Friday, 21. April 2017

Oil prices set for biggest weekly drop in a month


Wednesday, 19. April 2017

Crude Oil Falls After Smaller-Than-Expected U.S. Inventory Drop



Tuesday, 18. april 2017

Oil Trades at One-Week Low on Signs of Rebound in U.S. Supplies


Monday, 10. April 2017

Oil Set for Longest Gain This Year as Libyan Field Said Shut


Friday, 7. April 2017

Oil Rises to 1-Month High as OPEC Cuts Weighed Against U.S. Glut


Thursday, 6. April 2017

Oil Halts Rally Above $51 as U.S. Inventories Increase to Record


Tuesday, 28. March 2017

This Texas oilfield is messing with OPEC


Thursday, 23. March 2017

Oil Gains as U.S. Fuel Drop Spurs Speculation Crude Glut to Ease


Monday, 20. March 2017

Oil Declines as U.S. Drillers Boost Rigs Countering OPEC Curbs


Friday, 17. March 2017

Oil Set for First Weekly Gain This Month as U.S. Stockpiles Drop


Wednesday, 15. March 2017

Oil Rebounds on U.S. Stockpile Drop Report as Saudis Lift Output


Monday, 13. March 2017

Oil Drops Below $50 for First Time Since December on Supply Glut


Friday, 10. March 2017

Oil prices sink below $50 for 1st time this year


Thursday, 9. March 2017

Why $50 is more likely to be a ceiling than a floor for the oil price


Friday, 3. March 2017

Oil edges higher after sell-off on weaker dollar


Thursday, 2. March 2017


U.S. Oil Stockpiles Increase to 520.2 Million Barrels



Tuesday, 28. February 2017

Crude oil - latest news

Investors See Oil Break Out of Narrow Range With Record Bets



Friday, 24. February 2017


Oil Closes at Eight-Week High as OPEC Aims for Full Output Cuts


Tuesday, 14. February 2017


Oil Slips Most in 3 Weeks as OPEC Cuts Face Rising U.S. Output


Monday, 6. February 2017

Bakken Shale Rig Count Isn't Keeping Up

Friday, 3. February 2017



'Encouraging' signs OPEC production has been cut back: IEA



Tuesday, 31. January 2017

Oil Set for Monthly Loss as OPEC Cuts Seen Spurring U.S. Supply.



Thursday, 26. January 2017

OPEC Clears Way for Cheap U.S. Oil to Sail to Biggest Market



Thursday, 19. January 2017



Oil Gains as U.S. Stockpiles Fall While IEA Sees OPEC Cutting



Friday, 13. January 2017

Oil Posts Biggest Two-Day Gain in 6 Weeks as Saudis Make Cuts



Thursday, 12. January 2017

Oil Climbs Most in Six Weeks After Record U.S. Refinery Runs



Tuesday, 10. January 2017



Oil recovers some previous losses, but doubts over supply cuts linger



Monday, 9. January 2017

Oil Halts Gain Near $54 as Rising U.S. Drilling Damps Saudi Cuts



Thursday, 5. January 2017


Oil steady on US data, doubts over output cuts


Monday, 2. January 2017


Oil Makes Biggest Annual Gain Since 2009 Before OPEC Supply Cuts


Tuesday, 13. December 2016


IEA ups oil demand forecast for 2017, says next few weeks are 'crucial' for markets after OPEC deal



Monday, 12. December 2016



Oil Surges as Saudis Eye Deeper Cuts While Non-OPEC Joins Deal



Monday, 5. December 2016

OPEC deal sends oil spiking 14% in 3 days



Monday, 28. November 2016


Oil traders warn Opec must deliver production deal !



Friday, 18. November 2016



Oil Falls as Dollar Rally Outweighs Saudi Optimism on OPEC Deal !



Thursday, 17. November 2016


In Battle of World's Biggest Oil Exchanges, One Gets Turbo Charge From Exports


Wednesday, 16. November 2016



Oil Swings Above $45 as OPEC Boosts Effort to Secure Output Deal


Tuesday, 15. November 2016

Oil Rebounds From 8-Week Low as OPEC Said to Work to Secure Deal



Thursday, 10. November 2016

Oil Market Takes Stock After Wild Trading in Election Aftermath


Friday, 4. November 2016

Oil Heads for Weekly Drop After Erasing OPEC Algiers Deal Gains


Monday, 31. October 2016


Oil Trades Near One-Month Low as OPEC Accord Remains Unresolved !


