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m3n4.net January 21, 2018


Oil Prices Close To Three Year Highs

10 January 2018, 12:33 | Vera Richards

Oil Prices Close To Three Year Highs

Oil prices up following crude inventories' fall

Baker Hughes on Friday said the U.S. rig count dropped by five in the last week of the year.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.62 a barrel at 3.44am GMT, 18c or 0.3% above their last settlement, and not far off the $62.21 May 2015 high reached last week.

The market has rallied in recent weeks as investors bet on an increasingly tighter market, aided by data showing declining US stockpiles and threats to supply from major producers such as Iran and Venezuela.

Many producers, still suffering from a 2014 price collapse, are enjoying the rally, although they are wary it will spur rival supply sources. US commercial crude inventories fell by 7.4 million barrels (MMBbl) in the week ended December 29, to 424.46 MMBbl, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.

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Traders and analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect government data due Wednesday to show crude stockpiles declined on average by 2.5 million barrels in the week ended January 5, which would mark the eighth consecutive week of inventory draws if estimates are accurate.

The growth of North American shale production, which caused an estimated 5 percent increase in USA crude output in 2017, has rocked the oil industry in the past few years, spurring OPEC and other traditional producers to cut output to trim global inventories. "We expect to see growth near 2 million barrels per day in 2018 and 1.3 million barrels per day in 2019".

However, Innes added that Middle East turmoil would remain a key focus for oil markets and had the potential to "send oil prices rocketing higher".

"Production cuts and demand are continuing to rebalance the market". The price of Brent has risen roughly almost 30% over the past year.

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USA oil and gas production will continue to increase in 2019 as well, to the chagrin of OPEC and Russia-major exporters looking to curb production and reduce competition from American shippers.

US crude production was forecast to climb by 970,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2018 and rise another 580,000 bpd to 10.85 million bpd in 2019, the EIA said in a monthly report that provided the agency's first outlook for next year.

The rise in prices is expected to drive gains in USA production during 2018, offsetting curbs by others.

Futures advanced 0.5 percent on Monday, settling near $62 a barrel in NY.

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