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Saudi Arabia Signals Commitment to Oil-Production Cuts

14 March 2018

Reuters also took the opportunity to remind readers that Falih believes OPEC and its partners should look at metrics such as non-OECD inventories, oil in floating storage, and crude in transit, to determine how long the output reduction deal should continue - implying that the metrics used to date are not enough to truly state that the market is close to balance - a claim OPEC has trumpeted for months now. The Energy Department releases its USA inventories data later this morning.

Oil demand will be supported by the strong economy, OPEC said, but warned that "the most recent trade-related developments may provide challenges to the growth momentum as global trade has been an important factor contributing to the world economy".

West Texas Intermediate for April delivery traded at $61.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 41 cents, at 9:18 am in New York, after dropping 65 cents on Tuesday.

USA crude futures fell 0.8% to $60.23 a barrel, with Brent crude down 0.8% at $64.15.

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Crude has struggled since hitting a three-year high in January.

Crude oil prices have fallen in the last 24 hours.

China beat forecasts with a 7.2 percent year-on-year rise in industrial output in the first two months of 2018, while data showed Chinese crude output fell 1.9 percent.

"The drop in product stocks is significant with refinery utilization up 2% to 90%", said James Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics.

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If sanctions are reinstated, Iran's oil exports could drop by 250 000 to 500 000 barrels a day by the end of this year, FGE said in a note.

In its closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report published today, OPEC expects non-OPEC supply in 2018 to increase by 1.66 million bpd, compared to expectations of 1.4 million bpd growth from the previous monthly report.

This week, the API reported a smaller build for crude oil, and another draw for gasoline.

A multitude of factors were weighing on oil prices, but one factor stands out among the rest, and that's the steadfast climb of U.S. crude oil production, which for the week ending March 2 increased again, coming in at 10.369 million bpd-close to the 10.7 million bpd figure that the EIA suspects we will see in 2018.

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Data from China showed falling domestic production between January and February (down 1.9% to 3.77 million bpd), while crude throughput rose 7.3 percent.

Saudi Arabia Signals Commitment to Oil-Production Cuts