Disrupting Energy and Commodities with Satellite Data

Ithaca, NY – April 17th, 2017 – Ursa is disrupting energy markets with its release of the first reliable China crude oil storage reports. The energy and commodities trading industries have seen massive shifts in the past five years with drastic price changes, an explosion of data sources, banks stepping out of trading and quant funds coming online. At a recent Young Professionals in Energy event, Colin Fenton, previous Global Head of Commodities Research at JP Morgan Chase and CEO of Blacklight Research, and Adam Maher, President & CEO of Ursa Space Systems discussed these changes. Moderator Alec Mitchell, Ursa’s Market Analyst, led the open discussion to explore the future of energy trading and how new data sources such as Ursa’s are disrupting traditional energy and commodities paradigms.
Adam Maher disrupting energy markets

Adam described how Ursa is providing reliable weekly measurements for China’s oil stocks. “Since our technology isn’t hampered by clouds, we can measure the same locations and same tanks every week and with satellites, we have global access,” he said.

This reliability provides the regular cadence of input required by modern trading analytics. Colin agreed, “Reliability is key for time series data.”

Colin talked about how the energy market is changing and the way that people look at the energy market is changing. Companies such as Ursa are having a major impact, especially in the areas of the world in which no official sources are available. This data is disrupting the way that he and other analysts conduct their research and provides another dimension to the factors that they can consider.
Colin Fenton disrupting energy markets

As an illustration, Colin described the conflicting reports coming out of Chinese government agencies at the end of 2016. Based on the National Bureau of Statistics report of imports, exports, production and runs, the implication is that crude oil inventories INCREASED by almost 37 million barrels. But other sources, such as China Daily and the Xinhua News Agency (the official press agency of the People’s Republic of China), reported that Chinese “commercial” crude inventories DECREASED by almost 2%. With conflicting reports, who should you believe? Contact us to find out!

Colin stressed the importance of Ursa’s data as the only reliable source of China’s oil stocks and how this is disrupting energy markets. “Now I have an anchor in a balance sheet,” he said. “What this data affords is the ability to say we’re starting to deviate from what I thought was going to happen”…“If I start to triangulate in on supply and demand, now I have something that can be useful.”

Looking for Colin’s in-depth analysis? Contact us!