February 26, 2018

Brent oil rallies as hopes grow OPEC will extend output deal

26 September 2017, 12:47 | Frank Carlson

Brent weekly chart

Brent weekly chart

"London Brent crude delivery for November slipped 8¢ to $56.78 a barrel, while the USA crude fell roughly 15¢ to a value of $50.51 per barrel". This discount has doubled in the last six weeks as USA crude demand has been affected by hurricane damage to US refineries.

Light, sweet crude for November delivery edged up 11 cents, or 0.2%, to $50.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Opec and non-Opec members including Russian Federation met in Vienna last week to discuss their deal to cut production by about 1.8m barrels per day (bpd), which runs to the end of March 2018.

Asked when Nigeria was willing to join the supply limiting deal, the minister said the country already had, in effect.

-Still, prices of Nymex and Brent are hovering near their best levels in months, on optimism that the production cap deal has caused some oversupplied markets to start showing signs of tightening.

OPEC's compliance with an agreement among oil producers to reduce output has been acceptable, Iran's oil minister said on Monday, adding that some changes were needed if participants seek to balance the market.

Crude inventories rose for a third straight week, building by 4.6 million barrels, about a million more barrels than forecast.

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"Oil ministers were patting themselves on the back in Vienna, and perhaps rightly so".

That explains the run-up in oil prices this quarter.

The entire Brent futures complex through June 2020 has also reached "backwardation", a situation where nearby oil was costlier to that meant for later delivery.

Markets were also eyeing developments in North Korea.

Even so, some market observers felt the price spike was overdone.

"I really want to be bullish here as the overall picture of oil globally is strong, but I still see red flags, which include CTA buying which implies they may be getting too long", Shelton commented, referring to Commodity Trading Advisors that include hedge funds.

Those risks have risen in the past two days after Iraq on Sunday urged countries to stop oil trade with its autonomous Kurdistan region in retaliation for the vote, and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Monday to cut off the Ceyhan pipeline that carries the Kurdish region's entire oil output to the outside world.

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