Thursday, 27. October 2016

OPEC May Need Help to End the Global Glut of Oil


Friday, 30. September 2016


Will the OPEC agreement work?


Thursday, 29. September 2016


Oil Climbs Most in Five Months as OPEC Agrees to Deal Outlines!


Monday, 26. September 2016


Odds of an OPEC deal are greater now, RBC's Croft says



Friday, 23. September 2016


Oil Slides From Two-Week High as Saudi, Iran Said to Meet Again


Wednesday, 21. September 2016


Oil Advances Near $45 as OPEC May Hold Formal Meeting in Algiers

Wednesday, 14. September 2016

Tuesday, 13. September 2016

Saudi, Iran hike oil production before talks on output freeze


Monday, 12. September 2016

Energy Aspects: $45-$55 the new range for oil


Thursday, 8. September 2016

Four Scenarios for Oil Producers as They Seek to Boost Prices

Angelina Rascouet

September 8, 2016 - 12:00 PM CEST


A meeting in Algiers at the end of September between OPEC and Russia -- which together pump more than half the world's oil -- has raised expectations that a deal could be struck to boost prices.

Oil is still trading at half its 2014 level amid a persistent global oversupply. While a production decline in the U.S. has helped to curb the surplus and prices have risen more than 25 percent this year, swollen inventories across the globe have kept crude below $50 a barrel, too low for many producers to balance their budgets.

After two years of a Saudi-led strategy of all-out pumping, adopted to protect market share against the surge in U.S. shale oil, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia are putting cooperation back on the table. Their last attempt to do this -- a proposal to freeze output in April -- collapsed in acrimony because of rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

There may be four potential outcomes from the Algiers talks.


Production Freeze

A freeze in production by OPEC and Russia would be the most effective way of stabilizing the market, Alexander Novak, the Russian energy minister, said in a joint press conference at the G-20 summit in China with his Saudi counterpart on Sept. 5. Novak said his country is ready to cap output at the level of any month in the second half of this year, a period that so far has delivered record volumes from both Russia and OPEC.

A freeze at July levels, the most recent month for which data is available, would mean OPEC keeping production at 33.4 million barrels a day, roughly in line with demand for the group's crude in the fourth quarter, according to data from the International Energy Agency. The Paris-based adviser already expects Russia to hold output steady for the rest of this year and into 2017.

The major hurdle to freezing at current levels would be getting Nigeria, Libya and Iran on board, according to London-based consultant Capital Economics Ltd. Those countries' output has been severely constrained in recent years and they all hope to resume lost production. Political divisions have halted Libyan fields, Iran is still restoring exports halted by sanctions over its nuclear program and armed groups have attacked Nigeria's oil infrastructure.

Freeze Exemptions

"If they say a freeze at current levels, but making allowances for Iran, Nigeria and Libya, then you're effectively freezing at a couple of million barrels above where you are today," Thomas Pugh, commodities economist at Capital Economics, said by phone.

Several countries could potentially add barrels to the market:

  • Iran is determined to raise production to 4 million barrels a day this year, from about 3.8 million currently, as it recovers market share after years of sanctions.
  • Nigeria, which produced 1.44 million barrels a day last month according to data compiled by Bloomberg, is seeking to end the militant attacks and get back to the 2 million barrels a day it pumped in January.
  • Libya is working to reopen its main export terminals, which could boost output to 1.2 million barrels a day by the end of the year, from about 300,000 a day currently.
  • Iraq and Venezuela are also pumping less crude now than in January, so could seek a higher cap on their output.

Under this scenario, OPEC could in theory get to pump as much as 36.2 million barrels a day by next year, about 2.7 million barrels a day more than the IEA's estimate of demand for the group's crude in 2017. That's a bigger surplus than in 2015, a year in which oil prices dropped more than a third.

