Monday, 17 December, 2018

Oil producers see oversupply, eye cutting output

Saudi to cut oil exports by 500,000 barrels per day in December Oil producers see oversupply, eye cutting output
Russell Knight | 14 November, 2018, 03:09

Saudi Arabia has said it will trim oil exports by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December, as major producers met to consider cuts to shore up declining prices.

"[There is] stronger return to stability for Libya, and Nigeria [is] stabilising and as members of Opec we want them to supply and grow", said Mr Al Falih.

Meanwhile, analysts believe OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, of course, "is acting responsibly by reducing its production that it had earlier brought online to offset possible Iranian losses".

Mr Yergin said: "It's the big three, it's Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States, this is a different configuration in the oil market than the traditional OPEC-non-OPEC one and so the world is having to adjust".

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said OPEC and its allies agree that technical analysis shows a need to cut oil supply next year by around 1 million bpd from October levels.

Although there are signs of a glut emerging in the USA, the Saudi minister said Sunday it was too early to talk about coordinated production cuts within OPEC+.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 1.5 per cent to $61.08 per barrel. The cut represents a reduction in global oil supply of about 0.5 percent.

Malaysia agreed in December 2016 to cut its production by 20,000 barrels a day to the agreed 600 million barrels until the next meeting the Vienna meet.

Traders said a strong USA dollar, which hit a 16-month high on Tuesday, also weighed on crude futures.

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Producers need to cut about 1 million barrels a day from October production levels, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said in Abu Dhabi on Monday. "The committee reviewed current oil supply and demand fundamentals and noted that 2019 prospects point to higher supply growth than global requirements", it said in a statement.

The Trump administration has been counting on Saudi Arabia to assure oil supply to prevent a run-up in prices post snapback of Iran sanctions.

In this light, Saudi Arabia has announced a new round of output cuts aimed at supporting the prices - which are, in the near-term, still expected to remain at that country's fiscal breakeven, estimated at roughly $70/bbl.

Even as the Saudis floated the possibility of a cut in production, the selling has not abated. "Oil prices should be much lower based on supply!"

"We will assure you that when we meet in December we will go to the market with the solution that will ensure market stability", he said.

Falih on Monday said inventories had been building up, adding that "the 25 producers will not allow this to continue" and that they had signalled they would do "whatever it takes to balance the market".

Worldwide benchmark Brent crude oil futures were at 71.11 dollars per barrel at 0051 GMT, up by 93 cents, or 1.3 per cent from their last close.

Trump in recent weeks demanded the oil cartel increase production to drive down USA gasoline prices.

"I think it all comes down to Russian Federation", said Helima Croft, chief commodities strategist at RBC Capital Market LLC.

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