Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Oil edges up towards $49, U.S. drilling slowdown supports

Oil edges up towards $49, U.S. drilling slowdown supports

Indeed, the OPEC has warned of a likely surplus of production in 2018 although being at a high level already.

Last week, oil prices jumped by as much as 5% after the markets saw signs of a recovering demand for the commodity along with a slight slowdown in the US oil production which has been an issue for the oil markets as it has dampened the OPEC's efforts in driving oil prices up and preventing a global oversupply.

If that were the case, then any sort of agreed upon reduction in production would have a limited, if any, effect on the global supply of oil, as an effective production cut would necessitate all or at least a large majority of US shale producers agreeing to it.

Opec's "secondary sources" data, revised to include all figures from all parties, showed the 11 members bound by the Nov 30 output agreement pumped 29.89 million barrels a day in June compared with 29.69 million in May, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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United States rig count continued to increase, but the pace of rise slowed while U.S. oil inventories fell below 500 million barrels for the first time since January.

"The slowing pace of increases combined with massive drawdowns last week on both official crude inventory numbers from the U.S. probably explains the positive sentiment in general at the moment". "The net result is a rise in the demand for OPEC oil". The increasing numbers of operating rigs, as well as increasing production, have been raising concerns that the US shale oil producers which were able to cut their production cost dramatically over the past years are now a low-priced global competitor and would continue to undermine the OPEC agreement to cut supplies.

Saudi Arabia also increased its production by120,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the same period.

Large companies would understandably be open to talks about a reduction in oil production from shale regions, but smaller, more financially-constrained firms would probably not be able to survive if they underwent a cut in production. This is going to remain the biggest head-wind for oil prices.

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On the bullish side, the market was supported by U.S. Energy Information Administration remarks from early in the week calling for U.S. crude oil production to rise by less than previously forecast next year due to a lower price outlook.

"The choices have increased and crude is available at competitive prices", said M. K. Surana, chairman of oil refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp.

On the whole, given the selloff in the recent months, we mentioned last week that some short-covering was on the anvil. Prices gained $2.31 to $46.54 a barrel last week. "They should let prices crash to kill shale and then aim for steady price increases in the long term", Weinstein told Bloomberg. An extended rally towards higher resistance zone of Rs 3,100-3,120 now looks possible.

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