【英语财经】石油市场对伊拉克忍耐有限 Turmoil in Iraq sounds alert for crude oil prices

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2014-6-25 06:29

小艾摘要: Increasing violence in Iraq, Opec’s second-largest oilproducer, has spooked many markets, including oil. It has also elicited loudpunditry about an emerging oil crisis, a need for the US to releasest ...
Turmoil in Iraq sounds alert for crude oil prices
Increasing violence in Iraq, Opec’s second-largest oil

producer, has spooked many markets, including oil. It has also elicited loud

punditry about an emerging oil crisis, a need for the US to release

strategic petroleum reserves and significantly higher prices throwing a monkey

wrench into plans for global economic growth. But what are markets actually

saying?

So far, the oil market’s reaction has been fairly benign. At most, there is a

$5 premium in spot prices and perhaps a risk premium half that size in forward

prices. Spot prices of Brent crude oil jumped 4.5 per cent (about $5 a barrel)

on the fall of Mosul and the spreading

territorial control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as Isis)

over central Iraq.

Deferred (five-year) prices also jumped, albeit by a more modest 3 per cent

($3, to about $98) on the heels of consumer hedging. Prices barely budged after

military conflict emerged around the Baiji refinery that provides diesel and

gasoline for Baghdad.

No disruption yet

There has been no impact on Iraqi exports so far. The only disruption took

place in March, the last time the pipeline delivering crude from the Kirkuk field in the north to Ceyhan in Turkey was

blown up.

Exports from the south are set to reach 2.8m b/d next month, a 30-year high,

and could grow further now that new export infrastructure is in place. Exports

from the northern Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) area are about 120,000b/d

and remain well out of harm’s way.

Pending an agreement on revenue sharing, which looks more likely given Baghdad’s need for cash,

production could rise by another 100,000b/d for the KRG by year-end.

At stake is the

650,000b/d of other northern production in the so-called Sunni triangle

including Kirkuk.

That is already down to about 400,000b/d given the closing of Kirkuk production, now under KRG control. But

no additional export flows are threatened.

Perhaps misleadingly, the International Energy Agency has indicated that its

estimated call on Opec for 2014 will be 30.1m b/d, versus recent Opec

production of about 30m b/d, indicating that markets might already be tight.

But the agency is positing US oil production growth this year of 850,000b/d

versus year-to-date growth of 1.35m b/d.

The IEA also projects US natural gas liquids production rising by 276,000b/d

this year, but already in the first quarter it rose by 178,000b/d. Add up

surprising growth in other places, including Colombia and Argentina, and the

world looks better supplied this year than the IEA indicates.

That does not make the events unfolding in Iraq significantly less worrying

for oil markets. Before the Libyan crisis the level of oil flows disrupted by

civil unrest or international conflict was normally about 500,000b/d.

Post-Libya, offline oil-flows have increased, first to about 2m b/d and more

recently to more than 3.5m b/d, including the effect of sanctions on Iran.

Surprisingly, oil prices have not changed much and indeed Brent, the global

benchmark, has averaged close to $110 every quarter since the Libyan crisis, as

lost supplies have been made up by Saudi Arabia using spare capacity and the US

increasing its production by about 1m b/d annually. But with the possibility of

political fragmentation in Iraq,

and with civil unrest emerging elsewhere, there are valid concerns about

reliance on supply from Opec in future.

Other potential consequences must also be considered. Iraq is still sticking to

a production target of more than 8m b/d by 2020, which would involve southern

production ramping up to 6.75m b/d.

The longer term

But for many the bigger issue is not what happens this week or next month but

what Isis’s rapid advance means for the country’s oil industry in the longer

term.

But even under the best case scenario, Iraqi export capacity in the Gulf looks

likely to be capped at 4m b/d. If use of the north-south pipeline is in effect

lost through permanent political fragmentation, global balances would suffer.

Use of pipelines through Turkey

would be required to export more than 4m b/d.

On the other hand, the outlook for production growth in the KRG region has

improved considerably. Ironically, this could result in Iraqi production

actually increasing significantly this year if an agreement is reached on

revenue collection and sharing between Baghdad

and Erbil.

With the KRG’s militia having taken the Kirkuk

field, the possibility exists for interrupted Kirkuk

flows to be brought to market through the KRG’s pipeline to and through Turkey. With

pipeline capacity of 400,000b/d, those flows could increase by as much as

280,000b/d by year-end. In the longer-term, the KRG region could attract more

capital for further development of its oil resources as well. Meanwhile, the

price premium is justified: global markets do not have much more wiggle room

for another supply disruption.