Production Cut

OPEC has on occasion overcome internal divisions and agreed to radical measures, most notably to slash production during the 2008 financial crisis.

Previous cuts worked because Saudi Arabia carried most of the burden, said Spencer Welch, director for oil markets and downstream at IHS Markit in London. Now the kingdom "has been quite clear that they are no longer willing to support prices on their own," he said.

Since the oil slump began in 2014, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have repeatedly resisted pressure from other members to cut production. Russia has pledged in the past to coordinate cuts with OPEC, but that's typically come to nothing.

Cuts are the most unlikely scenario, said Capital Economics's Pugh. If they were to happen, it would have by far the biggest impact on the markets and "you would see prices surge," he said.

Do Nothing

The most likely scenario is that the talks don't yield any curbs on output, said Pugh.

When that happened at the April freeze talks in Doha, prices slid right after the collapsed deal, but the impact was offset by an oil workers strike in Kuwait. The market continued to recover in the following months as wild fires shut down output in Canada and attacks in Nigeria cut production.

There may be some downside for OPEC if it fails again to reach an agreement, said David Fyfe, head of market research and analysis at oil trader Gunvor Group Ltd. "At some stage it's the law of diminishing returns, when you keep talking about a production agreement and not actually reach one," he said.


Friday, 2. September 2016

Oil Heads for Biggest Weekly Drop in 8-Months Amid Ample Supply


Wednesday, 31. August 2016

Oil Heads for Biggest Monthly Gain Since April Before OPEC Talks


Monday, 29. August 2016

Oil Pessimists Exit as OPEC Cap Talk Spurs Bets Glut Easing

August 29, 2016 - 1:00 AM CEST Updated on August 29, 2016 - 6:30 AM CEST

Oil investors are turning the car around.

For a second week, money managers slashed bets on falling prices by a record and boosted wagers on a rally. Futures have climbed 23 percent in less than three weeks as some OPEC members raised the possibility of an output freeze amid signs the global glut is easing.

"This is a lot of running from one side of the boat to the other," said Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York. "Speculators were selling with both hands in July and buying with both hands this month."

Saudi Arabia will be willing to listen to other producers and what they have to offer when it comes to an output freeze, the kingdom's Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said in an Aug. 25 interview in Los Angeles. Oil suppliers want a deal to manage output, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo told Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat.

Bears Flee

Speculators slashed their short position in West Texas Intermediate by 66,247 futures and options during the week ended Aug. 23, the most in data going back to 2006, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Bets on rising prices jumped to the highest in more than a year.

Futures rose 3.3 percent to $48.10 a barrel in the report week. WTI, the U.S. benchmark, entered a bull market Aug. 18, less than three weeks after tumbling into a bear market. Prices were down 1.3 percent at $47.03 as of 12:22 p.m. Hong Kong time on Monday.

QuickTake Oil Prices

OPEC's Aug. 8 announcement that it would hold "informal talks" in Algiers spurred a rebound in prices. The International Energy Forum, comprising 73 countries that account for about 90 percent of the global supply and demand for oil and natural gas, will meet in the Algerian capital on Sept. 26-28.

Another reason for the rally is that global oil oversupply is finally dissipating, according to banks from Citigroup Inc. to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. A narrowing discount on immediate supplies of Brent crude, the benchmark grade for half the world's supply, is the "clearest indicator" that the two-year glut is fading, Credit Suisse Group AG said.

"There's ongoing faith that the oil market globally is rebalancing," Evans said.

Money managers' short position in WTI dropped to 96,985 futures and options, the least in two months. Longs increased 5.6 percent, while net-longs almost tripled over the past three weeks.

Friday, 26. August 2016

Tuesday, 23. August 2016

Wednesday, 17. August 2016


Pump Jack sunset



Monday, 15. August 2016


Tuesday, 9. August 2016


Nervous OPEC calls for unscheduled meeting

Struggling OPEC countries are getting antsy.

The oil cartel announced plans on Monday to hold an unscheduled meeting late next month in Algeria. Non-OPEC member Russia, the world's largest oil producer, opened the door to joining the "informal" meeting.

