API reports growth in USA oil inventories

Oil gains on disrupted Libyan exports, Saudi promise to put a stable end to curbs
Oil gains on Libyan halt as Saudis promise a stable end to curbs
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02 March, 2018

The U.S. will become the world's largest crude oil producer by 2019 at the latest, Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said this week.

'That its oil market is dominated by a large number of uncoordinated, private-sector firms, many of whom benefit from lower production costs than producers elsewhere, means the USA will remain a major player for the foreseeable future'.

April WTI crude oil futures settled at $63.91, up $0.36 or +0.57% and April Brent crude oil closed at $67.50, up $0.19 or +0.28%.

Oil steadied around its highest prices in three weeks on Monday, supported by comments from Saudi Arabia that it would continue to curb shipments in line with the Opec-led effort to cut global supplies.

It is because OPEC has maintained discipline, in largely sticking to its self-imposed crude oil output limits, that the crude oil price has risen from US$30/bbl at the beginning of 2016 to around US$60/bbl today, reviving United States shale oil production.

Brent for April settlement, which expires today, declined 87 cents to end the session at US$66.63 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Brent crude was down 40 cents, or 0.6 percent, at Dollars 66.23 a barrel.

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Saudi Arabia is committed to meeting its production curb pledge and balancing exports, he said, adding that the nation, the world's biggest oil exporter, will keep overseas shipments in March below 7 million barrels a day.

Analysts said that without a smooth exit from the pact, global inventories may drop sharply and trigger a potentially damaging price rise. According to the EIA, the US will overtake Russian Federation as the world's biggest oil producer by 2019.

Gasoline futures lost 2.2 percent to $1.7636 a gallon. In November 2017, crude oil production was 10.03 million barrels a day.

It seems that only a stronger dollar, which could reduce demand and a surprise jump in USA production could derail the rally at this time, especially since recent data shows hedge funds returning to the long side of the market.

In disclosing this in its Oil Market Report for February, IEA also noted that compliance with OPEC supply cuts reached an unprecedented high of 137 per cent in the review month.

A Reuters survey on Wednesday found OPEC production fell in February to a 10-month low. In addition to its weekly statistics, the EIA will also publish a monthly report on crude supply, which may show substantial upward revisions in crude output. Venezuela's hit came amid US -imposed financial sanctions and shrinking production.


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