Connect with us

Markets

Oil Slides as Economic and Supply Fears Offset Venezuela Risk

Published

on

petrol Oil
  • Oil Slides as Economic and Supply Fears Offset Venezuela Risk

Oil fell as a darkening outlook for the global economy offset the risk of American sanctions on OPEC member Venezuela’s crude.

March futures in New York dropped 0.9 percent, extending Wednesday’s decline. Germany’s industrial slump worsened at the start of 2019, while an extended shutdown of the U.S. government could wipe out the country’s economic growth in the first quarter. The White House recognized Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela on Wednesday, a move that carries the risk of further disruption to the nation’s oil exports.

The prospect of swelling supplies and weaker economic growth is weighing on prices. The mood has darkened after crude markets got off to their best start to a year since 2001 on optimism output cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will balance the market. However, bullish sentiment could return if the U.S. were to impose sanctions on Venezuelan crude, a move that would hit some Gulf Coast refiners hard and force them to seek out alternative supplies.

“With the U.S. now clearly taking sides with the opposition, changes might be in the making,” said Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd. in London. “This would deal a further blow to U.S. refiners that rely on whatever Venezuelan oil is still available and as such would be short-term bullish.”

West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery fell 47 cents to $52.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 7:38 a.m. The contract fell 39 cents to $52.62 a barrel on Wednesday.

Brent for March settlement slid 69 cents to $60.45 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract dropped 36 cents to $61.14 on Wednesday. The global benchmark crude was at an $8.31 premium to WTI.

Zero Expansion

There’s a possibility of zero economic expansion this quarter if an ongoing partial government shutdown in the U.S. extends through March, according to White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett. “Humongous” growth would follow once federal agencies reopen, he said in a CNN interview Wednesday.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude inventories rose 6.55 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report. Energy Information Administration data due Thursday is forecast to show stockpiles dropped 750,000 barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey.

In Venezuela, opposition leader Guaido was recognized as the acting president by several governments in addition to the U.S. on Wednesday. The leftist regime of Nicolas Maduro responded by breaking diplomatic relations with America, giving diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.

The Trump administration has drafted a slate of sanctions but hasn’t decided whether to deploy them, according to people familiar with the matter. Earlier this month, White House officials warned U.S. refiners that sanctions were being considered, and advised them to seek alternative sources of heavy crude. Some processors worried about restrictions experimented with alternatives last year before ultimately returning to Venezuelan crude.

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

Published

on

Oil

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.

Continue Reading

Crude Oil

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

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Crude Oil

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

Published

on

oil

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.

Continue Reading

Trending