Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

OPEC slashes growth forecast for global oil demand

US crude inventories rose 6 million barrels last week the Energy Information Administration said more than double analysts' expectations of a 2.6 million-barrels increase Oil extends losses as markets fall, inventories climb
Priscilla Morrison | 13 October, 2018, 22:52

USA crude futures continued to drop for second day, losing $1.88 to $71.29 per barrel in midday trade, as global stock markets fell, with investor sentiment made more bearish by a bigger-than-expected US crude inventories build.

This was after a 1.3 percent gain earlier in the day.

Petroleum prices slumped to two-week lows on Thursday as global stock markets fell, as a report, showing USA crude inventories rising more than expected, weighed on investor sentiment.

Oil prices have rallied this year as market watchers expect that USA sanctions on Iran, OPEC's third-largest oil producer, will reduce oil supplies. Rising US Treasury yields and trade policy worries sparked the sell-off on Wall Street. "One in particular will be energy because it's all about economic expectations", said Brian LaRose, a technical analyst at United-ICAP.

The group reduced its estimates for the expansion in global consumption in 2018 and 2019, citing slowing economic activity in emerging markets.

OPEC said Thursday that the oil market was "well supplied", and downgraded its global demand forecast.

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The cuts represent 718,877 barrels per day (bpd) of oil production. In the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, companies cut output by 40 percent on Thursday because of Hurricane Michael, even as some began returning crews to offshore platforms.

Since Monday, oil producers, including Anadarko Petroleum Corp, BHP Billiton, BP and Chevron Corp, have evacuated personnel from 75 platforms as the storm made its way through the central Gulf on the way to landfall on Wednesday on the Florida Panhandle.

Worries about crude supply from the Middle East have given prices some support. As reported by S&P Global Platts, the analysts predict that while the USA pressure on the regime of Maduro would not contain limitations on the US imports of Venezuelan crude oil, it could contain new restrictions on the US refined product exports and light oil exports to Venezuela.

The landmark nuclear deal, signed during the Barack Obama regime, was concluded between Iran and six world powers which include, U.S., Russia, U.K., China, France, and Germany, that lifted sanctions on Iran but place strict limits on its nuclear program for 12 years.

India, a major buyer, has ordered Iranian oil for November, although New Delhi does not yet know whether it will receive such a waiver. However, Gulf production cuts have been less of an impact on supplies with the rise of US shale oil.

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