Oil price edges lower on anticipated USA production rise

15 November, 2017, 00:24 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Crude oil is extracted from the Monterey Shale formation near Bakersfield California

Recent gains in crude oil values, which have put prices at plus $60/bbl, may not last if the factors driving price rises - namely, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East - prove to be temporary, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday. It kept its estimate for this year at 3.08 million bpd. Though solar power is set to become the cheapest source of new electricity generation and the boom years for coal are over, oil and gas will continue to meet the bulk of the world's energy needs, the IEA said. The figure was even lower based on secondary sources rather than what the government reports, at 1.863 million bpd in October, according to Opec.

In Abu Dhabi on Monday, the UAE Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, said that oil producers were expected to unanimously extend a production cut accord later this month, but its duration was still under discussion.

Worldwide, oil consumption is seen reaching 97.7 million bpd in 2017, up 1.5 million bpd from 2016. However, this is expected to cut only 2.5 million barrels per day, or about 2%, off global oil demand by that time.

Brent crude oil prices recently climbed to two-year highs of more than $60 a barrel due to supply disruptions, geopolitical concerns and a growing expectation that an Opec-led agreement to reduce production will be extended through 2018. Scientists just this week said that emissions of the heat-trapping gas rose this year after three years of not growing. "Although Canada has potentially prolific shale gas plays ... their estimated development cost is higher on average than in the Permian or the Appalachian Basin and they are further away from the demand hub", the IEA said.

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"Prices ... are starting to look like a pause or pullback is needed", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.

With big gains forecast in its output of shale oil, the United States is expected to become a net oil exporter by the mid-2020s, the IEA said, adding that the US will account for 80 per cent of the increase in the global oil supply to 2025, which will maintain near-term downward pressure on prices.

"It's quite spectacular, because you're going to see the number of cars on the road double from one billion to 2 billion, thanks to electric vehicles and fuel economy standards", said Laura Cozzi, head of the Energy Demand Outlook division.

In fact, the monthly report published by IEA on Tuesday would back that theory up as it lowered its crude demand forecast for the whole of 2017 and 2018, by 50,000 bbl/day and 190,000 bbl/day respectively.

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