Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Oil: OPEC Production Climbs As Saudi Arabia Pumps More

Here are the latest oil production numbers from the EIA. All data is in thousand barrels per day unless otherwise noted Here are the latest oil production numbers from the EIA. All data is in thousand barrels per day unless otherwise noted
Lindsey Cook | 06 August, 2018, 00:59

While data from the Energy Information Administration showed US crude inventories rose 3.8 million barrels last week, Saudi Arabia pumped near-record volumes in July and Russian Federation increased its crude production to levels not seen since it joined OPEC in a coordinated output cut two years ago.

American oil production in May actually inched down from April by 0.3 percent, according to EIA's Monthly Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production report. Thursday's data suggests last week's increase might have been an anomaly, traders said.

Higher crude output from the Saudis, along with Nigeria and Iraq, pushed up total production from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries by 300,000 barrels a day, offsetting losses from a spiraling economic collapse in Venezuela, political clashes in Libya and the onset of USA sanctions against Iran. In the previous week, total US inventories rose 3.8 million barrels, while supplies at Cushing fell 1.3 million barrels.

Crude prices remained supported by the prospect of an Iranian supply squeeze following the imposition of USA oil sanctions, with yesterday's rally stymied by short-term bearish supply factors that continue to weigh on prices.

Smith noted while it's highly unlikely India will absorb China's share of USA crude, "we could see other East Asian destinations, such as Taiwan and South Korea, also picking up some of the slack".

At 1010 GMT, the October ICE Brent crude futures contract was down 10 cents from Thursday's settle at $73.45/b, while the NYMEX WTI September contract edged down 3 cents to $68.93/b.

"Trade volume is pretty low in futures today".

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Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have increased production to help to compensate for an anticipated shortfall in Iranian crude supplies once planned US sanctions take effect later this year.

"The increase in production is aimed at maintaining stability of the (global) oil market within the framework of joint actions of OPEC and non-OPEC countries", Novak said. "A lot of this is the risk premium priced in for Iran and when do we start seeing an impact on supply there", Patterson said. "This primary USA oil hub's inventory now sits at the lowest levels since 2014", he said.

The price jump earlier this summer had come about in large part because of President Donald Trump 's decision to pull the USA out of an global agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program.

"It is nearly certain that China will impose additional duties on oil and refined products imported from the US if the Trump administration implements additional tariffs on the next tranche of Chinese goods".

"A clear definition around the macros is what the market is looking for and until we get that, it is likely to be volatile in the range", said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance in Sydney.

Nonetheless, the tough talk from Washington on trade with China has put pressure on oil prices.

After Trump called for a 15 percent increase in tariffs on Chinese goods earlier this week, Beijing on Friday announced it was targeting $60 billion worth of USA goods in response.

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