Ed Morse is global head of commodities research at Citi

石油输出国组织(Opec,简称:欧佩克)第二大产油国伊拉克的暴力局势日益升级,在包括石油在内的许多市场引起恐慌。目前的局势还导致以下种种说法甚嚣尘上:石油危机即将爆发,美国需释放战略石油储备,油价显著攀升将导致全球经济增长计划泡汤。但市场传递出的真实信息是什么?

迄今为止,石油市场的反应还算良性。现货价格顶多有5美元的溢价,远期价格的风险溢价大概为5美元的一半。摩苏尔已经陷落,伊拉克和黎凡特伊斯兰国(ISIS)在伊拉克中部控制的领土越来越大,这一局面导致布伦特(Brent)原油现货价格跃升了4.5%(约合每桶5美元)。消费者展开对冲后,远期(5年期)价格也随即跃升,尽管幅度较小,仅为3%(相当于上涨3美元,至每桶98美元左右)。为巴格达供应汽柴油的贝吉(Baiji)炼油厂周边出现军事冲突后,油价几乎没有变化。

供应尚未中断

伊拉克石油出口迄今未受影响。唯一的一次中断还是在今年3月,即从伊拉克北部基尔库克油田至土耳其杰伊汉(Ceyhan)的输油管道上一次被炸之时。

伊拉克南部的石油出口下月将达到每日280万桶,创下30年新高。鉴于新的出口基础设施已经就位,这个数字还可能进一步攀升。伊拉克北部库尔德斯坦地区政府(KRG)控制地区的出口约为每日12万桶,这部分供应目前仍相当安全。

巴格达方面与KRG仍未达成收入分成协议,若协议达成,KRG控制地区的日产量到年底时可能还会增加10万桶。鉴于巴格达方面急需资金,协议达成的可能性似乎加大了。

比较危险的是伊拉克北部其他地区(即所谓的逊尼三角地带(Sunni triangle),包括基尔库克)的65万桶的日产量。鉴于目前处在KRG控制之下的基尔库克已经停产,这一地区的日产量已经降至约40万桶。但除此之外,再无别的供应受到威胁。

国际能源署(IEA)预测欧佩克2014年的日产量将为3010万桶,而欧佩克近期的日产量约为3000万桶,这表明市场或许已经相当紧张。但这一预测或许具有误导性。IEA预测美国今年石油日产量将增长85万桶,而今年迄今美国日产量的增长已然达到135万桶。

IEA还预测美国液化天然气日产量今年将增长27.6万桶,但今年第一季度日产量就增长了17.8万桶。再加上哥伦比亚和阿根廷等地的产量增长超越预期,今年全球的供应形势看上去要好于IEA的预测。

上述情况并不能显著减轻石油市场对伊拉克局势的担忧。在利比亚危机前,国内动荡或国际冲突导致的石油日产量降幅通常在50万桶左右。利比亚危机后,日产量降幅增加了,先是增至约200万桶,最近又增至逾350万桶,其中包括对伊朗制裁的影响。

出人意料的是,油价却未出现太大的变动;实际上,自利比亚危机以来,全球基准布伦特原油每季度的均价都为每桶110美元左右,这一方面是因为损失的供应被沙特阿拉伯用空闲产能填补上了,一方面是因为美国的日产量每年增加约100万桶。但考虑到伊拉克政治分裂的前景以及其他地区出现的国内动荡,人们有理由担忧未来能否继续依赖欧佩克的石油供应。

另外还必须考虑其他潜在影响。伊拉克仍在坚守到2020年时日产量超800万桶的目标,这就要求该国南部地区的日产量增至675万桶。

长期前景

不过,对很多人来说,更大的问题不在于这周或下个月会发生什么,而在于长期而言ISIS的快速推进对伊拉克石油业意味着什么。

但是,即便是在最好的情况下,伊拉克的出口能力看上去也不太可能会超过每日400万桶。如果永久性政治分裂导致南北向输油管道事实上无法使用,那么全球石油供需平衡将受到冲击。如果伊拉克的石油日出口量超过400万桶,就不得不使用途经土耳其的输油管道。

另一方面,KRG控制地区的产量增长前景有明显改善。讽刺的是,如果巴格达方面和埃尔比勒(Erbil)方面达成收入征收和分成协议,上述情况实际上可能导致伊拉克今年的产量显著增加。

由于KRG民兵拿下了基尔库克油田,基尔库克中断的石油供应有可能经由KRG通向并穿越土耳其的输油管道进入市场。输油管道的输送能力为每日40万桶,因此这部分石油的日供应量到年底时可能增加28万桶之多。长期而言,KRG地区还可能吸引更多资本,用来进一步开发其石油资源。与此同时,眼下的溢价是合理的:全球市场没有太多回旋余地来应对又一场供应中断。

本文作者为花旗(Citi)大宗商品研究全球主管

译者/阑天

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