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Oil Rises Strongly Supported by Cuts, Sanctions

15 March, 2019, 05:08 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • An oil pump is seen operating in the Permian Basin near Midland Texas US

Opec on Thursday cut the forecast of global demand for its oil this year as rivals boost production.

While it may be just as problematic as the notion of global oversupply that dominated analytical fears until recently, the perception of a tightening market continued to result in gains for crude prices, with USA oil settling a substantial 2.4 percent higher on Wednesday.

OPEC sources have said an extension of the supply-cutting pact is the likely scenario.

The OPEC Reference Basket (ORB), a weighted average of prices for petroleum blends produced by the cartel's members, rose in February for the second consecutive month, increasing by about 9 percent, or 5.09 US dollars, month-on-month to average 63.83 USA dollars per barrel, said the report.

Crude oil production in the country also fell by 106,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 12 million bpd, the data showed.

Two sources told Reuters that the U.S. also aims to curb Iran's crude exports by about 20% to below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from May, likely reining in waivers for Tehran's remaining customers.

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United States crude oil inventories shrank unexpectedly again last week, alongside another drawdown in product inventories. That amounts to 105 per cent compliance with pledged cuts, according to a Reuters calculation, up from January's rate.

Earlier this week, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said production cuts by the OPEC and allies, including Russian Federation, would likely continue until June, at least.

Iraq is committed to the deal and working to stabilise markets, and is producing slightly more than 4.5 million bpd, below its full capacity of almost 5 million, Ghadhban said.

Seperately, oil prices nudged higher on Thursday to sit just off a four-month high reached in the previous session as investors focused on global production cuts and supply disruptions in Venezuela.

Brent was still at $67.75 per barrel at 0244 GMT, up 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, from its last close. Brent touched $67.39 a barrel on Monday, its highest since February 25.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $58.54 per barrel, up $0.28 or 0.48%. WTI hit a high of $58.48 a barrel on Wednesday, the highest since November 13.

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