Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Rising crude prices may singe wallets

Rising crude prices may singe wallets Rising crude prices may singe wallets
Russell Knight | 17 May, 2018, 17:55

"When oil prices rise due to geopolitical concern and not due to demand and supply and fundamentals, it can not be reasonable", a source familiar with Iranian thinking said of the current rally. "With the dollar strengthening, higher oil prices and softening economic growth, we see a threat to demand growth from 2019", BMI Research said on Thursday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other large oil producers led by Russian Federation, have agreed to cut their combined oil output by 1.8 million bpd to reduce bloated global oil inventories and support prices.

This was to spur USA domestic oil production, particularly shale resources, and anything else that can "wean" the U.S. from foreign oil imports.

A report by the International Energy Agency on Wednesday warned that the rising price could hit demand.

Crude oil futures nudged higher Wednesday amid a large decrease in U.S. oil stockpiles.

Physical crude markets are sagging under the weight of unsold barrels of oil, while the 50% jump in price of crude in the a year ago is encouraging major companies such as ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron, to raise production. This was followed by CNBC and Oil Price Information Service's (OPIS) Tom Kloza calling for the same.

A majority of analysts said OPEC was unlikely to prematurely end its output curbs, while some analysts said the imposition of trade restrictions could affect compliance levels and provide countries like Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation an opportunity to regain market share.

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The agency added that developing nations that phased out fuel subsidies when prices were lower are especially sensitive to the high prices; it also noted that the "effect of higher prices should in particular become apparent in gasoline demand in the next few months".

Up to 1 million b/d of Iranian oil exports could by affected by the United States move with Iran's biggest oil buyers, China and India, expected to continue importing its oil.

At the same time, China's domestic crude oil production has been languishing near June 2011 lows in the first quarter this year, prompting higher imports to meet growing demand. Markets face other disruptions besides Iran, with Venezuela's output plunging to the lowest since the 1950s as its economy unravels. World supply, meanwhile, rose 1.78 million bpd in April from a year earlier, driven predominantly by non-Opec production.

The bank says Venezuela's production will drop by 500,000 barrels a day over the following 20 months, but a major drop in Iranian exports is excluded from the forecast.

Distillate fuel product supplied averaged about 4.2 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, up by 3.0 percent from the same period previous year.

It did not, however, really reach a sustained 3 million barrels per day production despite being reluctantly exempted from the current OPEC plus agreement with non-OPEC producers.

This morning's EIA inventories report came in at -1.404 million barrels, above projections of -0.763 million. The high price of Brent is attracting US exports.

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