Oil prices recover marginally after plummeting to three-month low

14 March, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • OPEC's compliance with output cuts high rebalancing progresses Goldman

This drop has further increased speculation whether the deal should or would be extended beyond its original expiry date at end-June, given the rise in USA shale.

Rosneft said the only guaranteed route to balance the market was for all producers to limit supplies, but acknowledged this would not happen because USA shale producers would not join any such pact.

Last week, oil futures settled at the lowest level since the end of November on Friday, booking a weekly loss of around 9% as concern over rising shale production and record-high USA crude inventories offset optimism that OPEC and its allies have been following through on their commitment to cut production. The continuing rise in USA output is thwarting the efforts by OPEC, Russia and 10 other exporters to reduce daily output, trim the global supply and stabilize prices. The contract dropped $0.79 to $48.49 on Friday, capping the biggest weekly decline since November. Longs slipped 2.5 percent, while shorts advanced 0.5 percent.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and shale producers have fought each other to a draw over the last two years, with neither able to achieve a decisive victory. The EIA said not only had U.S. stocks hit a record 528 million barrels of crude, but United States output had hit 9.088 million bpd and will continue rising well past 9.1 million. Kuwait supports extending OPEC's output deal beyond June, Kuwait's official news agency Kuna reports, citing Kuwait Oil Minister Issam Almarzooq.

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Shale billionaire Harold Hamm said his industry could "kill" the oil market if companies keep increasing spending to boost drilling. The nation's active oil-rig count has nearly doubled since May to 617 last week, according to Baker Hughes. Crude production rose to 9.09 million barrels a day, the highest since February 2016.

There are severe civil and criminal penalties for sharing information about future output and prices let alone any attempt to divide market shares among producers ("The Antitrust Laws", Federal Trade Commission, undated).

The next commitments of traders reports, published on March 17 and March 20, will reveal how much of the remaining net long position was liquidated between March 8 and March 10, and give some idea of how much more needs to be liquidated before prices steady again.

"It will be interesting to see how OPEC rhetoric will evolve with this price correction".

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