Oil prices up for 3rd straight week

Posted April 19, 2017

In the Eagle Ford region, output is set to rise by 39,000 bpd to 1.22 million bpd, the third monthly increase. Consequently, the country lost its status as Africa's top oil producer to Angola, according to latest data from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Kachikwu, who disclosed the increase in oil output to two million bpd in February to the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), also spoke on the Forcados Oil Terminal.

Despite many nations pumping full out and numbers that suggest the supply and demand market is far from balanced, Michael Cohen, head of energy commodities research at Barclays, told Bloomberg television that "we see further upside" in prices "during this quarter".

Members of the group are scheduled to meet on 25 May to discuss the possible extension to the output cut deal beyond June.

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The recent steady rise in gas prices across the area slowed over the weekend as oil prices leveled off.

At the same time, domestic crude oil production fell 4.6% year on year to 3.92 million b/d in March. This would vastly outweigh the 1.8m b/d that was agreed upon a year ago in an arranged output restriction.

Oil prices extended gains for a third straight week on geo-political tensions coupled with slightly supportive Opec and IEA monthly reports. If the trend holds and the market remains in the $50s or moves into the $60s-the reported target price for the cartel-OPEC will likely consider its production cut, put in motion at the beginning of the year, a success.

"It can be argued confidently that the market is already very close to balance, and as more data becomes available this will become clearer".

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While the historic agreement between producers that went into effect January 1 "induced a euphoric and unsustainable surge" in bullish bets by investors, that also set the stage for an inevitable sell-off as record fourth-quarter OPEC output and oil stored at sea moved to onshore sites, according to Citigroup.

"Production rose for an eighth week and the EIA has said we will be pumping 9.9 million barrels a day in 2018". Also, the prospect for demand was boosted by a hopeful note from the International Monetary Fund. The new forecasts point to a second consecutive year of falling demand for crude, which could establish a more worrying long-term trend for producers. New data shows weaker-than-expected growth in a number of countries including Russia, India, several Middle Eastern countries, Korea and the USA, where demand has stalled in recent months.

On the demand front, OPEC expects the world to need about 96.32 million barrels daily, a growth rate of 1.27 million bpd.

Still, "in an attempt to maintain market confidence, rather than doing "no deal", they may do a reworked deal to project unity", he said. And this should also carry a considerable positive impact on the proposed Aramco IPO.

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