IEA Report Helps Underpin Crude Oil Prices, Risk Conditions In Focus

Posted April 22, 2017

Oil futures turned negative on Wednesday, pulling back after eight straight sessions of gains after US crude inventory data suggested that the market was still heavily supplied.

The pullback by the price of crude oil came as traders cashed in on the recent strength despite a report from the Energy Information Administration showing an unexpected drop in crude oil inventories.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were up 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $53.56 a barrel, also their highest level since early last month.

WTI futures for April delivery were marked around 0.37% higher from Tuesday's close at $53.60 per barrel, after having traded as high as $54.00 earlier in the session.

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However, OPEC also raised its forecast for supplies from non-member countries in 2017 as higher prices encourage US shale drillers to pump more, reducing demand for OPEC's oil this year.

OPEC and some non-OPEC producers pledged to cut output in the first half of 2017 to support oil prices.

Oil prices were little changed in modest volume on Thursday, during a week in which crude benchmarks recouped more of March's losses on increased hopes world supply and demand were nearing balance.

"Despite some downside risks, general expectations for demand growth for oil products in the coming months remain bullish", said the report, which made a minor upward revision to its global demand forecast this year.

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Even more important, late Tuesday afternoon Saudi Arabia told OPEC that it would like to see the production cut agreement extended for another six months.

Last month, Libya's output dropped by almost 9 percent, and production edged lower in the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Nigeria, Iran, Angola and other countries.

Also, the 60- to 70-day lag between exports leaving the Arabian Gulf and arriving in major markets means the extent of OPEC supply cuts has yet to bite. "Most sources anticipate a rebound in shale oil output this year, supported by the oil price recovery and the capital spending increases in this sector".

United States crude inventories hit a record 535.5-million barrels in April.

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"Upward revisions were seen in Russia's production due to the approval of production ramp ups from the three new projects started up previous year including Filanovsky in the Caspian", the OPEC said.