ibusinesslines.com March 18, 2018

Oil Sinks on Output Complications

13 March 2018, 08:13 | Kelvin Horton

Oil Holds Gain as US Drilling Eases for First Time in 7 Weeks

Iran: OPEC could agree in June to start easing oil output cuts in 2019 - WSJ

New indications of growing USA output come as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries-which has been holding back output by 1.8 million barrels a day since the start of last year-is divided over how high the price of oil should be.

"The market switched from backwardation to contango in the crude oil curve today. that's a situation that implies weakness; it's a situation that, if it persists, will lead to an increase in storage", said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in NY. The futures on U.S. crude oil with delivery in April fell by 0.20% to 61.24 United States dollars per barrel.

Both oil varieties lost about 1% of their value on Monday.

"Libyan oil loadings have been suspended, that's why the market is rallying at the moment", PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga said.

U.S. tight oil production, or shale fracking, should rise by 131,000 barrels a day in April, to a record of 6.95 million barrels a day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's latest drilling report released this week.

"Oil prices moved lower. after the EIA published a report that crude production from seven major USA shale plays is expected to see a climb", said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.

USA production is expected to rise above 11 million bpd by late 2018, taking the top spot from Russian Federation, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

While the producer group complied with a pledge to curb output and ease a glut in 2017, US flows that are gaining a bigger slice of the prized Asian market may prompt some nations to boost supplies, said Warren Patterson, a commodities strategist at the Dutch bank. Total output should now average 10.7 million barrels a day this year, up from a previous forecast of 10.6 million barrels a day. "Thus, Opec has no scope to expand production from its current level".

Brent crude futures were at $64.85 per barrel, down 10 cents, or 0.2 percent.

"Last week's action was dictated by broader markets - movement in the dollar and the potential impact of steel tariffs", Matthew Smith, the director of commodity research at ClipperData, told UPI.

Friday's strong USA payroll data, which showed a hefty 313,000 rise in jobs but tempered growth in hourly earnings, supported Treasuries in early trade.

Oil prices shot up more than 3 percent in Friday trading after oil and gas services company Baker Hughes reported a dip in rig activity in North America.

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