emfizz.com January 19, 2018

Oil retreats after hitting 2015 highs

08 January 2018, 03:34 | Jan Cross

Crude oil likely to hit $80/bbl mark in 2018; 10 stocks which are likely to get impacted the most

Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih arrives to attend the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh

US oil prices closed above $60 a barrel on the final trading day of the year, the first time since mid-2015, as the commodity ended 2017 with a 12 percent gain spurred by strong demand and declining global inventories.

Apart from a spike in May 2015, oil is at its highest since December 2014 - the month after a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to stop cutting output to support prices.

USA oil stocks fell more than expected, continuing a steady drawdown of supplies in the world's largest oil consumer, though stocks of distillates and gasoline rose on heavy refining activity driven in part by year-end adjustments. But prices have rallied almost 50 percent since the middle of the year on robust demand and strong compliance with the production limits. Additionally, U.S. production will likely break though 10 million barrels per day.

EIA also said crude oil export volumes and the number of destinations for those exports continued to increase.

And if the cheating continues, then Sen's worry of a tightening market may not come to pass at all, especially when one factors in USA shale continuing its pursuit of energy independence by pumping full out this year.

Ras Tanura refinery in January 2017
Oil buoyed by drop in number of US drilling rigs

Oil rose to its highest since May 2015, on concern about supply risks due to unrest in Iran and another decline in USA inventories as refining activity hit a 12-year high.

As if to herald what might really take place later this year, and again contrary to Sen's concerns, US production rose to 9.78 million bpd in the latest week according to the Energy Information Administration - and this plus weaker refined products demand caused West Texas Intermediate on Friday to drop 57 cents to $62.21 and Brent to fall 45 cents to $67.62 per barrel.

United States crude oil inventories continued to fall in the week to December 29, with a new decline of 7.4mn barrels (mbs) to reach 424.5 mbs, which is very close to the five year average of 420 mbs. Inventories are down by nearly 20 percent from historic highs last March, and well below this time a year ago or in 2015. MCX Crude oil futures closed around Rs 3920 per barrel and should see a mixed outing ahead of the weekend.

Libya is to start repairing the pipeline near the Es Sider terminal this weekend, a Libyan oil official said, while the Forties pipeline was already pumping close to normal levels, according to trading sources.

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