Could the API's Crude Oil Inventories Push Crude Prices Higher?


Ahmad writes that OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo has surprised many ahead of the upcoming OPEC meeting on November 30 in Vienna, by calling on USA shale producers to join forces with OPEC in its ongoing battle to reduce the persistent oversupply of oil in the market.

The OPEC agreement with Russian Federation and 10 other producers to take off 1.8 million bpd from the global oil market was originally supposed to last for six months, but in May this year the partners made a decision to extend it until the end of March 2018.

Brent crude futures, the worldwide benchmark for oil prices, were up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $55.85 a barrel. The United States is not party to the deal, and its crude output has risen 10 percent this year to more than 9.5 million bpd. It said that Aramco planned to supply 7.15 million barrels a day, "despite a very strong demand", which exceeds 7.7 million barrels a day.

"OPEC and key non-OPEC oil producers continue to successfully drain the oil market of excess barrels".

Libya's goal of boosting oil production to 1.25 million bpd by year-end will be hard to achieve, the chairman of state oil firm NOC said. "Between the first half and second half this year, demand growth is nearly about 2 million barrels (per day), which is very robust", he said.

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Prices drew support when the International Monetary Fund projected global economic growth of 3.6 percent this year and 3.7 percent for 2018, indicating fuel demand would rise.

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil prices are now sitting at a one-week high. "A rise above that level would encourage US oil producers to expand their drilling activities, otherwise the lower prices could lead to a reduction in their capex". Good compliance with production caps, "strong" demand and slower-than-expected growth in USA shale output have helped accelerate the rebalancing, he said.

The report's OPEC production figures mean compliance with the supply cut by the 11 members with output targets remains high at 98 percent, according to a Reuters calculation.

He also said Nigeria and Libya, who were exempted from the pact, "are making progress towards full recovery" of production, after which they could join the OPEC-led agreement.

Read: What happens if OPEC maintains current levels of production?