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Ben Schrader Presents at Argus Americas Crude Summit 2009

January 30, 2009

Ben Schrader, a Senior Consultant in Baker & O'Brien's Houston Office presented a paper at the Argus Americas Crude Summit 2009: Challenges in a Changing Market titled "Light-Heavy Crude Oil Outlook: Implications for Coker Margins".

Following is a brief abstract of Mr. Schrader's presentation. To see the full presentation, please click on the link at the bottom of the document.

Light-Heavy Crude Oil Outlook: Implications for Coker Margins
The price difference between light and heavy crude oil grades has been at record highs for the past five years.  Large discounts for heavy crude oils have resulted in numerous upgrader and refinery-associated delayed coking projects.  However, the recent collapse in crude oil prices and the concurrent economic crisis have resulted in several project cancellations, and increased concerns about a slow-down in oil production activity.  What does all of this mean for the medium term expectations for heavy crude oil discounts and coker margins?  Will an over-supply of coker feedstock and pervasive price discounts for heavy crude oil continue, or will new coker capacity “overshoot” feedstock availability leading to higher prices for heavy grades?

Baker & O’Brien will assess the key factors driving the supply-demand balance for coker feedstock (vacuum residuum) to 2012.  Particular emphasis will be placed on the growing production expectations for Brazil and Canada, the decline of Maya production, and the impact of possible rationalization of low-complexity U.S. refining capacity. The sensitivity of these key variables on the coker feedstock balance will be presented and discussed.

For further information, please contact Ben Schrader at: (1) 832 358 1453, or ben.schrader@bakerobrien.com