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Crude Oil To Bust Through on Supply Concerns By Dian L. Chu, EconForecast Since the start of the New Year, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil have been moving with significant bearish sentiment (SeeChart) mostly on a lot of profit taking going around in the commodity space, and also on concerns over the high inventory and that supplies would exceed demand. The latest jobs report only further fanned the pessimism.

However, there are two new events that could turn the market around quickly before you can say “what happened?” Shutdown - Canadian Upgrader First, there was a fire on Jan. 6 at an oil sands upgrader (that’s where bitumen is converted to synthetic crude oil), which forced Canadian Natural ResourcesLtd. to shut production at its 110,000barrels per day (bpd) Horizon oil sands project.

Canadais the top region where the United States gets its crude oil and petroleum product imports. This 110,000bpd capacity is almost 6%of the U.S.daily import volume from Canada. Shutdown - Alaska Pipeline Then, the Trans Alaska Pipeline, which is owned by BP, ConocoPhilips,Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Koch Industries Inc., had to shut down on Saturday Jan. 8, after a leak was discovered at Prudhoe Bay. (Talk about how BPjust can’t get a break.) The 800-mile pipeline carries about 15%of U.S.oil production. Oil producers reportedly are in the processof cutting 95%of output, which is normally around 630,000bpd. So far, there’s no estimate as to how long the shutdown will last. Worse Than Hurrican Ivan These two outagescould potentially cut the U.S. crude supply by up to 709,000barrels per day. That’s about 8%of the U.S.crude import, and around 3.6%of U.S.consumption. To put it in perspective, this 709,000bpd volume is more than the disruption caused by Hurricane Ivan. When Ivan hit the U.S.Gulf in 2004, it took down about one third of the oil output in the region, which is around 1.6 million bpd. OPEC Eyeing $110 a Barrel Last but not least, several OPECmembers are increasinly talking about how the Cartel would not act unless crude crosses$110 a barrel. This new tightened supply picture, couple with OPECtalks will most likely turn crude oil to move on its own momentum. As such, there will be new money coming into the market, more upward pressure, and lots short covering.

Breaking Above $93 on Supply Concerns From a technical standpoint, there’s a high probability that crude could easily top $91 a barrel as early as Monday, Jan 10, from the current $88.41price point, before busting through $93 a barrel levels by end of the week on supply concerns. And also look for WTI to outperform Brent during the week. Disclosure: No Positions

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Crude Oil Bust through Supply and Demand  

crude oil in 2011 and the years to come.. supply vs. demand