Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Crude Inventories Pale, Oil Prices Extend Gains

Crude Inventories Pale, Oil Prices Extend Gains

In April past year, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said that it was establishing a new trading unit to "introduce and manage non-speculative trading to further maximize value from every barrel of crude oil and refined product that is produced and marketed by the company".

As of 1555 GMT, front monh West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for prompt month delivery were climbing by 1.73% to $57.87 a barrel on the ICE.

USA crude oil production also dipped, falling by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 12 million bpd.

EIA expects these trends to continue over the next several years.

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The National Bank of Australia said the outlook for the oil market was mixed because there were downside risks to prices due to concerns about economic growth and strong growth in U.S. supply, while the cutbacks in OPEC declined and the United States imposed sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

Oil prices have risen since the beginning of this year thanks to supply cuts led by OPEC.

In Venezuela, oil production and exports have been disrupted by a political and economic crisis that has caused massive blackouts and supply shortages, while Washington has barred US companies from doing business with the Venezuelan government, including state-owned oil firm PDVSA. The result has been a growing role for the United States in world petroleum trade.

Even so, with the demand for Opec crude forecast at 30.46 million bpd, the report indicates that the market would still face a small 2019 surplus if OPEC kept pumping at February›s rate, as rivals such as the United States boost output.

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USA crude oil inventories shrank unexpectedly again last week, alongside another drawdown in product inventories. It kept its forecast for growth in global oil demand this year unchanged at 1.24 million bpd.

Crude inventories dropped by 3.9 million barrels in the last week, to 449.07 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations for an increase of 2.7 million barrels.

In 2018, petroleum trade volume, which stands for imports minus exports, reached 2.3 million barrels per day, which was its lowest level since 1967, said EIA. Data from the Petroleum Institute showed that crude oil consumption increased by 29,000 bpd.

Overall Opec output fell by 221,000 bpd month-on-month to 30.55 million bpd.

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