The rig count is dropping, but crude inventories continue to grow. In fact, EnerCom’s Crude Oil Cuttings inventory report is at risk of expanding the maximum range of barrels, a move we’ve never been prompted to make.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced yet another build that exceeded analyst estimates, reporting gains of 8,874 barrels for the week ended January 23, 2015. The gain pushed total inventories up to 406,727 barrels, the highest on record. Based on Bloomberg data reaching back to the 1980’s, the total has never cracked the 400,000 mark.
Total gains in the last three works have amounted to 24,334 barrels overall. It is the largest three-week gain since March of 2001.
In the meantime, rig counts have dropped by 178 since January 2. Currently, a fleet of 1,633 rigs are in the field. In December, Cowen & Co. predicted as many as 500 rigs would vanish from the field in comparison to peak Q4’14 numbers.
“Should [$65 to $70 WTI] continue for the whole year we could go well below 1,300 rigs in the second half of 2015,” said the report. “Given modest improvement in the oil price in the second half we forecast a decline in rig activity to about 1,400 rigs in the US in the second half for an average US rig count of 1,515 (down by 18% from our forecast average of 1,855 in 2014). Our 2016 forecast is 1,500.”
Earlier this week, the EIA said production will remain steady despite the reduced rig activity, possibly through 2016. A backlog of wells that have yet to be completed will only add to the amount of oncoming production. The backlog in the majority of plays range from about three to seven months.
Important disclosures: The information provided herein is believed to be reliable; however, EnerCom, Inc. makes no representation or warranty as to its completeness or accuracy. EnerCom’s conclusions are based upon information gathered from sources deemed to be reliable. This note is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or financial instrument of any company mentioned in this note. This note was prepared for general circulation and does not provide investment recommendations specific to individual investors. All readers of the note must make their own investment decisions based upon their specific investment objectives and financial situation utilizing their own financial advisors as they deem necessary. Investors should consider a company’s entire financial and operational structure in making any investment decisions. Past performance of any company discussed in this note should not be taken as an indication or guarantee of future results. EnerCom is a multi-disciplined management consulting services firm that regularly intends to seek business, or currently may be undertaking business, with companies covered on Oil & Gas 360®, and thereby seeks to receive compensation from these companies for its services. In addition, EnerCom, or its principals or employees, may have an economic interest in any of these companies. As a result, readers of EnerCom’s Oil & Gas 360® should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this note. The company or companies covered in this note did not review the note prior to publication. EnerCom, or its principals or employees, may have an economic interest in any of the companies covered in this report or on Oil & Gas 360®. As a result, readers of EnerCom’s reports or Oil & Gas 360® should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report.