UGO AMADI WITH AGENCY REPORT
Oil prices ahead 1 per cent on Tuesday, with Brent crude sliding below $70 and West Texas Intermediate, WTI went below $60 per barrel, after U.S. President Donald Trump put pressure on Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC not to cut supply to prop up the market.
The fall came amid a broad market selloff in Asia and before that on Wall Street, while the U.S.-dollar hit a 16-month high on Tuesday, making oil imports more expensive for any country using other currencies at home.
The U.S. WTI, crude oil futures were at $59.15 per barrel down 78 cents, or 1.3 percent from their last settlement, whereas the international benchmark Brent crude oil futures were at $69.47 per barrel, down 65 cents, or 0.9 percent, from their last close.
Crude oil production outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is set for further—and more intensive—growth this year and next, according to the latest monthly report of the cartel.
With U.S. production alone estimated to have hit 11.6 million bpd earlier this month as per figures from the Energy Information Administration, it’s no wonder OPEC sees the United States as the biggest driver behind non-OPEC supply growth, which it sees this year at 2.31 million bpd. This is 90,000 bpd more than what OPEC forecast a month earlier, and will be also helped by higher production in Canada, Russia, and Kazakhstan.
For the United States alone OPEC forecasts daily supply to reach 16.46 million barrels this year, rising considerably in 2019 as well, to 18.15 million bpd. This year, OPEC sees U.S. production growing by 2.06 million bps from 2017 and further by 1.69 million bpd in 2019. It is worth noting, however, that these figures include not just crude oil but also natural gas liquids.
In crude oil alone, OPEC expects U.S. producers to boost output to 11.43 million bpd in the last quarter of 2018 and continue ramping up production until it hits 12.5 million bpd at the end of 2019.
Thanks to these developments, oil production outside OPEC will reach 59.86 million bpd this year, growing further to 62.09 million bpd in 2019. That would represent a growth rate of 2.23 million bpd for 2019 from 2018, an upward revision by a considerable 120,000 bpd from OPEC’s October Monthly Oil Market Report.
Meanwhile both oil price benchmarks have shed more than 20 per cent in value since early October.“Sky-high production in the U.S., coupled with incremental barrels coming from Saudi Arabia and Russia is starting to impact oil market balances. As such, crude oil inventories are starting to increase once again,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note.
The bank added that it expected U.S. crude production , already at a record 11.6 million barrels per day (bpd), to break through 12 million bpd in 2019, making the United States “energy independent”.Top crude exporter Saudi Arabia has watched with alarm how supply is starting to outpace consumption, fearing a repeat of 2014’s price crash.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed there was a need to cut oil supply next year by around 1 million bpd from October levels to prevent oversupply.
Dutch bank ING said given the abundance of global supply as well as the threat of an economic slowdown, “cuts over 2019 are unavoidable …(as) it is becoming clearer that as we move closer towards 2019, the market will see a sizeable surplus at least over the first half of 2019.”U.S. President Donald Trump, however, did not like the rhetoric coming from his political ally in Saudi Arabia.
“Hopefully, Saudi Arabia and OPEC will not be cutting oil production. Oil prices should be much lower based on supply!” Trump said in a Twitter post on Monday.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia denied it is not preparing for a break up of OPEC and believes the group will remain the global central bank for oil for a long time, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al Falih said on Monday.
Saudi Arabia’s top government-funded think-tank has been studying the possible effects on oil markets of a breakup of OPEC, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Falih said the think-tank was just trying “to think outside the box” and analyse all scenarios but added that the Saudi leadership has “no consideration whatsoever to eliminate OPEC.”
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