OPEC, non-OPEC deal could be further extended: Zanganeh

Posted March 31, 2017

Commercial crude oil inventories rose by 0.9m barrels during the week ending on 24 March, according to the Energy Information Administration, the Department of Energy's statistical arm.

In total, they agreed to reduce output by 1.8 million barrels per day to 32.5 million for the first six months of the year, but so far the move has had little impact on inventory levels.

West Texas Intermediate for May delivery was at $48.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 28 cents, at 12:47 p.m. London time.

The last four months have seen mostly builds in US inventories, as reported on a weekly basis by both the EIA and the API, contributing substantially to the rise of bearish sentiment among investors and dampening hopes of further oil price strengthening.

Oil production in Libya has fallen more than 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) this week as output from its western oilfields of Sharara and Wafa has been blocked by armed protesters.

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The Global benchmark for oil, Brent Crude Futures for the front month was at $52.42 per barrel at 0040 GMT.

The Libyan supply disruption is thought to be around 500,000 barrels of oil per day, Seaport Global Securities analysts wrote in a Wednesday morning note.

The impact of this production curb was largely ineffective due to rising USA production during the same time.

US crude exports surged 12 per cent in 2016 to 520,000 barrels per day and China became the third-biggest overseas destination for USA crude last year, according to EIA data, up from ninth the previous year.

The higher prices came despite USA crude stocks rising by 1.9 million barrels to 535.5 million barrels.

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The latest Reuters survey also indicated that OPEC output had declined for the third successive month in March with overall compliance at 95%.

Opec member Libya was excluded from the cuts, agreed late past year, as the country's oil sector fell victim to the unrest that followed the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Currently, investors are awaiting as OPEC may decide to extend the production cut beyond June this year.

"The global oil market is now in deficit because of production curbs by OPEC and Russian Federation", said Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS Group AG in Zurich.

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