Febrero 19, 2018

OPEC Production Steady In January As Venezuela Output Plunges

15 Febrero 2018, 06:18 | Dolorita Barahona

Oil Prices Ravaged By Financial Turmoil

Novak: the oil market will be able to balance in 2018

Nevertheless, the "main message" remains that "fast-rising production in non-OPEC countries, led by the USA, is likely to grow more than demand".

USA crude inventories probably climbed by three million bbls last week, according to a Bloomberg survey, while the Energy Information Administration said us shale oil output will rise by 110,000 bbls/d day in March.

If OPEC and its allies maintain their production curbs too long, oil prices will rise and spur an even more drilling and production from USA shale producers.

OPEC in its monthly market report for February raised its forecast for supply from producers outside the group by 250,000 barrels per day for an expected full-year average of 1.4 million barrels per day. Yet, despite market turmoil, the supply versus demand fundamentals for oil continue to be very bullish.

In its closely watched monthly oil market report, the agency called the situation "reminiscent of the first wave of USA shale growth" that precipitated the oil-market selloff and price crash in late 2014.

Brent for April settlement rose 42 cents to $63.01 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

The IEA was once again to raise its forecast for oil demand growth in 2018 to 1.4 million barrels per day, from a previous projection of 1.3 million barrels per day. Analysts had expected stocks to rise by 2.8 million barrels.

Barkindo also said recent falls in the oil and stock markets were "just a blip".

OPEC and its allies have nearly achieved their goal of clearing an oil glut, but their efforts could be derailed by rising supplies from the USA and other rivals, the International Energy Agency said.

"The market has now rediscovered its optimism and confidence", he said. China's crude oil imports increased by 800,000 bpd in 2017, representing 50% of the global oil demand growth.

Supply-side pressures have undermined some of the effort, particularly the gains in USA oil production, a situation compounded by higher export levels. "United States oil rigs are now at the highest level since April 2015, and have surged by around 150% since touching a low in late May 2016".

OPEC's leading producer Saudi Arabia lifted its January production by 23,300 bpd to 9.977 million bpd-but still below its 10.058-million-bpd quota, overcomplying once again.

At some point, OPEC and its allies will be forced to shift their focus back towards boosting output and stemming the erosion of their market share.

But in recent weeks, differentials in key European and US markets such as North Sea Forties, Russia's Urals, West Texas Intermediate in Midland, Texas, and the Atlantic diesel market have fallen to multi-month lows.

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