Crude eases for third day on expectations of higher supplies

04 June, 2018, 09:58 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • Comex Gold

“The report was supportive due to the large drop in crude oil inventories which was a function of a trifecta of bullish elements: strong demand from refiners, a sizeable drop in crude oil imports, and rebound in exports, ” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in NY.

The discount in the futures markets of the main USA light crude grade, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), to the global benchmark Brent crude stood at $11.09 a barrel on June 1, the widest in more than three years.

By the end of last month, both OECD and US inventory levels were lower than the averages for April 2013 to April 2017.

Hedge funds and other money managers cut their bullish wagers on US crude futures and options, according to data released on Friday, as oil prices slumped on oversupply fears.

WTI's discount to Brent widened, settling at US$11.02 a barrel after ballooning to as much US$11.57 during the session, largest since 2015.

As a result of the supply agreement, which took effect in January 2017, OPEC member countries agreed to reduce crude oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day (MMBPD) compared with October 2016 levels, and to limit total OPEC production to 32.5 MMBPD.

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Oil prices stabilized on Friday after deep losses at the previous session due to pressure from high-performing production in the US and the expectation of an increase in oil production by OPEC member countries. It was set for a 0.4 per cent gain for the week. It has doubled in less than a month, as a lack of pipeline capacity in the USA has trapped a lot of output inland. On Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report a 1 million barrel increase in crude stockpiles, double the gain forecast in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

The price increase was mainly due to the production cut by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, and its partners.

Venezuela, whose output has plunged due to an economic crisis, told OPEC its production fell to 1.505 million bpd in April, believed to be the lowest in decades.

The Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported on Friday that there were now 861 rigs drilling for oil in the United States with more than half of them - 477 - situated in the western Texas Permian Basin.

Russia would be able to raise its oil output back to pre-cut levels within months if there was a decision to unwind the price-protection deal with Opec and other producers, a Russian energy ministry official said.

There were 197 gas-seeking rigs and two miscellaneous rigs, creating a total rig count of 1,060, up 144 from this time past year, the highest count since March 2015.

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