ibusinesslines.com December 17, 2018

Crude Oil Trades Bearish - All Hopes turn to G20 & OPEC's Meeting

29 November 2018, 02:57 | Kelvin Horton

Crude oil dips 0.68% on ample Saudi output; all eye on G20, Opec meetings

Oil prices steady near year lows ahead of G20 OPEC meeting

Buyers of Saudi crude ordered more barrels in early October to guard against a sudden plunge, although in the end the USA administration granted more waivers than anyone was expecting.

In the previous week ending Nov.16, WTI for December delivery and Brent crude for January delivery lost 6.2 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively. Indeed, on Friday prices of U.S. oil fell 7 percent, sinking even deeper into a bear market that has comparatively raised investor concern.

Crude oil futures were almost flat Tuesday morning, amid divided opinions as some analysts point to the likelihood of increased inventories adding to bearishness, while others see the bigger selloff as mostly done. Front-month Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $59.20 per barrel at 0049 GMT, up 40 cents, or 0.7%, from their last close. Earlier in the session, losses extended to 2.6 percent, bringing the contract within 20 cents of the 13-month low touched on Monday.

OPEC and its allies will announce production cuts to check a slump in oil prices when they meet next week, defying pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Fereidun Fesharaki, chair of energy consultancy FGE, warned that a failure by Opec and Russian Federation to significantly cut supply would mean crude prices would "fall further, perhaps to Brent at $50 a barrel and WTI of $40 a barrel or less".

Just a few weeks later, no one's talking about $100 anymore, and oil analysts and traders are trying to guesstimate if oil prices will rebound from the current lows, after the sell-off in recent weeks wiped out this year's gains. Brokerage PVM Oil Associates Ltd. cited the political tensions as another supporting factor for crude prices Monday Oil is unlikely to return to above $100 a barrel, and current prices are making it hard for major producers such as Angola, according to the country's president.

Prices could even drop to $30 a barrel and Saudi Arabia would still be able to finance the gap between its export and imports "from their foreign exchange savings for at least a decade", Capital Economics said. US crude oil exports averaged 2.0 million barrels per day, down by 81,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

Saudi Arabia's energy minister had said in October it was ramping up production to cover any potential supply disruption that resulting from nuclear related sanctions that the US imposed against Iran on November 5.

As we reach the close of this holiday week, United States oil prices are taking another dive. There was no settlement on Thursday due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. This should help limited recovery in oil prices from the current level.

On Friday, oil prices tumbled, as the market has been overwhelmed by persistent fears over supply gluts.

Worldwide benchmark Brent crude dropped $3.66, or 5.9%, to $58.94/Bbl by 1:34 p.m. ET Friday.

The supply-demand scenario remains gloomy with the three swing producers-US, Russia and Saudi Arabia-already pumping oil at record high levels.

Meanwhile, in the week ending November 23, the number of active drilling rigs in the United States decreased by three to 1,079, and the all lost are oil rigs.

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