Saturday, 29 April, 2017

Crude Slips Below $53 as U.S. Drilling Surge Stokes Output Fears

Pic Reuters Pic Reuters
Juana Turner | 19 April, 2017, 01:40

U.S. shale production in May is likely to post the biggest monthly gain in more than two years, government data showed on Monday, as producers step up the pace of drilling with oil prices holding above $50 a barrel. WTI futures settled at US$52.41 a barrel, down 24 cents. U.S. While one week does not a trend make, the recent draw down in US crude inventories is at least partially a result of Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members slashing volumes to American customers as part of their strategy to boost prices.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures were down 49 cents at $54.87 a barrel.

".the large new production capacity and investment we will need in the future are lagging, and in fact missing in many cases. while the short-term market is pointing to a surplus of oil, the supply required in the coming years is falling behind". Still, increased supplies from producers in the fourth quarter of 2016 is now "a dark cloud hanging over the market", and a failure to extend the output agreement would send prices "precipitously lower", they said.

In its monthly market report, Opec said the group's production - based on secondary sources used to assess members' output - dropped 152,700bpd to 31.9mbpd last month, led by declines in Libya, Nigeria, UAE and Iran.

He further stressed that he expected oil prices to remain around $55 per barrel as a result of the implementation of the output cut plan.

Analysts say buying was suppressed by data showing that the USA oil rig count rose for the 13th straight week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/baker-hughes-data-show-us-oil-rig-count-up-a-13th-week-in-a-row-2017-04-13) in the week of April 13.

"Output is expected to increase by 123,000bpd to 5.19 million bpd next month". That may be about to change, according to BMI Research. Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said the global oil market is moving closer to balance despite the USA shale boom. The oil market is on the road to re-balancing, Al-Falih told reporters at a conference in Riyadh.

Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts forecast a fall of 50,000 barrels for crude stockpiles, along with a decline of 2 million barrels for gasoline supplies, and a decrease of 1.4 million barrels for distillate stocks.

China imported record high volumes of crude oil in March at 9.21 million b/d as independent refiners stepped up buying to meet their quota allocations and oil companies generally bought more in anticipation of higher prices later in the year.

The U.S. oil rig count climbed to 683 last week, the highest since April 2015 and a 13th week of gains, Baker Hughes data showed on Friday.

Crude oil prices dipped in March on signs of lingering supply-side strains in the United States, the world's Number 1 economy. After 12 months of successive job loss, February 2017 marked the first month in which there was a net positive job report in the oil and gas industry.

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