All of this is fueling speculation that major oil producers could announce moves to stabilize oil prices, which recently fell back below $40 a barrel from over $50 two months ago. OPEC has been pumping oil at a ferocious pace the last two years, aiming to steal back market share from the U.S.

Confirmation of an OPEC meeting, to be held on September 26 to September 28, was enough to send oil prices soaring 3% on Monday to $43 a barrel.

Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, the president of OPEC and Qatar's energy minister, insists that the oil price slump is "only temporary" and the market remains on track to recover.

Yet the formal announcement of the informal meeting underscores the precarious situation facing many countries that rely on oil to keep their economies afloat.

Venezuela, the leader in proven oil reserves, could run out of cash within a year and is dealing with a serious food shortage.

Even Saudi Arabia, the powerful leader of OPEC, has been forced to usher in severe budget cuts that have resulted in a wave of job cuts. Last week, India was forced to come to the rescue of thousands of its starving citizens in Saudi Arabia who lost their jobs and were stuck in migrant camps with poor conditions.

Russia's economy has been hit by a double whammy of cheap oil and sanctions from the West. Russia has even cut its defense spending despite tensions with the West.

Yet Alexander Novak, Russia's energy minister, said he doesn't think the "prerequisites" for a production freeze are there yet, according to Russian news agency Sputnik. However, Novak said a freeze could be needed if prices fall further and he signaled a willingness to discuss the matter in Algeria with Saudi Arabia.

Renewed signs of cooperation among oil producers are "indicative of the significant pressure some of the producers are under in terms of their economies," research firm JBC Energy wrote in a report on Monday.



  • Monday, 4. July 2016


U.S. Drillers Bring Back Rigs as Oil Market Seen Stabilizing !


Tuesday, 17. May 2016

Rising oil


Nymex crude set to hit $50


Friday, 13. May 2016

Global oil markets 'heading towards balance': IEA

Global oil markets are heading towards a long-awaited equilibrium, according to updated supply and demand data from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The IEA said in its latest oil market report on Thursday that a rebalancing of supply and demand was starting to become evident from the existing supply and demand data which showed that global oil supply was starting to look more measured. Demand was resilient and a surplus of oil could start to shrink later this year, it added.

"Global oil supplies rose 250,000 barrels a day in April to 96.2 million barrels a day (mb/d) as higher OPEC output more than offset deepening non-OPEC declines," the IEA said in its monthly report.

However, it noted that year-on-year, "world output grew by just 50,000 barrels a day in April versus gains of more than 3.5 million barrels a day a year ago" and noted that 2016 non-OPEC supply is forecast to drop by 800,000 barrels a day to 56.8 mb/d.

Despite the higher output from the 12-country OPEC group, the IEA noted that falling non-OPEC supply and rising demand could cause oil stock growth to decline in the latter half of the year helping the supply and demand dynamic - and crucially, oil prices - to return to a more stable footing.

"The net result of our changes to demand and supply data is that we expect to see global oil stocks increase by 1.3 million barrels a day (mb/d) in the first half of 2016, followed by a dramatic reduction in the second half of 2016 to 0.2 mb/d."

The IEA's Oil Industry and Markets Head Neil Atkinson told CNBC on Thursday that the expected decline in the growth of global oil stocks pointed towards a rebalancing in markets.

"The point being that we have the direction of travel towards balance and a big factor in the change in the stock-build picture between the two halves (of the year) is the major fall-off in production in the non-OPEC countries as a whole."

"The market is very forward-looking and as it looks through the second half of 2016 and into the early part of 2017 there is a growing expectation that the market will, if not actually balance, certainly get very close to balance."

Before investors got too excited, however, Atkinson stressed that global oil stocks remained "enormous" and would time to run-down.

"The problem we've got is that if you want to see higher oil prices in the rest of 2016, what you need to remember is that oil stocks are at very, very high levels - even if they're going to grow by a very small amount compared to what we've seen and they're not likely to start falling until 2017. So there's a big buffer or big dampener on prospective rise in oil prices by the fact that these enormous stocks do exist and will exist for some time to come," he said.

