Wednesday, 22 May, 2019


Brent crude oil dips but remains near 70 dollars a barrel

BRAZIL-OIL-PLATFORM-PRE-SALT-ITAGUAI Oil prices recently rose to $70 a barrel
Hannah Rogers | 18 January, 2018, 13:36

Oil prices were stable on Thursday, supported by tighter inventories of crude as well as rebel threats of an attack on Nigeria's petroleum industry, but the market was weighed down by a reported rise in USA fuel stocks. On Monday, they hit their highest since December 2014 at $70.37 a barrel.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) report will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET, followed by U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET.

So Brent crude futures fell 54 cents, to 69.72 dollars per barrel.

IEA's Birol is confident that rising output will help push down oil prices. West Texas Intermediate, the USA benchmark for the price of oil, was down 0.14 percent to $63.64 per barrel.

Analysts said OPEC shouldn't declare its mission accomplished too early and abandon its production cuts, as higher crude prices may stimulate increased shale oil production.

An emailed market report from UBS said that, after a year of a stifled market, expect to see a supply-side response to the steady gains in crude oil prices.

To address a global glut that weighed on prices for years, OPEC and its allies, including Russian Federation, agreed in November to further extend the production cuts negotiated in 2016 until the end of 2018, with a review period in late June.

On Tuesday, the EIA said it expected USA oil output to increase in February, with production from shale rising by 111,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 6.55 million bpd.

The API data also showed a well supplied fuel product market, which could mean lower crude demand going forward.

US crude inventories fell by 5.1 million barrels in the week ended January 12 to 411.5 million, according to the American Petroleum Institute on Wednesday. The cuts are set to last through 2018.

Unsurprisingly, as crude continued to make gains on Wednesday, more talk from the experts focused on the premise that OPEC has done its job too well by boosting prices and thus encouraging even more US shale growth - and that therefore the cartel will surely change course with regards to its cutbacks.

Refined product supplies in Asia are also healthy, largely thanks to a sharp rise in exports from China.

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