Saturday, 25 November, 2017

World oil prices down

Oil steady near $52 as Saudi Prince backs longer OPEC cuts Crude Oil prices slip further on inventory build-up
Lillian Steele | 29 October, 2017, 02:58

US crude futures rose $1.26, or 2.39%, to $53.90 a barrel - an eight-month high.

Prices for physical barrels of North Sea oil hit their lowest in nearly four months earlier in October, as cheaper US imports into the region undercut local sellers. The pact runs to March 2018 and they are considering extending it. Brent crude last week nudged above $60 a barrel.

But with US crude oil inventories still less than 20 percent below a record 535.5 million barrels, the strength of Brent against WTI may ensure that exports stay strong for some time to come.

When asked if the U.S.is prepared for any fallout that occurs as a result of Venezuela defaulting, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio replied, "The world markets are going to react to that; certainly, their creditors are".

"We continue to highlight a near record level of crude exports that appears sustainable near 2 (million bpd) through next month due to a widening Brent-WTI spread that pushed above US$6 per barrel resistance in yesterday's trade", Jim Ritterbusch, president of Chicago-based energy advisory firm Ritterbusch & Associates, said in a note.

According to trade flows data from Thomson Reuters Eikon, arrivals of US crude into north west Europe are already running at about 5 million barrels, or a record 200,000 bpd this month, roughly five times what they were this time a year ago.

"Price volatility in the oil market is expected to persist in the run-up to the November Opec meeting".

Answering a question on whether he supported extending the production cut agreement, Prince Salman said "of course" and insisted that Opec "need to continue stabilizing the market", fuelling investor expectations that support for prolonged cuts is growing among Opec members.

OPEC and its non-OPEC partners have pledged to reduce production by around 1.8 million barrels per day until the end of March 2018 to ease a global supply glut.

"In 2017 we expect to achieve organic coverage of investments and dividends, entirely paid in cash, at a Brent price of $60 a barrel as planned", CEO Claudio Descalzi said in a statement. "Using the same logic, the upside is limited, too as strong-ish USA domestic crude oil price will serve as an incentive to ramp up production".

The EIA data showed gasoline and distillate inventories both fell by more than 5 million barrels, and refinery utilisation rates rose 3.3 percentage points.

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