The IEA noted that oil stocks in the OECD (the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which includes most European nations, Australia and the U.S.) declined for the first time in a year in February, lending support to the view that "the global supply surplus of oil will shrink dramatically later this year."

In terms of demand, the IEA left its outlook for global oil demand growth in 2016 at a "solid" 1.2 mb/d, unchanged from last month. But it said that revised first-quarter data showed demand growing faster at 1.4 mb/d, "in spite of the northern hemisphere winter being milder than usual."

"This strong (first quarter of 2016) performance might raise expectations that demand will remain at this stronger level causing us to raise our average figure for 2016," it said, although it noted recent International Monetary Fund forecasts in April, in which the lending agency revised down its expectations for global gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2016 from 3.4 percent to 3.2 percent.

Interestingly, it said India was the "star performer" in terms of oil demand growth. Oil demand from the rising Asian powerhouse was 400,000 barrels a day higher in the first quarter from the same period last year, "representing nearly 30 percent of the global increase" in demand.

It said that it will publish a detailed forecast for 2017 in next month's report, "thus providing clarity on when the oil market could reach its much-anticipated balance."


Oil markets are being closely monitored for signs of a sustainable recovery as prices have rebounded from a low of around $26 a barrel seen in February to today's price of $47.70 a barrel for Brent crude and $46.30 a barrel for U.S. West Texas intermediate (WTI).

Prices rose on Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) weekly inventory report showed a decline of 3.4 million barrels, versus expectations of a slight build.

The IEA's Atkinson told CNBC that markets had priced in a continuing decline in non-OPEC production and that unexpected factors had also contributed to a rally in oil prices.

"Another reason why we've had quite a significant increase in prices recently is partly the expectation of a tighter market ahead but also there have been some unexpected disruptions to oil supply - we've seen the Canadian wildfire situation in the last week and bigger fall-offs in Nigeria so there have been some physical factors out there which have meant that supply has been even lower than we thought it would be."

There were hopes that prices could get a boost last month when OPEC and non-OPEC producers met in Doha to discuss freezing production levels but that meeting ended in stalemate, with Saudi Arabia refusing to budge unless Iran did so too. Iran is keen to get its oil industry back on track after years of sanctions and refused to agree to such as deal.

The IEA noted that OPEC crude output rose once again in April and that while Saudi output was steady near 10.2 mb/d, Iranian supply rose to 3.56 mb/d, a level last hit in November 2011 before sanctions were tightened.

All eyes are on the next move by OPEC when it meets on June 2. So far, it has shown no signs of backing down from its decision in November 2014 to produce at full-tilt in a bid to defend its market share against non-OPEC rivals, particularly shale oil producers in the U.S. Saudi Arabia's state-run oil company Saudi Aramco indicated on Tuesday that that its production will trend slightly higher this year.

The country drew attention to itself last weekend when a cabinet reshuffle led to Saudi Oil Minister Ali-al-Naimi being replaced by Khalid al-Falih, the former president of Saudi Aramco. The new minister in charge of the Kingdom's oil policy signaled no dramatic change in policy from the Saudis and the IEA said the next OPEC meeting will be closely watched to see if there are any policy changes ahead.



Wednesday, 11. May 2016

EIA Revises Crude Oil Price Forecast Up $6/Barrel

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has revised its earlier crude oil price forecast, originally issued in April, but now expected to be around $40.52 per barrel, up $6 from its April estimates of only $34.73 per barrel for the average price of crude in 2016.

"Improving economic data, growing supply disruptions, and falling U.S. crude oil production and rig counts contributed to the price increase," the EIA said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook report released today.

The forecast for Brent crude prices in 2017 were also revised upwards, from $40.58 per barrel to $50.65 per barrel.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices were also revised positively, with new expectations for 2016 at $40.32 per barrel.

For 2017, the EIA expects to see Brent and WTI at the same price.

Average Brent crude prices in April were $42 per barrel, or $3 higher than in March.

In other data, the EIA predicted that crude oil production will decline by 830,000 barrels per day in 2016, but by only 410,000 next year. The first part of this forecast is in line with the earlier assessment from the agency, but the 2017 forecast is lower than the previously assessed decline of 560,000 bpd.

