Elsewhere, the elongated EU discussions re: the next round of Russian sanctions continue to drag on. Thursday saw Hungary note that it needs 3 to 4 years to move away from Russian oil, with such a move requiring huge investment. A Hungarian official used an interview with RTRS to stress that any deal with the EU re: a Russian crude embargo must address all of the country’s concerns.
- When it comes to wider demand for Russian oil, Kpler has flagged a record level of Russian oil aboard tankers, with most of that cargo bound for India & China.