Oil up on strong demand, Saudi comments

02 March, 2018, 04:50 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • API reports growth in US oil inventories

So far in February 2018, USA crude oil production has topped 10 million bpd in each of the three previous weeks, EIA data shows.

'OPEC's level of compliance (with agreed production curbs) and the pace of US shale's output growth are likely to be the key fundamental price drivers in 2018, ' Ashley Petersen of Stratas Advisors said.

The oil prices turned down on Tuesday, due to fears that rising USA oil production will overshadow greater demand and confidence in OPEC and its allies' ability to curb supply.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 78 cents to settle at $63.55 a barrel, trading between $62.33 and $63.73.

It noted the impact of growth of American production, saying, "Increasing U.S. production, driven by growth in the shale oil sector, has put a limit on price increases".

Both benchmarks rose last week - Brent by nearly 4 per cent and WTI by 3 per cent.

"We're not so much anxious about inventories, but trying to see how USA domestic production and rig count numbers are coming to week by week", David Lennox, a commodities analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, said by phone.

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In January-March, Saudi Arabia's oil production would be well below the production cap, with exports averaging below 7 million barrels per day (bpd), Saudi Arabian oil minister Khalid al-Falih said.

"Yesterday's report...has reawakened concerns that USA production levels will offset OPEC production cuts", said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford. Oil prices, which fell below $30 a barrel in 2016, have since more than doubled to nearly $70 a barrel.

Oil hit a two-and-a-half-week high on Monday (February 26) on the back of strong U.S. demand and comments from Saudi Arabia that it will stay in line with OPEC-led efforts to curb production. The second quarter oil market is preparing for the driving season.

US crude inventories have fallen more than 100 million barrels in 12 months, to their lowest in three years.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ GRAPHIC: Russia vs Saudi vs USA oil production http://reut.rs/2EIuTWS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^.

"We've got a lot more oil to produce and we'll be through that 11 million barrel-per-day threshold much sooner than expected", said Streible.

"Yesterday's inventory report was very bullish for crude oil", John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund, said by telephone. "If those numbers change consistently to the upside, we would see the market react in the other direction".


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