Oil prices search for momentum on competing trends


First, sharp drops in US imports of crude oil eroded the biggest market that producers like OPEC had relied on for many years.

The market earlier dropped after the Paris-based International Energy Agency said global oil supply would outstrip demand this year, prompting fears that efforts to reduce inventories would fall short of expectations. Analysts expound this move as a trial to extract higher-cost producers, including USA shale oil, out of the market.

Looming over oil markets, however, was rising production in the United States which is undermining efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russian Federation to tighten markets and prop up prices.

Oil costs, since quite a while ago battered by a worldwide excess in supply, have been rising as of late as the market profits to adjust for the back of a milestone bargain between makers to throttle yield, however surging shale generation in the United States could toss a spanner underway, OPEC said on Monday.

Crude prices rose early, then pared gains on concerns that surging USA production would outstrip output cuts from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), McGillian said. So, the main US stock indexes by the end of the day added 1.4-1.7 percent after the market crash last week.

In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said outside producers would boost supply by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) this year. Strong demand for crude coupled with restrained output from OPEC and allied suppliers will erase any remaining glut this year, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said.

Plunging prices forced some higher-cost US producers to close up shop.

It sees the price of brent reaching $75 per barrel within three months, lifting its short-term oil price projection from the previous $62 forecast.

The OPEC and non-OPEC countries who agreed to freeze or cut output in December 2016 considered stocks in the 35-strong developed countries crude oil stocks as the measure of their success. "Most importantly, the underlying oil market fundamentals in the early part of 2018 look less supportive for prices", said the report. There has been concern about that deal's efficacy due to the sharper-than-expected increase in US production.

This has led to a surge in traded volumes of US crude futures, known as West Texas Intermediate (WTI), leaving volumes of other futures like Brent or Dubai far behind. As production increases continue unabated, oil prices could collapse again. Recently we read of a shipment of condensate from the USA to the UAE. "If so, most producers will be happy, but if not, history might be repeating itself".