Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Saudi Arabia Signals Commitment to Oil-Production Cuts

KazMunayGas kazakhstan workers maintenance oil field reuters Oil prices dip on relentless rise in US crude output
Kenny Thornton | 14 March, 2018, 20:47

Now that crude prices are safely back up at well over $60 per barrel, American companies are taking advantage.

Crude futures were up by five cents to $60.78 a barrel as of 10:50 a.m. EDT, while Brent rose 9 cents to $64.75 a barrel.

Production rose as well, with USA output hitting 10.38 million barrels a day, a new weekly record; all-time daily output measured on a monthly basis broke a 47-year record in November.

Gasoline stocks fell by 6.3 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a poll for a 1.2 million-barrel drop.

The OPEC-led production cuts have been part of a recipe for higher oil prices including strong global economic growth and rising Middle East political tensions.

Crude has struggled since hitting a three-year high in January.

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"The drop in product stocks is significant with refinery utilization up 2% to 90%", said James Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries also said oil inventories across the most industrialized countries rose in January for the first time in eight months, a sign the impact of its output cuts may be waning. The IEA will release its monthly oil report Thursday. The move could have implications for United States sanctions on Iran, which could impact the latter's oil industry and exports, Facts Global Energy and Royal Bank of Canada warned. Looking at reactions in markets, crude oil prices fell following the EIA report. That compares with a 2.5-million-barrel gain forecast by analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

The oil price is still showing a 1% loss so far this week as concern grows about the ability of Opec and its partners to counter rapid growth in U.S. crude production, which is tipped to hit a record 11 million bpd before the end of the year.

Tran told Bloomberg, "we do think over the course of the year oil prices will likely march to the beat of its own drum - so from that perspective we do believe the backdrop for the oil market is actually looking quite constructive".

"Prices in the upper half of the oil price-band will encourage increased supply as USA production grows and countries reduce compliance with their production quotas", its senior vice-president Terry Marshall said.

Support on Wednesday came from a report that US crude inventories are not rising as much as expected during the spring season that is starting, implying healthy demand.

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