Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Saudi oil minister says production cuts may need to continue

Saudi oil minister says production cuts may need to continue Saudi oil minister says production cuts may need to continue
Ellis Copeland | 25 April, 2017, 12:54

Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak, however, declined to say whether the top non-OPEC oil producer would adhere to an extension, saying global stocks were declining.

The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was up 0.3 percent about a half hour before the start of trading in NY to $53.14 per barrel.

Oil prices tumbled on Friday, on track for the biggest weekly drop in a month on renewed concerns that increasing USA production and high inventories will thwart OPEC's attempts to reduce the global crude glut.

As the physical market for Brent weakens, Saudi Arabia said on Thursday that some oil producers have reached a tentative agreement to extend the current round of output cuts. That would leave the group, which must decide in May whether to extend its pact for another six months, well short of its goal.

Some non-OPEC producers, led by Russian Federation, joined in December by committing to cut output by 558,000 barrels per day (bpd).

"The resurgence of U.S shale continues to sabotage the cartel's efforts to stabilise the saturated markets", said Lukman Otunuga, analyst at futures brokerage FXTM. West Texas Intermediate was up 0.14 percent to $50.78 per barrel. Reflecting a growing surplus that could force traders to seek tankers as temporary floating storage facilities, the Brent June-July spread this week fell to an unusually weak minus 55 cents per barrel, down from parity just two months earlier.

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Investors are also monitoring whether the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will extend ongoing production cuts into the second-half of 2017, a move which could offset rising US output.

Want to learn more about trading with market sentiment?

Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's oil minister, told journalists on Thursday that the OPEC and other major suppliers have not achieved their aim of reducing oil inventories below the five-year historical average.

If stocks remained too high, "we will extend this agreement to nine or even 12 months (from January 1) because our target is the level of (inventories), and this will be the indicator of the success of our initiative", he added.

Omani Oil and Gas Minister Mohammad bin Hamad al-Rumhy said a "quite high" number of producers favoured extending the supply restraint agreement. The U.S. inventory data released the same day was "in line with expectations", and the slide accelerated as prices traded through their 50- and 100-day moving averages, the bank said.

Brent for June settlement slipped 21 cents to $52.78 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

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