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Brent Needs Production Cut Extension to Sustain Rally Over $60.00
29 October 2017, 02:58 | Kara Nash
The average price of Oman oil for November delivery stabilised at $54.02
Brent crude was supported by comments from Saudi Arabia's energy minister on Tuesday reiterating the country's determination to end a three-year supply glut.
Brent crude futures settled up 11 cents at $US58.44 ($F120) a barrel.
Echoing sentiments about a so-called Goldilocks number, Tamas Varga with London oil broker PVM said in an emailed market report that USA crude oil production numbers may be the governor on market direction. Analysts and traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had been expecting crude inventories to have decreased by 2.2 million barrels, on average. The report also showed that production rebounded from a steep decline due to Hurricane Nate, and imports rose as well.
Iraq, Bloomberg's data showed, shipped 18.8 million barrels to the U.S.in September, while Saudi exports to this destination came in 2.9 million bpd lower. The pact now runs to March 2018.
Prices for physical barrels of North Sea oil hit their lowest in nearly four months earlier in October, as cheaper USA imports into the region undercut local sellers. Underpinning the market is the supply disruption in the Middle East that has led to a drop in Iraqi inventories.
Ian Taylor, the head of top oil trader Vitol, told the Reuters Global Commodities Summit earlier this month, he believes USA oil output could be set for one last hurrah in terms of production growth in 2018.
Kurdish authorities on Wednesday offered to suspend their independence drive, but Baghdad said it would continue its offensive to retake Kurdish territory.
OPEC and some major producers outside the cartel, including Russian Federation, first agreed late a year ago to cap their production at around 1.8 million barrels a day lower than peak October 2016 levels, with the aim of alleviating global oversupply and boosting prices.
Answering a question on whether he supported extending the production cut agreement, Prince Salman said "of course" and insisted that Opec "need to continue stabilizing the market", fuelling investor expectations that support for prolonged cuts is growing among Opec members.
The spread, or difference, between Brent and WTI means USA oil is more competitive against other benchmarks in some markets. WTI is likely to rally too. "If it goes too high, it is an indication to USA shale producers to produce more oil", a development that could undermine the oil market rebalancing under way, he said.
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