"U.S. crude oil production in 2017 is expected to be more than 100,000 barrels per day higher than previously forecast in response to higher oil prices," EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said in comments released after the data, as carried by Reuters.


Thursday, 28. April 2016

Texas Oil Industry Gearing Up For Massive Oil Boom (It's Back!)

The Texas Oil and Gas Industry is gearing up for a massive oil boom. It's the moment we've all been waiting for. Who wants an oil job? You want to work? You got it. There's about to be more oil jobs available than you've ever seen before.

The price of crude oil is steadily rising each day. We've passed the bottom and are now on the way up, and there's no stopping it, not even Saudi Arabia this time. The Texas Oil and Gas Industry is about to go into an all out oil boom. What's this mean? This means those of you that want to work will have a job wherever you want. The state of Texas is already preparing for a massive oil boom. It could very well make the previous one look like it was just a practice run for what's about to happen.

Brent and U.S. Crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures finished regular trading about 3% higher on Tuesday, this coming just days after oil prices surged a year high 6%.

What's Causing The Sudden Shift In Oil Prices?

Exactly as we predicted in our previous articles, U.S. Crude inventory levels are now being drawn down rapidly. The chips are now in play, and the Texas Oil and Gas Industry is about to go all in.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a draw down of about 1.1 million barrels in U.S. crude oil inventories, when they were actually predicting a 2.4 million barrel build up. This is a 3.5 million barrel swing in favor of rising oil prices. Nobody saw that coming, except us.

Tuesday's rally is just the tip of the iceberg. According to New York Energy hedge fund Again Capital, we're about to see new high's over an over.

The API is set to release a new report this Wednesday, and we further expect the price of crude oil to rally even higher. At this point in the game, there's no stopping the incoming oil boom.

The price of crude oil will continue to rise due to the depleting crude oil inventories. When the numbers come together from combing the demand for gasoline, and the lower production numbers it will produce the perfect storm. We are going to see a violent swing in oil prices essentially over night. The API has missed the mark almost every time when estimating reserve numbers and what's going to happen. We've been calling it right the whole time.

Brent Crude Futures finished the day on Tuesday up $1.26 at $45.74 a barrel. Yes you heard that right, we've went over the $45 mark. In post-settlement trade, it rose as much as $2.01 to an all new high for 2016 of $46.49. This is huge, huge news that nobody expected, besides us. We've been saying it all along, it's only a matter of time and that time has now come.

The Eagle Ford and the Permian Basin are headed for an all out boom. We can expect things to get back to normal with the continued rise in oil prices. People are still saying oil isn't going anywhere. Is this enough to change your mind?

Texas is gearing up for an all out boom. You can either get ready and go to work, or you can sit on the sidelines and let the opportunity of a lifetime pass you by. Entry level oil jobs start out just under 6 figures in Texas and if you have previous experience you will be looking at even better pay.

Before you go venturing out, make sure you make proper travel arrangements as there's going to be a huge influx of oil workers coming from everywhere. Pipelines are being built, there's tons of refinery work going on, and now the rigs are headed back to the patch. Get yourself ready and share this article with your friends so they know what's coming. Texas is back baby!


Friday, 15. April 2016


The world's top oil exporters are burning through their petrodollar assets at an accelerating pace, increasing the pressure to reach a deal to freeze production to bolster prices. The 18 nations set to gather in Doha on Sunday to discuss a production freeze have spent $315 billion of their foreign-exchange reserves -- about a fifth of their total -- since the oil slump started in November 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Oxford Economics Director General Gabriel Stein and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals Professor Mohamed Ramady discuss with Anna Edwards on "Countdown."

Oil set for weekly gain before Doha talks



Monday, 11. April 2016

Crude oil futures rise as US drilling falls to 2009 lows

Oil futures on Monday extended sharp rises from the end of last week following a decline in U.S. inventories and drilling, while outages and hopes that exporters could freeze output boosted international prices.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading at $40.17 per barrel at 0002 GMT, up 45 cents or 1.1 percent from their last close.

International Brent crude futures were up 35 cents or 0.8 percent at $42.29 a barrel.

