Oil steady near 2-week high as Saudi to keep export curbs

02 March, 2018, 04:53 | Author: Lora Ball
  • API reports growth in US oil inventories

Soaring U.S. production is upending global oil markets, coming at a time when other major producers - including Russian Federation and members of the Middle East-dominated Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - have been withholding output to prop up prices.

Information released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration U.S. commercial crude inventories rose by three million barrels in the week to February 23 to a total of 423.5 million barrels.

The market was also pressured by the rising dollar and stock markets, said Flynn.

US West Texas Intermediate futures rose 36 cents to settle at US$63.91 a barrel, after hitting a 20-day high of US$64.24.

It noted the impact of growth of American production, saying, "Increasing U.S. production, driven by growth in the shale oil sector, has put a limit on price increases".

The April contract LCOc1 settled down 85 cents, or 1.28 percent, at $65.78 a barrel ahead of expiration.

Now the U.S.is on track to dethrone in the coming months the world's current leader in oil production: Russian Federation.

More news: Apple Prepping Huge 6.5-inch iPhone X, Cheaper Model

"Global oil fundamentals have been improving ever since OPEC and its allies agreed for production cuts, and the demand story is still supporting prices". The "price gap between the two oil types has narrowed to its lowest level in six months".

"Saudi Arabia has set the example with compliance to the OPEC/non-OPEC agreement to stabilize global oil markets, producing an average of 9.949 million barrels per day in 2017 against a production target of 10.058 million bpd", the analysts stated.

Oil hit a two-and-a-half-week high on Monday (February 26) on the back of strong United States demand and comments from Saudi Arabia that it will stay in line with OPEC-led efforts to curb production. "And for another, new pipeline capacities mean more crude oil is leaving Cushing".

The lower freight costs afforded by the economies of scale of the VLCC cargo opens up the global market for US-produced crude oil.

Most of the drawdown has come from the liquidation of bullish long positions rather than the establishment of new bearish short ones and it has been proportionately greater in fuels rather than crude. Prices on Friday rose 78 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $63.55, the highest in more than two weeks. LOOP can handle very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which can carry as much as 2 million barrels.

Arab News quoted Mazrouei as saying that cooperation between oil producers including Russian Federation had reached levels that were "more than expected". "S. production breaking through the 10 million barrel per day level", said McCarthy.

"In spite of refiners undergoing maintenance, they continue to process more crude compared to previous years adding to gasoline and diesel supply", said Andrew Lipow, president at Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.


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