Abril 26, 2018

Oil prices start the week lower amid relentless increase in U.S. drilling

20 Junio 2017, 02:10 | Dolorita Barahona

In the third development stage, Libya plans its production to increase to 2.2 million bpd by 2023, which would require around US$18 billion in investments.

Oil fell for the first time in three days after U.S. drillers added the most rigs in more than three years, making it hard for Opec to drain global oversupply.

CIMB economist Song Seng Wun expects oil prices to hold at about US$50 a barrel for another six months or so, until the next Opec meeting in Vienna in November.

Brent futures for August were down 4 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $47.33 a barrel by 11:39 a.m. EDT (1539 GMT), while USA crude for July was down 9 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $44.65 per barrel the day before the July contract expires. Oil fell to as low as $26 per barrel, making it increasingly hard for OPEC to help push the prices.

OPEC and non-members chose to extend cuts in oil output on May 25, by nine months to March 2018.

The June STEO forecasts a 2017 average spot price for Brent crude oil of $53/barrel (b), with prices increasing to $56/b in 2018.

"We're getting back to the fact that we're getting increasing production from OPEC members, increasing production from non OPEC members, and we've got a reasonably slow level of demand growth that is easily met by growth of production from non-members like Canada and the USA - so why in the world would we have an environment of rising oil prices?" While U.S. imports of primarily crude oil from Venezuela have been on the decline, U.S. exports of petroleum products to Venezuela have increased largely because of Venezuelas tight finances that leave it unable to invest and maintain its own domestic refineries.

Eight prominent hedge funds have reduced the size of their positions in 10 of the top shale firms in the Permian, the largest USA oil field, by over $400 million, concerned that producers are pumping oil so fast they will undo the recovery.

Similarly, the oil for delivery for June contracts traded higher by Rs 1.80, or 0.37 per cent, to Rs 492.40 per 10 kg in 52 lots. With Brent crude at a seven-month low, can Opec avoid a rebellion?

US drillers increased the rig count by six to 747, the highest level since April 2015, according to Baker Hughes. As of 2015, Venezuela had almost 298 billion barrels of proved oil reserves - the largest in the world. The International Energy Agency warned that if Libya and Nigeria continue to increase output, those extra barrels will delay OPEC's goal to re-balance the market.

More importantly, output from Iraq, one of the worst compliers in the Opec deal, is set to rise this year. The country has shipped more oil in recent weeks and that is offsetting cuts in exports made by Saudi Arabia and a few others.

Last week, the National Oil Corp said it expected OPEC member Libya's production to recover to 900,000 bpd in the short term.

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