U.S. energy firms cut oil rigs for a third week in a row to the lowest level since November 2009, oil services company Baker Hughes said Friday, as energy firms keep slashing spending despite crude futures prices jumping roughly 50 percent since hitting a near 13-year low in February.

Drillers cut 8 oil rigs in the week to April 8, bringing the total rig count down to 354, Baker Hughes said in its closely followed report.

U.S. prices had previously been supported by a drop in U.S. crude stocks, albeit from all-time highs.

Brent was lifted by production outages in the North Sea and West Africa, as well as by hopes that a meeting of exporters planned for April 17 would result lead to an agreement to rein in ballooning overpoduction that sees at least 1 million barrels per day pumped in excess of demand.

With both benchmarks back above $40 per barrel, analysts said that more investors could be attracted if prices now breached highs reached in March, when Brent rose above $42.50 and WTI rose to $41.90 per barrel.

"Crude oil prices are back to or near the March high and a significant resistance point. If oil prices can break above this level, investor sentiment towards commodities should receive a further boost," ANZ bank said on Monday.



Friday, 8. april 2016

Oil prices rise on firm US, German growth; but traders warn of ongoing crude glut

Oil prices edged up early on Friday, lifted by firm economic indicators from the United States and Germany which could support fuel demand, but analysts warned that crude markets were threatened by another downturn because of ongoing oversupply.

Front month U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading at $37.64 per barrel at 0040 GMT, up 38 cents from their last close.

International Brent futures were up 24 cents at $39.67 a barrel.

Traders said there was some bullish sentiment in oil markets early on Friday following statements by the U.S. Federal Reserve that the world's biggest economy was on the path of more economic growth.

In Europe, rating agency Moody's said that Germany - the continent's biggest economy - expected a slight acceleration of its growth to 1.8 percent, benefiting from robust domestic demand.

Despite encouraging reports from two of the world's biggest economies, analysts warned that oil prices could fall again soon as there were few signs that a global overhang in production of at least 1 million barrels per day (bpd) would be addressed soon.

"Investors are lacking confidence about improved U.S. seasonal demand, as a decline in U.S. crude stockpiles (reported earlier this week) was mainly attributable to weaker imports and improved refinery utilization," ANZ bank said.

Outside the United States, production especially in parts of the Middle East is still soaring.

Iraq said on Thursday that exports from its southern ports had hit almost 3.5 million bpd by April, up from an average of 3.29 million bpd in March, putting doubts on the feasibility of a planned meeting by major producers on April 17 to freeze output levels.

Iran, which was relieved from crippling international sanctions in January which had cut its crude exports to little more than 1 million bpd, has said it would only participate in a production freeze once it had regained its pre-sanctions levels of 4 million bpd, pouring cold water on any hopes that ballooning oversupply can be reined in soon.

ANZ bank said that there were signs that a renewed downtrend could be imminent for crude oil prices.



Thursday, 7. April 2016

Oil rises but traders warn on premature rally

Crude futures rose on a raft of supportive indicators on Thursday, although some traders warned that physical supply and demand fundamentals did not warrant a strong price recovery at this stage.

International Brent futures jumped above $40 per barrel in early trading and stood at $40.10 at 0425 GMT, up 26 cents from the last close and about 8 percent above lows reached earlier this week.

Front month U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading at $38.09 per barrel, up 34 cents from their last close and also 8 percent above their April lows.

U.S. crude prices were supported by an unexpected fall in crude inventories, albeit from a record high, last week as refineries continued to hike output and imports fell.

"Oil prices spiked after the EIA data release," ANZ bank said in a morning note on Thursday.

U.S. crude inventories fell 4.9 million barrels in the week to April 1, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.2 million barrels, according to data from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.

In Europe, North Sea oil field maintenance expected next month lent support to Brent futures, which are priced off North Sea supplies.

The over 5 percent slide in the dollar since the beginning of the year is also supporting oil, traders said, as it makes imports of dollar-denominated fuels cheaper for countries using other currencies, boosting demand.

Manufacturing, another pillar of demand, also seems to be recovering from recent weakness.

