Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

OPEC squeezes oil output to 4-year low, Russian Federation compliance low

The Opec+ cuts are taking effect and US data is starting to reflect these changing market conditions. — Reuters  file The Opec+ cuts are taking effect and US data is starting to reflect these changing market conditions. — Reuters file
Priscilla Morrison | 14 February, 2019, 10:58

Brent crude futures continue to track higher with bulls eying a break above the 2019 peak ($63.63/bbl).

The global oil market will struggle this year to absorb fast-growing crude supply from outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, even with the group's production cuts and US sanctions on Venezuela and Iran, the International Energy Agency said in a report on Wednesday.

The IEA left its demand growth forecast for 2019 unchanged from its last report in January at 1.4 million barrels per day.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $54.16 per barrel at 0413 GMT, up 26 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last settlement. The rally came as the International Energy Agency warned that turmoil in Venezuela could disrupt global flows of heavy crude and after Saudi Arabia said it would extend its own cuts.

Oil prices inched up on Thursday, buoyed by hopes that potential progress in the latest Sino-U.S. tariff talks would improve the global economic outlook. Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih on Tuesday told the Financial Times production would fall below 10 million bpd in March, more than half a million bpd below the target it agreed to as part of a global deal to limit supply.

The OPEC's 14 members pumped 30.81 million bpd in January, down from 31.60 million bpd in December, according to its Monthly Oil Market Report.

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"In terms of crude oil quantity, markets may be able to adjust after initial logistical dislocations (from Venezuela sanctions)", the Paris-based IEA said.

Oil climbed for a second day as dwindling shipments from two of the world's biggest crude exporters eclipsed another big jump in US supplies.

In the US, oil inventories climbed 3.63 million barrels, while supplies of gasoline, heating oil and other fuels added about 3 million barrels more, according to weekly data from the Energy Information Administration.

"In quantity terms, in 2019, the USA alone will grow its crude oil production by more than Venezuela's current output". Analysts polled by Reuters forecast an increase of 2.7 million barrels.

The March production figure means Saudi would be voluntarily cutting output by more than 500,000 bpd below its pledged production level under a deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russian Federation.

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