US Oil Rig Count Collapses At Fastest Rate In A Year

Rig counts dropped for the 9th straight week but for the 3rd week in a row, US oil rig counts dropped heavily (down 26 this week after -28, and -31 in the last 2 weeks). The 85 rig drop is a 17% plunge over 3 weeks - the fastest pace since Feb 2015, and 2nd fastest since Feb 2009.

WTI Crude Tumbles Back Below $30

As yesterday's DOE report - and later details from Genscape - hint at storage concerns becoming critical so overnight weakness in WTI crude is accelerating with the current front-month (March) which is set to roll, dropping back below $30, erasing the OPEC-Russia hype gains...

These Activist Investors Have Been Crushed By The Oil Rout

Thirteen activist investors with the largest fund exposure to the energy sector have suffered a combined $9.2 billion in unrealized paper losses in 2015, according to quarterly filings analyzed by hedge fund data firm But nobody's combined loss is as big as that of Carl Icahn.

Frontrunning: February 19

  • Stocks knocked back as oil rally falters (Reuters)
  • Still no deal for Britain on EU reforms after all-night talks (Reuters)
  • Oil Falls Near $30 as Rising U.S. Crude Stockpiles Expand Glut (BBG)
  • PBOC to Raise Reserve Ratios for Banks That Don't Meet Criteria (BBG)
  • China’s Top Securities Regulator to Step Down (WSJ)

Bilal Erdogan Accused Of Money Laundering In Italy

Bilal Erdogan, son of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and alleged patron saint of Islamic State's illicit oil trafficking enterprise, is being accused on money laundering in Italy. His lawyers "have nothing to say."

Oil Plunges After DOE Reports Across-The-Board Inventory Builds

The exuberance following last night's surprising inventory draw from API has been erased as DOE reports inventory builds across the entire energy complex - crude +2.15mm, distillates +1.4mm, gasoline +3.04mm, and Cushing +36k. WTI Crude has dropped back below $31, erasing API-driven overnight gains.

First Iran, Now Iraq Refuses To Commit To Oil Production Freeze

Yesterday, as part of its own meeting, Iran made it clear that while it supports efforts to push the price of oil higher, it would certainly not limit its output at current levels, and instead requires an explicit loophole granting it a production limit from the pre-sanctions period. This put OPEC in a bind: if it grants Iran special treatment, then who else will have a similar request. The answer was revealed just hours later when Iraq earlier today stopped short of saying it would curb production of oil to prop up sagging prices, saying negotiations are still ongoing between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Biggest Short Squeeze In 7 Years Continues After Bullard Hints At More QE, OECD Cuts Global Forecasts

Just when traders thought that the biggest and most violent 3-day short squeeze in 7 years was about to end a squeeze that has resulted in 3 consecutve 1%+ sessions for the S&P for the first time since October 2011, overnight we got one of the Fed's biggest faux-hakws, St. Louis Fed's Jim Bullard, who said that it would be "unwise" to continue hiking rates at this moment, and hinted that "if needed", the most natural option for the Fed going forward would be to do further Q.E.