International Maritime Associates (IMA) is a firm of business consultants specializing in market analysis and strategic planning for companies in the marine and offshore sectors.
February 14, 2019Jim McCaul — IMA/World Energy Reports has just completed a twelve month detailed assessment of the floating liquefaction and regasification market. The 150+ page study examines future market opportunities
February 12, 2019Jim McCaul — Floating production storage and offloading vessels (FPSOs) are by far the most popular type of floating production system. They account for two thirds of the oil/gas production floaters now
April 15, 2017Jim McCaul -- Orders for production floaters have finally begun to flow. The break came early this year when contracts for a production semi for use in the GOM and an FPSO for use off Malaysia were awarded.
December 12, 2016Jim McCaul -- Donald Trump’s presidential win and Republican sweep of the US government in November – along with OPEC’s oil production cuts in December -- have injected new dynamics into the US energy
April 28, 2016Jim McCaul -- No question that the market for new floating production systems has taken a battering. The past 12 to 18 months have been a difficult period for everyone in the business sector. Absence of
by Jim McCaul 15 February 2019
US crude inventory has been hovering between 430 and 450 million barrels since early December. Current US inventory is at the top of this range, around 6% above the five year average for this time of year.
Increasing US crude production is at least partially responsible for the above average inventory. Crude production in the US is now 25% higher than the average production over the past five years. Friction in the delivery chain will cause the inventory level to increase as total production increases.
There are indications that crude supply is beginning to decrease. US shale producers have cut back on production, crude imports in the US over the past four weeks are down 11.2% from last year and tanker tracking data indicate a decline in Saudi crude shipments.
Meanwhile, Brent crude has traded in the range of $53 to $66 since the beginning of the year. As of 15 February Brent is trading around $66.50, the high thus far for 2019.
Market sentiment has turned positive -- for the time being. Most analysts expect that the OPEC+ supply curtailment deal will ultimately rebalance supply and demand and provide support for higher oil prices. The Saudis are targeting getting crude prices back to the $80 range.
But a bill in the US Congress to enable the Justice Department to sue OPEC+ members for antitrust violations has the potential to disrupt OPEC efforts to limit oil supply. Penalties for collusion under the Sherman Antitrust Act are draconian -- and if the "No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act" law is enacted oil pricing could become volatile.
And slowing Chinese economic growth + weaknesses in the European economies add to the difficulty in bringing crude demand and supply back into balance.
Jim is the founder and manager of IMA, a consulting firm providing market analysis, competitive benchmarking and business planning support in the maritime and offshore sectors. Over the past 40 years IMA has performed more than 350 business consulting assignments for 170+ clients in 40+ countries.
One of the firm’s specialties is analyzing requirements for floating production systems. IMA has published more than 60 reports since 1996 analyzing this business sector and has been engaged by numerous clients to assist in analyzing specific market opportunities in the floating production sector.
Jim is also the co-founder of IMA/World Energy Reports, a New York based business intelligence service for the floating production supply chain.