Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Oil slips to about $60 on USA inventories, OPEC comments

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a plenary session 'Building Partnerships Bridging Differences' as part of the 10th annual VTB Capital 'Russia Calling' Investment Forum at the World Trade Center in Moscow Russia on Nov 28 Petrol prices in India slide further as crude gets into $50 range - CarWale
Priscilla Morrison | 06 December, 2018, 13:20

Towards the end of last week the crude oil market received another setback as its prices in the USA plummeted by almost 7 % and sank into a bear market that made vehicle owners a happy lot but set alarm bells ringing among investors.

The signals from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its leader, Saudi Arabia, have been mixed.

China in November resumed imports of US crude oil, taking in one tanker at the end of last month, according to ship-tracking data, with another on order for delivery in January.

At the same time, Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak warned against hasty decisions on another U-turn in oil production policies, and said that he would be discussing potential oil production cuts with Russian producers, who don't appear too keen to start cutting again after the OPEC/non-OPEC meeting in June gave them leeway to ramp up output to post-Soviet record highs.

"President Trump's tacit support of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (known as MbS) in the wake of the Khashoggi murder seems to have provided him with significant leverage over the Saudi leadership", Capital Economics analysts said in a note. He said at the time that supply could exceed demand by as much as 1 million barrels per day (bpd), or 1 percent of global demand, suggesting that OPEC and its allies may try to reduce production by that amount. Wise stated that that would depend on the severity of cuts adopted by OPEC and its allies.

Brent crude futures were last up 51 cents on the day at $59.27 a barrel, off an earlier session low of $57.50, while USA crude futures rose 68 cents to $50.97. The last wave of heavy sales of crude oil brought down the prices to $51 per barrel and since then anxiety about oversupply by producers and a slowdown in demand has sent the prices spiraling downwards though in October the prices were at a four year high of $76 per barrel.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said signals from Iraq, Nigeria and Libya were positive ahead of the group's December 6 talks because all ministers want to restore oil market stability.

More news: Celtic Boss Has Held Talks With Top January Target

Adding to the uncertainty in the oil markets were President Vladimir Putin's comments.

At 1300 GMT, January WTI crude oil is trading $50.97, up $0.68 or +1.35% and January Brent crude oil is at $59.42, up $0.66 or +1.12%.

"This led to positive results", Putin said.

Gasoline stocks fell by 764,000 barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for a 640,000-barrel gain.

The API said that United States crude stocks rose by 3.5 million barrels, more than analysts forecast.

Portfolio managers have slashed their combined net long position in crude futures by a total of 607 million barrels over the last eight weeks, the largest reduction over a comparable period since at least 2013, when the current data series began, exchange data showed.

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