Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Crude oil tug of war on, USA rig count may spoil party

Russian oil Another Year of Oil Cutbacks Possible as Oil Producers Eye Long Term Alliance
Kelvin Reese | 21 February, 2018, 07:20

Overall, however, the oil markets remain well supported by the limited supply by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the measures being taken early a year ago to reduce stockpiling and rebuild prices. Brent crude futures were at $64.64 per barrel, up 28 cents, or 0.4pc, extending Wednesday's 2.6pc rise.

However, "short term crude demand aspects and other fundamental indicators [are] still rather bearish-looking", analysts at consultancy JBC Energy wrote in a daily note Monday.

The cut has recently been confirmed with 133 percent compliance, though USA overproduction is threatening to weigh prices to the downside. The group is seeking to " institutionalise" their cooperation beyond the end of a supply cut deal later this year, according to the United Arab Emirates, while Barkindo said compliance to the deal stood at 133 per cent in January. U.S. oil inventories are now 18 per cent lower compared with the same period previous year.

In other news, money managers slashed their bullish bets on ICE Brent crude oil futures by the most in almost eight months in the week to February 13, data showed, as prices plunged amid concerns of oversupply.

Oil is struggling to regain the highs of January after a sell-off in global equities seeped into crude markets earlier this month.

Saudi Arabia has been lobbying to keep prices high by instigating a production cut for both OPEC and non-OPEC partner countries.

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The American Petroleum Institute (API) is set to state its forecast regarding the USA crude supply on Wednesday.

The first is to embrace the adoption of renewable energies, the second is to leverage natural gas (including shale) reserves, and the third "and possibly most important" action is to expand down the value chain, it said, using hydrocarbons to produce higher value products such as petrochenicals, and to undertake industrial activities, such as metals smelting, which require lots of energy use.

However, earlier this week both Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation admitted publicly that the metric to measure stockpiles is flawed and must be replaced - which implies that any claim made by OPEC or other parties about the true state of the crude market is questionable at best.

Without elaborating on the strategy, he added that a draft framework might be endorsed and signed by all 24 countries before the end of the year. The more active April contract added 1.2 per cent to US$62.27.

Non-OPEC stocks outside North America are also believed to decline this year and the next.

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