Thursday, 21 March, 2019


Oil nears $67 on Saudi's export cuts

Desert gold Saudi Aramco’s Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia Desert gold Saudi Aramco’s Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia
Conrad Doyle | 15 March, 2019, 16:07

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $66.82 per barrel, up 24 cents, or 0.4 percent. In February, US crude oil exports hit an all-time high, with shipments amounting to over 3.6 million barrels a day.

Both benchmark crudes have climbed for three straight days and are near four-month highs.

Brian Hook, the State Department's special representative on Iran, said in remarks at the CERAWeek energy conference that due to a global oil surplus - in part due to record US production - the United States is accelerating its plan of bringing Iranian crude exports to zero.

Meanwhile, EIA forecast Brent spot prices will average 63 dollars a barrel in 2019 and 62 dollars a barrel in 2020, compared with an average of 71 dollars a barrel in 2018.

USA crude oil production also dipped, falling by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 12 million bpd. The EIA posts its weekly statistics at 1430 GMT.

"Ongoing trade disputes between major powers and a disorderly Brexit could lead to a reduction in the rate of growth of global trade and oil demand", the IEA said in its medium-term oil-market report, which covers the period to 2024.

The so-called OPEC+ alliance, including Russian Federation and other producers, agreed in December to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd from 1 January for six months, which will help to boost oil prices after last year's downward trend.

Falih said on Sunday that OPEC's production-curbing agreement likely would last until at least June. Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, indicated on Monday that it would cut April exports.

Offsetting OPEC efforts to prop up prices and the impact of disruptions like Venezuela is a surge in USA oil supply.

Exports from Venezuela's main oil terminal have been stranded as its worst blackout on record has left parts of the country without power for roughly a week.

Saudi Arabia will supply its clients with significantly less oil than they requested in April, extending deeper-than-agreed production cuts into a second month, Bloomberg quoted a Saudi official familiar with the policy as saying.

"The United States is increasingly leading the expansion in global oil supplies, with significant growth also seen among other non-OPEC producers, including Brazil, Norway, and new producer Guyana", the IEA said in its five-year outlook.

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