Saturday, 23 September, 2017

Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate oil prices are rising

Jeannie Matthews | 31 March, 2017, 02:07

USA crude futures surged to almost a two-week high after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that crude inventories rose 867,000 barrels last week, almost half the build expected, as refineries ramped up processing after seasonal maintenance and as imports dropped and exports rose.

"The trending combination of higher crude runs and lower net crude imports should result in USA crude stocks flattening and then starting to decline by the end of April", said Societe Generale.

In the United States, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 34 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $48.71 a barrel. The global benchmark crude climbed 58 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $51.33 on Tuesday. US crude oil was 10 cents lower at $49.41.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has agreed to reduce its oil production by 1.2 million bpd during the first six months of 2017 and so far most OPEC members appear to be sticking to the deal.

US crude stocks rose by 1.9 million barrels to 535.5 million barrels, while gasoline and distillate stocks declined, the American Petroleum Institute said. Crude-oil stockpiles rose a less-than-expected 900,000 barrels last week by the government's count.

Considering U.S. production and current inventories of crude, even a compliance rate of 100 percent among OPEC members will not drive prices high enough, with or without an extension.

City leaders defy White House threat on "sanctuary" policies
Trump critics said the White House rhetoric is serving as intimidation to get local police to enforce federal immigration laws . Cities well-known for their "sanctuary" status include Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York City , Los Angeles , and many others.

A recovery in Libya ran into a setback after armed protests blocked output from two fields.

The EIA is due to publish official US crude and fuel product data later on Wednesday. The OPEC-led supply cuts are gradually restoring the market to balance, the group's Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said in a statement.

Ben Luckock, co-head of group market risk and former head of crude trading at Trafigura Group Ltd., said the most viable short-cycle shale projects are garnering the bulk of production funding instead of major long-term projects.

The country is cutting the oil output in stages in accordance with the plan and the reduction of production in January-February was going at a faster pace, Novak told CNBC.

Regardless, booming shale production and the lifting of a ban on US crude exports has opened up new markets, flows and opportunities for traders.

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