Oil prices soar on output-cut expectation

29 October, 2017, 04:01 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • Source U.S. Energy Information Administration Petroleum Supply Monthly

Crude Oil prices struggled for direction as investors weighed the recent uptick in US crude supplies and production against growing expectations that Opec would extend its supply-cut agreement amid bullish comments from Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

USA oil exports, according to an emailed market report from S&P Global Platts, have "exploded" since late September and put more oil on the global market, offsetting some of the inventory build.

That comment, coupled with the OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo's prediction last week that demand will rise through at least 2040, contrasts with analyses suggesting that greater efficiency, the rise of electric cars and other factors could bring peak demand far sooner.

Crude prices had pulled back Wednesday following the release of USA inventory data, showing a 856,000-barrel rise in crude stockpiles in the week ended October 20. Analysts had expected a fall of 2.6 million barrels.

The price for Brent crude oil was down 0.26 percent to trade at $58.29 per barrel at 9:15 a.m. EDT.

The spread, or difference, between Brent and WTI means US oil is more competitive against other benchmarks in some markets. West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark for the price of oil, was more or less unchanged at $52.21 per barrel. Both benchmarks were down by less than 1 per cent earlier Thursday. Heating oil futures got a brief boost but settled slightly lower.

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"Expectations of increased demand continue to provide support for higher prices", said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy.

Their remarks came ahead of a meeting on 30 November to be attended by oil ministers.

When asked if the U.S.is prepared for any fallout that occurs as a result of Venezuela defaulting, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio replied, "The world markets are going to react to that; certainly, their creditors are".

USA crude production rose 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) last week to 9.5 million bpd after a decline due to Hurricane Nate, while U.S. crude oil exports hit a new record four-week average of 1.7 million bpd.

"The trend is up, but getting exhausted", said Robin Bieber, technical chart analyst and a director of London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

Crude oil pries fell in Asia on Friday with the market cautious as OPEC member and major producer Venezuela reportedly faces problems making payments on bonds issued to the state oil company PDVSA and with USA rig count data ahead. Clashes between Iraqi government troops and forces from the semiautonomous Kurdish region disrupted some oil production and exports this month. Kurdish authorities on Wednesday offered to suspend their independence drive, but Baghdad said it would continue its offensive to retake Kurdish territory.

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