Monday, 23 July, 2018

Moodys raises oil price forecast

WTI Crude Oil Daily May West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil
Andrew Cummings | 16 March, 2018, 00:59

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.

OPEC raised its forecast for oil supply from non-member countries in 2018 as higher prices encourage us shale drillers to pump more, offsetting an OPEC-led deal to clear a supply glut and a collapse in Venezuelan production.

OPEC has finally acknowledged what everybody else had concluded some time ago: USA shale output is soaring.

"With supply from Venezuela clearly vulnerable to an accelerated decline, without any compensatory change from other producers it is possible that the Latin American country could be the final element that tips the market decisively into deficit", the IEA said a report.

"The rising tensions between the West and Russian Federation raise the potential for reduced trade flows and economic activity, which would diminish energy demand growth", said John Kilduff, partner at investment manager Again Capital in NY.

US production has reached an all-time record and weekly data last week showed overall output rising further, to more than 10.3 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude futures initially tumbled after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that inventories of crude oil rose by 5 million barrels - double what analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had anticipated, and significantly more than the 1.2 million-barrel build reported by industry group the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday.

Brent for May settlement rose 25 cents to $64.89 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded at a $3.87 premium to WTI for the same month.

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We said when the oil market looked bleak that low prices will spark demand and it has. In even the most pessimistic case, tight oil grows by another million barrels per day (BPD) from 2017 levels by about 2022.

Increasing U.S. crude oil production and expansions of U.S. pipeline capacity and export infrastructure facilitated increased crude oil exports.

Crude has struggled since hitting a three-year high in January. The spread between the first two contracts settled at minus 4 cents, the first time it closed at a discount since January 22.

Read: Is OPEC moving the goalposts for the oil market?

But when United States and European Union sanctions hit Iran from 2011 to 2015 and the country's crude exports halved to about 1 million b/d, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the UAE and other OPEC members, along with Russian Federation, boosted their production and claimed some of Iran's former customers. The production in the country, which has already surpassed Saudi Arabia, is expected to grow to more than 11 million barrels per day later this year, overtaking Russian and becoming the the world's largest oil producer.

"The distillate number was very supportive, much bigger than anticipated and I think it reflects the cold weather and it also reflects that producers are having a hard time keeping up with the distillate demand globally".

The increases in USA production has this year exceeded the supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which have been in place since 2017 in an effort by the cartel, and supported by non-OPEC member Russian Federation, to prop up prices.

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