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.”
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.
“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.
Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021
Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.
He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”
As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.
Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.
Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.
Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday
Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, rose from $54.46 per barrel on Monday to $55.27 per barrel as of 9:03 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.
Last week, Brent crude oil rose to 11 months high of $57.38 per barrel before pulling back on rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in key global economies like the United Kingdom, Euro-Area, China, etc.
While OPEC has left 2021 oil demand unchanged and President-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, experts are saying the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 amid poor vaccine distribution could drag on growth and demand for oil in 2021.
On Friday, Dan Yergin, vice-chairman at IHS Markit, said in addition to the stimulus package “There are two other things that are going with it … one is of course, vaccinations — in the sense that eventually this crisis is going to end, and maybe by the spring, lockdowns will be over.”
“The other thing is what Saudi Arabia did. This is the third time Saudi Arabia has made a sudden change in policy in less than a year, and this one was to announce (the) 1 million barrel a day cut — partly because they are worried about the impact of the surge in virus that’s occurring,” he said.
Also, the stimulus being injected into the United States economy could spur huge Shale production and disrupt OPEC and allies’ efforts at balancing the global oil market in 2021.
Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus
Crude oil pulled back on Friday despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus package announced by U.S President-elect, Joe Biden.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, pulled back from $57.38 per barrel on Wednesday to $55.52 per barrel on Friday in spite of the huge stimulus package announced on Thursday.
On Thursday, OPEC, in its latest outlook for the year, said uncertainties remain high in 2021 with the number of COVID-19 new cases on the rise.
OPEC said, “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”
“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.”
Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns, with vaccinations not expected to have a significant impact for the next few months.
“The complex remains in pause mode, a development that should not be surprising given the magnitude of the oil price gains that have been developing for some 2-1/2 months,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.
Still, OPEC left its crude oil projections unchanged for the year. The oil cartel expected global oil demand to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to an average of 95.9 million per day in 2020.
But also OPEC expects a recent rally and stimulus to boost U.S. Shale crude oil production in the year, a projection Investors King experts expect to hurt OPEC strategy in 2021.
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