Thursday, 21 March, 2019

IEA: Fierce Global Refining Competition May Lead To Closures

Khalid al Falih speaks during a news conference in Riyadh Pradhan red flags higher crude oil prices to Saudi Arabia
Priscilla Morrison | 12 March, 2019, 16:55

The drop in fuel oil demand and the rise of petrochemicals over the next few years will benefit the USA oil producers whose typical crude products are lighter, the IEA said.

Brent crude futures were at $66.21 per barrel, up 47 cents, or 0.7 percent.

The second consecutive month of deep production cuts shows the world's largest oil exporter is determined to re-balance the market more quickly even though events in Venezuela have left some refiners short of crude.

Saudi Arabia plans to produce well below 10 million barrels a day in April, a similar pace to March, when it cut output by 500,000 barrels a day from February, the same official said, asking not to be named discussing internal deliberations. The oil cartel and partners agreed to slash production in December, taking 1.2 million barrels per day off the market in order to prevent supply glut and a further slump in crude prices.

"We will see what happens by April, if there is any unforeseen disruption somewhere else, but barring this I think we will just be kicking the can forward", Falih said.

The resolution was to be subject to a review to either extend the cut by June, or discontinue after the monitoring team has reviewed the impact.

USA crude exports will surpass shipments from Russian Federation and almost catches up to Saudi Arabia by 2024, diversifying global supplies, the IEA said. "Aramco is finalizing their April allocations today or tomorrow so we will know more on Monday".

More news: Jaguars agree to deal with Nick Foles

"We will continue to deliver on the OPEC & Non-OPEC commitment for voluntary production adjustments until the global market is re-balanced", Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Twitter.

On the other hand, production in U.S. hit a record of more than 12 million bpd in February.

News that Venezuela's crude exports have taken a hit in the wake of a mostly nationwide power outage that began late last week has also provided support for oil prices.

The IEA said it expects world demand for oil to grow at an average annual rate of 1.2 million barrels a day through 2024, reaching 106.4 million barrels a day.

High drilling activity previous year resulted in a more than two million barrels per day rise in production, to 12.1 million bpd reached this February, making the United States the world's biggest producer of crude oil ahead of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

He also said that along with China and the US, India's expanding economy was driving global oil demand growth.

Crude oil prices are expected to be underpinned throughout Tuesday's session as concerns over supply and renewed demand for risky assets are likely to remain supportive.

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