Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

U.S. crude oil stocks rise, output falls for w/e June 7

US Crude Oil now heading towards the $50 level US Crude Oil now heading towards the $50 level
Russell Knight | 16 June, 2019, 12:36

Tensions in the Middle East have escalated since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 multinational nuclear pact with Iran and reimposed sanctions, notably targeting Tehran's oil exports.

US crude oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly for a second straight week, despite the highest refining rates in six months and lower imports and production, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Gasoline stocks rose by 764,000 barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 743,000-barrel gain. Brent oil futures have declined by 2.26% by this time.

Stocks jumped by 6.8 million barrels during the previous week. EIA's lower 2019 Brent price path reflects rising uncertainty.

"At a minimum, these results are going to keep traders on the sidelines, or more likely, pressing crude until it stops going down", Michael Bradley, equity strategist at energy investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Company, said in a research note.

A surprise increase in USA crude stockpiles also kept oil prices under pressure.

On Wednesday, US-based Goldman Sachs said that the slowing economic growth and decreasing oil demand was the largest driver behind the bearish trend of oil prices.

The U.S. also imported less from Iraq.

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"Oil is reacting to the disease, while other assets are reacting to the cure more", he said.

Crude oil futures plunged sharply on Wednesday after data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed a jump in US crude stockpiles for a second straight week.

Oil & Gas 360 released an article entitled, Goldman Sees Hard Path to OPEC+ Extension that discusses these supply and demand issues in the context of the upcoming OPEC meeting in detail.

OPEC is set to meet on June 25, followed by talks with its allies led by Russian Federation on June 26.

Members of the alliance known as OPEC+ have signaled they are prepared to extend the current deal, which started in January and runs through June, into the second half of the year. Production by all 14 OPEC members dropped by 236,000 bpd from April to 29.88 million bpd.

The group said it must weigh a potential slowdown in global economic activity against geopolitical supply risks. According to the Oil & Gas 360 article, stockpiles are now at their highest level since mid-2017 and this oversupply is present "amid slower demand growth".

Hedge fund managers are liquidating bullish oil positions at the fastest rate since the fourth quarter of 2018 due to increasing fears about the health of the global economy.

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