Markets

Larger Rise in Stockpiles Than Forecasts Weigh on Oil Prices

Larger Rise in Stockpiles Than Forecasts Weigh on Oil Prices

Al-Falih's implication that the market could easily go south again is timely given surprising news out of the United Kingdom that for all the talk about aging oil fields, that nation is about to become a net crude oil exporter for the first time in 14 years.

With concerns of current supply shortages from the Libyan Elephant (El-Feel) oil field largely priced in, market focus shifted to the upcoming release of weekly USA inventory data later by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and on Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.

"We've got a lot more oil to produce and we'll be through that 11 million barrel-per-day threshold much sooner than expected", said Streible.

While U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil in last April reduced 5 cents to $63.50 per barrel after elevating by 3 percent preceding week.

Oil hit a two-and-a-half-week high on Monday (February 26) on the back of strong USA demand and comments from Saudi Arabia that it will stay in line with OPEC-led efforts to curb production.

"Climbing U.S. production continues to weigh on the market as traders fear that the OPEC output cuts will be nullified by the rising U.S. output", said William O'Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia's Rivkin Securities.

Brent crude rose 19 cents to settle at US$67.50 a barrel.

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Brent for April settlement was up by 4c to $67.35 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Prices briefly pared losses after the U.S. Energy Information Administration released data showing crude production in December dipped to 9.95 million barrels, down 108,000 barrels per day (bpd) from November.

Analysts said that without a smooth exit from the pact, global inventories may drop sharply and trigger a potentially damaging price rise.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ GRAPHIC: Russia vs Saudi vs USA oil production http://reut.rs/2EIuTWS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^. The most active USA gasoline futures RBc2 fell as much as 3.1 percent to $1.9354 a gallon.

Oil fell more than 1 percent on Thursday, hitting two-week lows on pressure from a strong dollar and worries that surging US crude output might thwart OPEC's efforts to drain global supply.

Mr Al-Falih welcomed the rise in US production, saying that demand is seen remaining strong in 2018 and that the market will be able to absorb that supply. With U.S. production booming and the International Energy Agency predicting that expanding supply from non-OPEC countries may cover global demand growth for the next two years, speculation has increased over how long the cartel will have to curb supply.

Prices were pressured earlier after three of the world's top consumers of crude - China, India and Japan - reported a slowdown in monthly factory activity. While Canadian production has continued to rise, reflecting past investments, pipeline capacity constraints have limited producers' options for moving their products to US markets.


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