Crude Observations

Mothers Day and Stuff

Happy Mother’s Day to all who celebrate. Which really should be all of us, except of course Frankenstein’s monster who was kind of assembled, but I guess all the parts had maternal origins? Sorry. Good lord, where in the world was I actually going with that?


At any rate, happy Mother’s Day and don’t forget to think of all those whose mothers are no longer with us and spouses, siblings and progeny who are themselves mothers. That’s a lot of celebrating to do but in all seriousness, why not? Make it a week, a month, even a year.


I think I have finally figured out my biweekly blog dilemma and it goes thus. First off, I will still write substantive blogs, hoping that the less is more truism holds. In off weeks, I am going to go back to the basics and start up the sharing of energy stats along with (very) minor commentary. This week is an off week. And my weird Mother’s Day commentary above is technically not market commentary.


As it regards the market – WITAF? Am I right? It has been a long time since we have had to endure this kind of goofy roller coaster ride with prices beginning and ending the week at what seems to be the same level but having to endure multiple standard deviations around that range.


Don’t even get me started on the near perfect correlation between oil stocks and the US regional bank index. It’s bizarre. Does this mean that the Fed is going to step in and save… Exxon? By guaranteeing the deposits of and thus stabilizing the Bank of Hawaii?


Oh, and first some non-partisan non-market commentary for everyone to consider. The redesign of the Canadian passport that has engendered so much angst over the past few days? It’s awful. And not for partisan reasons or the hand-wringing over the erasure of history. It’s just… bad design. And boring. I have said here, quite often, that Canada is addicted to mediocrity. This redesign is clip-art, committee-based design at its worst. A focus group and consensus-driven attempt to not offend which has only succeeded in inflaming the usual suspects even further. What a self-own by a government that, while addicted to sub-contracting, doesn’t seem to have been able to sub-contract this. I am not sure who thought it would be a good idea to offend Canadian Veterans, the Terry Fox Foundation, First Nations and further divide the country on a random Tuesday in May, but here we are. 37 pages of cartoons of upstate New York and a narwhal. Welcome to Canada. Intentionally blah.


On to the market stats.


Prices as at May 12, 2023

  • Oil prices are down for the week (boo!) again. WCS gap widens.
  • Storage posted a decrease week over week once
  • Production held flat after up-week
  • Rig Counts: Alberta up marginally; US down week over week
  • Natural gas storage above last year; above the 5-year avg
  • WTI Crude: $70.10 ($71.33)
  • Western Canada Select: $56.71 ($56.98)
  • AECO Spot: $2.18 ($2.10)
  • NYMEX Gas: 2.36 ($2.163)
  • US/Canadian Dollar: $0.735 ($0.746)



  • As at May 5, 2023, US crude oil supplies were at 462.6 million barrels, an increase of 3.0 million barrels from the previous week and an increase of 38.4 million barrels above last year.
    • The number of days oil supply in storage is 29.3 compared to 27.1 last year at this time.
    • Production was flat for the week at 12.300 million barrels per day. Production last year at the same time was 11.800 million barrels per day.
    • Imports decreased to 5.553 million barrels from 6.396 million barrels per day compared to 6.269 million barrels per day last year.
    • Crude exports from the US fell to 2.876 million barrels per day from 4.737 million barrels per day last week compared to 2.879 million barrels per day a year ago
    • Canadian exports to the US were 3.269 million barrels a day
    • Refinery inputs rose during the during the week to 15.745 million barrels per day
  • As at May 5, 2023, US natural gas in storage was 2,141 billion cubic feet (Bcf), which is 18% higher than the 5-year average and about 31.2% higher than last year’s level, following an implied net increase of 78 Bcf during the report week
    • Overall U.S. natural gas consumption fell by 7.3% during the report week.
    • Production was down 1.2% for the week. Imports from Canada fell 4.7% from the week before. Exports to Mexico were virtually unchanged for the week at 5.8 Bcf per day.
    • LNG exports totaled 90 Bcf for the week.
  • As of May 12, 2023, the Canadian rig count was up 1 at 94 (AB – 69; BC – 21; SK – 2; MB – 0; Other – 2). Rig count for the same period last year was 88.
  • US Onshore Oil rig count at May 12, 2023 is at 586, down 2 from the week prior.
  • Natural gas rigs drilling in the United States were down 16 at 141.
  • Offshore rig count was up 2 at 22.
  • US split of Oil vs Gas rigs is 81%/19%, in Canada the split is 40%/60%

Bizarro Factoid of the Week

Mexico, which has no substantial gas production of its own, relying instead on US GOM and Permian supplies delivered to it by pipelines built and operated by none other than Canada’s own TC Energy, has decided it is time to get into the LNG export game, because apparently there is a business case for remarketing someone else’s gas. The only way this would be more embarrassing for Canada is if they were proposing to use Montney gas supplied by, for example, Tourmaline.

Crude Observations
Sign up for the Stormont take on the latest industry news »

Recent Posts