Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

OPEC sees ‘considerable uncertainty’ in oil market

Brent Crude Oil Weekly August Brent Crude OilMore
Priscilla Morrison | 12 June, 2018, 18:11

The global oil oversupply that drove USA crude oil prices to around $30 a barrel has now been worked off, according to OPEC, but still the group says the outlook for second half of the year for the market is highly uncertain.

Beyond changes in the supply-side, strong demand has been supportive of oil prices. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures edged up 0.17% to $66.21 a barrel.

Prices were also weighing uncertainty on OPEC supply hikes.

Oil had some support thanks to gains in the equities market, analysts said. The group is set to meet June 22-23 in Vienna and decide how to move forward with its supply curb policy against the backdrop of tumbling Venezuelan output and looming sanctions against Iran, the third-largest OPEC producer.

Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation will propose a gradual production increase at the June 22-23 meetings of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in Vienna, meant to offset supply disruptions in Iran and Venezuela. But the week went out and we saw those stories walk back.

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It said on Saturday that Russia's oil output had risen to 11.1 million bpd in early June, up from slightly less than 11 million bpd for most of May and above its target output of under 11 million bpd.

Prices were weighed down by another rise in the number of rigs drilling for new oil production in the United States, which crept up by one to reach its highest level since March, 2015 at 862, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes on Friday.

Yesterday, Iraq's Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi said Baghdad "rejects unilateral decisions by some oil producers without consulting the rest of the members" of OPEC, clearly signaling that Saudi Arabia, leader of the OPEC pack as it may be, is not free to raise production without telling anyone about it. Related: Can Saudi Arabia Prevent The Next Oil Shock?

Riyadh pledged to pump no more than 10.058 million barrels a day under OPEC's output-cuts agreement with Russian Federation and other allies outside the group.

In top importer China, overseas crude purchases remain above 9 million bpd, despite a recent dip away from records.

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