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Oil prices flat on oversupply concerns, weak dollar

15 February 2018

"The rising profile of the country's oil production remains the predominant bearish factor for oil prices, and the trend is being closely watched by countries participating in the OPEC-led output cut agreement", said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy's Global Gas Analytics in London.

"Although the OECD is not the whole world, the leading oil producers who agreed to cut output identified the level of the group's stocks as an indicator of the progress of their initiative", IEA noted.

"All the indicators that suggest continued fast growth in the USA are in flawless alignment; rising prices leading, after a few months, to more drilling, more completions, more production, and more hedging", the IEA said.

In its latest monthly market report, the International Energy Agency said that supply-side strains are easing considerably.

A decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries previous year to offset supply-side strains with coordinated production cuts helped set a floor under crude oil prices of around $50 per barrel.

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In the USA, crude stockpiles probably climbed by 3.1 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey.

The U.S. benchmark crude contract lost nearly 10 percent of its value last week amid concerns about the broader economy.

The cartel anticipated that worldwide interest for oil would ascend to 98.6 million barrels for every day in 2018, from 97.01 million bpd a year ago.

Dhar says this highlights just how resilient United States shale oil supply has been despite volatile oil prices and shortages of available workers, creating a headache for both other crude producers and oil bulls alike.

The report also put Iran's oil production, based on secondary sources, at 3.829 million barrels per day (bpd) in the mentioned month, 3,000 bpd less than that of December.

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With the reassuring of stock exchanges around the world, the investors returned to crude oil, even with increased attention to production.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $59.83 a barrel. "Most importantly, the underlying oil market fundamentals in the early part of 2018 look less supportive for prices", said the IEA.

The investment bank expected that the global oil overhang would have cleared by the middle of 2018, accelerating OPEC's exit from the production cut pact that is now set to expire at the end of 2018.

If OPEC maintains high levels of compliance, the oil market could weather the new wave of shale supply, and return to a more bullish footing later this year as demand soaks up the excess.

"Recently we read of a shipment of condensate from the United States to the United Arab Emirates", the IEA's report read.

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The optimism of investors in the commodity market is connected with the rise of US exchanges on February 12. "If so, most producers will be happy, but if not, history might be repeating itself".

Oil prices flat on oversupply concerns, weak dollar