Oil ends lower as rising United States rig count, G-20 statement unnerves

21 March, 2017, 01:51 | Author: Leticia Walters

While the compliance to output cuts has been almost 100 per cent from the Opec side, relative non-compliance of Non-Opec coupled with steadily climbing United States production is keeping prices under pressure.

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil (RYE) (BNO) (IYE) futures for May delivery are near a four-month low as of March 20, 2017.

Traders said that prices came under pressure from rising USA drilling and ongoing high supplies by the Opec despite its pledge to cut output by nearly 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) together with some other producers like Russian Federation.

USA drillers added 14 oil rigs during the past week, bringing the total to 631 barrels, the highest number since September 2015. The much faster return of USA shale production and soft fuel prices have stimulated discussions within OPEC to extend the six-month deal until the end of the year.

Traders responded to the news, increasing oil prices by $1.14 per barrel on Wednesday to close at $48.86.

Halfway into an Opec-led oil supply cut, Asia remains awash with fuel in a sign that the group's efforts to rein in a global glut have so far had little effect.

"The market is looking at lower demand, while supply is to see a marginal increase", said a futures trader from Kuala Lumpur.

OPEC next meets to decide output policy on May 25 in Vienna.

EIA noted that gasoline supplies fell by 3.1 million barrels, and distillate stockpiles dropped 4.2 million barrels last week, too.

"Hard negotiations are on the way", another one of the sources said.

Palm oil looks neutral in a range of 2,767-2,810 ringgit per tonne, and an escape could signal a direction, said Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals.

Low demand and rising production could weigh down palm oil prices.

US oil this month dropped below $50 a barrel for the first time this year as the nation's near- record crude stockpiles and increasing production weighed on the output reductions by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies.

If global economic growth improves going forward and OPEC continues to limit production (in conjunction with some other major producers), oil prices could certainly move higher.

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