Oil falls on shock US stock builds, OPEC supply worries

26 May, 2018, 06:50 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • Latin America Energy, Oil and Gas, News and Information

The timing this week of unnamed sources saying the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will consider boosting crude production coincides uncannily with USA democrats urging president Donald Trump to prod the cartel to lower oil prices: but while OPEC turning on the taps would ultimately result in what the dems want, OPEC's motivation to act seems to be for practical rather than political reasons.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures eased 21 cents, or almost 0.3 percent, to $71.99 a barrel, having climbed on Tuesday to $72.83, also the highest since November 2014.

Meanwhile, OPEC may ease oil supply retraints in June, according to Reuters.

Oil prices fell more than 2% towards $77 a barrel today as Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation said they were ready to ease supply curbs that have pushed crude prices to their highest since 2014.

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While triple-digit oil may be a way off in practice, talk that prices could top that barrier over the next 12 months is gaining traction.

WTI (oil futures on NYMEX) extends its losing streak into a fourth-day today, as rising worries over the latest report that the OPEC and non-OPEC producers are considering increasing the output by 1 mln bpd, adds to the ongoing sell-off in oil.

Since 2017, financial sanctions on Venezuela and PDVSA and quality problems with some PDVSA's crude grades also have created obstacles for US customers to import or pay for oil shipments from the South American country, affecting refiners such as PBF and Phillips 66.

FocusEconomics, a Spain-based economic think tank, says after surveying economists and analysts: "We do not expect the current sweet spot in oil prices will be sustainable further down the road". United States crude futures were trading at around r$69 per barrel, while Brent crude was worth about $77 per barrel.

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Oil fell on Wednesday, under pressure from a potential increase in OPEC crude output to cool the market's recent rally and cover any shortfalls in supply from Iran and Venezuela.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, signaled on Friday that its 18-month-old quest to drive up crude prices and drain global inventories might be coming to an end.

"We still have the unquantifiable impact of USA sanctions against Iran". That's expanding the nation's surplus of the fuel as American production tops 10 million barrels a day.

"Whether it's a million barrels more or less, we think we'll have to wait until June before making that announcement", he said.

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According to the Guinness Atkinson Global Energy Fund, daily oil demand is expected to rise by 1.5 million barrels this year.



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