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Oil Holds Near $56 After Surging on Saudi Cut-Extension Plea

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  • Oil Holds Near $56 After Surging on Saudi Cut-Extension Plea

Oil held near $56 a barrel after surging the most in almost two weeks as Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said OPEC should announce an extension to supply cuts when it meets at the end of the month.

Futures slipped 0.7 percent in New York after rising 2.6 percent Friday. Oil inventories are unlikely to drain to average levels by the time the OPEC agreement expires at the end of March, Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Al-Falih said Thursday. The U.S. drilling-rig count was unchanged at 738 at the end of last week, data from Baker Hughes showed.

Oil dipped slightly last week on a weaker demand outlook while Russia cast doubts on the timing of a decision to extend supply cuts led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Wagers on lower Brent prices rose by the most since June through the week to Nov. 14 amid uncertainty over Saudi Arabia’s push to prolong output curbs. Yet an extension remains likely, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd.

“It is widely believed that OPEC, together with 10 non-OPEC countries, will roll over their production for the whole of 2018,” said Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM in London.

West Texas Intermediate for December delivery, which expires Monday, slipped 39 cents to $56.16 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:04 p.m. London time. Total volume traded was about 15 percent above the 100-day average. Prices declined 0.3 percent last week. The more-active January contract dropped 46 cents to $56.25.

Brent for January settlement lost 86 cents to $61.86 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after dropping 1.3 percent last week. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.61 to January WTI.

Saudi Arabia has had extensive consultations with Russia, according to Al-Falih, who said he’s convinced that the country will be “fully on board” when a resolution is made. OPEC will ensure that its exit strategy from the current accord will be a gradual adjustment that prevents the return of any glut, he said.

Oil-market news:

  • Most OPEC members are in favor of extending the supply cutbacks, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.
  • Japan’s crude imports from Russia dropped to a five-year low in October, according to preliminary data from the Ministry of Finance.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Crude oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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