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Crude prices rise in expectation of Aramco supply cut

19 May 2017, 11:50 | Jan Cross

Crude prices rise in expectation of Aramco supply cut

A soldier patrols in front of the headquarters of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna Austria

Thirteen OPEC members and 11 non-OPEC countries, led by Russian Federation, had agreed on November 30, 2016 to reduce their production by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months beginning from January in an effort to drain a glut of crude that held down prices for over two years.

Even though OPEC has stuck to its pledge to cut production, US output C-OUT-T-EIA has risen by more than 10 percent since mid-2016 to 9.3 million barrels per day, close to the output of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, said on Monday he expected Opec to agree to extend an agreement to limit oil production to the end of the year or possibly longer.

In the report, OPEC pointed to continued high compliance by its members with the supply cut deal and said oil stocks in industrialised nations fell in March - although they are still 276 million barrels above the five-year average.

The industry group the American Petroleum Institute reported a fall in US crude inventories by 5.8 million barrels last week, which was more than the 1.8 million-barrel slide analysts predicted.

Oil prices rose on Monday as talk of further supply cuts by major OPEC exporters outweighed the prospect of higher USA production as a drilling boom spreads across North America.

Oil prices had recently collapsed to their lowest since late November as investor anxious about the world's stubbornly persistent glut of crude erased most of the gains that followed last year's OPEC's output cut.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a drawdown of 5.789 million barrels of crude oil, for the week ending May 5, which beat analyst expectations of a fall of 1.8 million barrels.

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WTI has been under pressure for the last several weeks.

Meanwhile, Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, is up 1.9% at $49.89 per barrel on Wednesday, and has lost 12.4% this year.

In its monthly oil market report (MOMR), OPEC said the United States oil and gas companies have already stepped up activities in 2017 as they start to increase their spending amid a recovery in oil prices.

Saudi Aramco's decision to reduce oil supplies to Asia has seen prices rally again after recent declines.

Since a low point in May 2016, USA producers have added 387 oil rigs, or about 123 per cent, Goldman Sachs said.

Atkinson said such a move will see the supply deficit become even bigger in the second half of the year.

API had reported a build in US gasoline stockpiles on Tuesday.

Still, the notification of cuts in June allocations signals added urgency among Opec members as evidence mounts that the output reduction has so far failed to rein in a global crude glut in crude.



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