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The Global Oil Surplus will Persist at Least Until Late 2016

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NORTH DAKOTA OIL

The global oil surplus will persist at least until late 2016 as demand growth slows and OPEC shows “renewed determination” to maximize output, according to the International Energy Agency.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, by effectively dropping production limits at its Dec. 4 meeting, is displaying hardened resolve to maintain sales volumes even as prices fall in an oversupplied market, the agency said Friday in its monthly report. While its policy is hitting rivals, triggering the steepest drop in non-OPEC supply since 1992, world oil inventories will likely swell further once Iran restores exports on the completion of a deal to lift sanctions, it said.

Oil slumped to a six-year low below $40 a barrel in London after OPEC, which controls about 40 percent of world supply, said it would keep pumping in excess of its old production limit. Saudi Arabia, the group’s most powerful member, has steered its strategy to pressure rivals in the U.S. with lower prices.

“As inventories continue to swell into 2016, there will still be a lot of oil weighing on the market,” said the Paris-based agency, which advises 29 nations on energy policy. OPEC’s decision last week “appears to signal a renewed determination to maximize low-cost OPEC supply and drive out high-cost non-OPEC production — regardless of price.”

Swelling Inventories

Abandoning output targets doesn’t mean OPEC is about to further open the taps, as its biggest members — Saudi Arabia and Iraq — are already pumping near record levels, the agency said. The group probably won’t bolster output until Iran completes an agreement on its nuclear program that would lift sanctions on crude exports, the IEA predicted. Iran’s return will probably help to swell oil inventories by an “impressive” 300 million barrels, the agency said.

The accumulation of the surplus will actually slow next year to about half the pace observed in 2015 as non-OPEC supply wilts and demand remains strong enough to absorb some of the excess. The combination of rising consumption and an expansion in storage facilities means the world won’t run out of space to store the surplus crude, the agency said.

Strategy Working

“There is evidence the Saudi-led strategy is starting to work,” the agency said. “Oil below $50 is clearly driving out non-OPEC supply.” Production from outside OPEC will contract by 600,000 barrels a day next year, compared with a surge of 2.4 million a day in 2014, the IEA predicted.

Global oil demand growth will slow to 1.2 million barrels a day in 2016, down from a five-year peak of 1.8 million reached this year, as the boost from cheap fuel prices wears off, the agency said. The agency’s 2016 estimates of demand and supply are unchanged from last month’s report.

Production from OPEC’s 12 members rose by 50,000 barrels a day to 31.73 million a day in November, the highest in two months, the agency said. That’s about 400,000 a day more than the average required from the group next year.

Bloomberg

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Dip Amidst Middle East Tensions, Market Reaction Limited

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Oil

Oil prices fell on Monday as market participants reevaluated their risk premiums in the wake of Iran’s weekend attack on Israel, which the Israeli government said caused limited damage.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced,  dipped by 50 cents, or 0.5%, to $89.95 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil fell by 52 cents, or 0.6%, to $85.14 a barrel.

The attack, involving over 300 missiles and drones, marked the first assault on Israel from another country in more than three decades. It heightened concerns over a potential broader regional conflict impacting oil traffic through the Middle East.

However, Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepted many of the missiles, and the attack resulted in only modest damage and no reported loss of life.

Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at ING, noted that the market had largely priced in the potential attack in the days leading up to it. The limited damage and the absence of casualties suggest that Israel’s response may be more measured, which could help stabilize the oil market.

Iran, a major oil producer within OPEC, currently produces over 3 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil. The potential risks include stricter enforcement of oil sanctions and the possibility of Israeli targeting of Iran’s energy infrastructure, according to ING.

Nevertheless, OPEC possesses over 5 million bpd of spare production capacity, which could help mitigate any supply disruptions.

Analysts from ANZ Research and Citi Research have suggested that further significant impact on oil prices would require a material disruption to supply, such as constraints on shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. So far, the Israel-Hamas conflict has not had a notable effect on oil supply.

The market remains watchful of Israel’s response to the attack, which could influence the future trajectory of oil prices and broader geopolitical tensions in the region.

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Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production Falls for Second Consecutive Month, OPEC Reports

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Crude Oil

Nigeria’s crude oil production declined for the second consecutive month in March, according to the latest report from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Data obtained from OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report for April 2024 reveals that Nigeria’s crude oil production depreciated from 1.322 million barrels per day (mbpd) in February to 1.231 mbpd in March.

This decline underscores the challenges faced by Africa’s largest oil-producing nation in maintaining consistent output levels.

Despite efforts to stabilize production, Nigeria has struggled to curb the impact of oil theft and pipeline vandalism, which continue to plague the industry.

The theft and sabotage of oil infrastructure have resulted in significant disruptions, contributing to the decline in crude oil production observed in recent months.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) recently disclosed alarming statistics regarding oil theft incidents in the country.

According to reports, the NNPCL recorded 155 oil theft incidents within a single week, these incidents included illegal pipeline connections, refinery operations, vessel infractions, and oil spills, among others.

The persistent menace of oil theft poses a considerable threat to Nigeria’s economy and its position as a key player in the global oil market.

The illicit activities not only lead to revenue losses for the government but also disrupt the operations of oil companies and undermine investor confidence in the sector.

In response to the escalating problem, the Nigerian government has intensified efforts to combat oil theft and vandalism.

However, addressing these challenges requires a multi-faceted approach, including enhanced security measures, regulatory reforms, and community engagement initiatives.

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Oil Prices Edge Higher Amidst Fear of Middle East Conflict

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Crude Oil

Amidst growing apprehensions of a potential conflict in the Middle East, oil prices have inched higher as investors anticipate a strike from Iran.

The specter of a showdown between Iran or its proxies and Israel has sent tremors across the oil market as traders brace for possible supply disruptions in the region.

Brent crude oil climbed above the $90 price level following a 1.1% gain on Wednesday while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) hovered near $86.

The anticipation of a strike, believed to be imminent by the United States and its allies, has cast a shadow over market sentiment. Such an escalation would follow Iran’s recent threat to retaliate against Israel for an attack on a diplomatic compound in Syria.

The trajectory of oil prices this year has been heavily influenced by geopolitical tensions and supply dynamics. Geopolitical unrest, coupled with ongoing OPEC+ supply cuts, has propelled oil prices nearly 18% higher since the beginning of the year.

However, this upward momentum is tempered by concerns such as swelling US crude stockpiles, now at their highest since July, and the impact of a hot US inflation print on Federal Reserve rate-cut expectations.

Despite the bullish sentiment prevailing among many of the world’s top traders and Wall Street banks, with some envisioning a return to $100 for the global benchmark, caution lingers.

Macquarie Group has cautioned that Brent could enter a bear market in the second half of the year if geopolitical events fail to materialize into actual supply disruptions.

“The current geopolitical environment continues to provide support to oil prices,” remarked Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy for ING Groep NV in Singapore. However, he added, “further upside is limited without a fresh catalyst or further escalation in the Middle East.”

The rhetoric from Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reaffirming a vow to retaliate against Israel, has only heightened tensions in the region.

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