Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Oil prices rise amid broad market rally, OPEC supply cuts

Khalid al Falih speaks during a news conference in Riyadh Pradhan red flags higher crude oil prices to Saudi Arabia
Russell Knight | 12 March, 2019, 16:56

The outlook points to pressure on demand for crude from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as the United States and other rivals expand supplies.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $56.97 per barrel at 0054 GMT, up 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last settlement.

Brent oil futures rose as much as 1.3 percent to $66.60 a barrel in London trading.

On Jan. 1, OPEC+ began new production cuts to avoid a supply glut that threatened to soften prices.

Offsetting these developments is the surge in US supply, which the International Energy Agency said on Monday would continue to 2024, probably requiring OPEC and its allies to keep up their policy of market management.

The resolution was to be subject to a review to either extend the cut by June, or discontinue after the monitoring team has reviewed the impact.

Markets were held back after U.S. employment data raised concerns that an economic slowdown in Asia and Europe was spilling into the US.

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"Downward revisions in global growth forecasts by OECD and European Central Bank have capped bullish gains", said Benjamin Lu of Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures.

He also invited Saudi Arabia to partner with India in building strategic oil reserves and further invest in India's refining and Petrochemical sectors.

"We will continue to deliver on the OPEC & Non-OPEC commitment for voluntary production adjustments until the global market is re-balanced", Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Twitter.

"The ministers reviewed various Saudi investment proposals in the Indian oil and gas sector, including the urgent steps to be taken to expedite the implementation of the first joint venture West Coast Refinery and Petrochemical Project in Maharashtra, estimated to cost the United States $44 billion, which will be the largest greenfield refinery in the world", a government statement said on Sunday. If there is any unforeseen disruption somewhere else.

High drilling activity a year ago resulted in a more than 2 million bpd rise in production, to 12.1 million bpd reached this February, making the United States the world's biggest producer of crude oil ahead of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, with some 3.6 million bpd being exported in February.

With a projected 2.3 million barrel of crude oil production per day and $60 oil benchmark in the 2019 budget, the rise in the oil prices, they say is healthy for the finance of the budget which has an unprecedented huge capital expenditure component. "But, barring this, I think we will just be kicking the can forward", Mr Falih said.

With U.S. production booming, the country needs to import less and is increasingly turning overseas to sell surplus oil.

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