"Global manufacturing PMIs (Purchasing Managers' Index) saw their strongest MoM (month-on-month) recovery in two and half years in March, according to our calculations," Macquarie bank said.

Yet some traders and analysts warned that the rise in futures prices might be premature and not supported by physical market fundamentals.

A planned meeting of major oil producers on April 17 to freeze output around current levels, which in most cases remains at or near record highs, would do little to reduce an overhang in production with at least 1 million barrels of crude pumped every day in excess of demand.

Goldman Sachs said that it was "less willing to believe in a sustained OPEC production freeze or cut" and instead expected OPEC's production to rise by 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) this year and by 500,000 bpd in 2017.

As a result of this and also production data from the United States, Goldman said it was "somewhere between in line and modestly bearish for prices ... (and that) $35 per barrel WTI is not too high and not too low but just right."

French bank BNP Paribas issued a recommendation "to be long the put spread positions" in the oil options market in expectation that futures prices will fall further.



Thursday, 31. March 2016


Oil prices turn positive amid dollar weakness

Oil prices reversed losses on Thursday amid dollar weakness, though another rise in American crude stocks renewed concerns about global oversupply.

The increase in U.S. inventories came despite seasonal refinery utilization hitting an 11-year high, while a decline in the dollar supported oil prices. A weaker greenback makes dollar-denominated commodities like crude more affordable to holders of other currencies.

Brent crude futures rose 43 cents to $39.69 a barrel by 7:18 a.m. ET (1118 GMT).

The front-month contract for U.S. crude futures was up 4 cents at $38.36 a barrel, after dropping to $37.57, the lowest since March 16.

"The door is open for lower prices," said Hamza Khan, head of commodity strategy with ING. "There's a backlog of oversupply that needs to be worked out of the system."

U.S. crude stockpiles rose by 2.3 million barrels to 534.8 million barrels in the week to March 25, the seventh week at record highs, data from the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration showed.

The increase was less than analysts' expectations of a 3.3-million-barrel build after crude imports fell by 636,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 7.4 million bpd.

Crude prices have risen about 50 percent since mid-February on optimism over a proposal by several major oil-exporting countries to freeze production and signs of falling U.S. output.

Producers are meeting on April 17 in Qatar to discuss the plan to stabilize output at January's levels.

In the past week, however, oil prices have started to track lower.

Despite the freeze proposal, OPEC crude output rose in March to 32.47 million bpd from 32.37 million bpd in February, according to a Reuters survey.

Iran is expected to add another half a million bpd of oil within a year, Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, told Reuters on Wednesday.

But elsewhere in Asia, the sustained weakness in oil prices has suppressed upstream oil and gas production, consultancy BMI Research said in a report on Thursday.

Weaker prices are "limiting opportunities to stem natural declines in ageing assets", the report said.

China's still-growing demand could help absorb the excess.

China is set to import 7.5 million bpd this year, overtaking the United States as the world's biggest crude importer, a vice president of Unipec, the trading arm of Sinopec, told a seminar.




Tuesday, 29. March 2016

Oil prices fall as concerns rise over rally petering out

Oil prices fell in early Asian trade on Tuesday as concerns mount that a rally since January is fizzling out, while analysts forecast another rise to record levels for U.S. crude stockpiles.

U.S. oil was down 13 cents at $39.26 a barrel at 0211 GMT, after finishing down 7 cents at $39.39, the previous session.

Brent fell 16 cents to $40.11. On Monday it settled down 17 cents at $40.27 a barrel.

U.S. commercial crude oil stockpiles were expected to have reached record highs for a seventh straight week, while refined product inventories likely fell, a preliminary Reuters survey showed late on Monday.

The poll of eight analysts, taken ahead of weekly inventory reports from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA), estimated, on average, that crude stocks rose 3.2 million barrels in the week ended March 25.

The API will release its data on Tuesday at 2030 GMT, while the EIA will publish its data on Wednesday at 1430 GMT.

Both oil benchmarks are up about 50 percent from 12-year lows hit in mid-February but the oil market has taken on a weaker tone in the past week, along with other commodities.

"The recent rally appears to be running out of steam as investors pull back on bullish positions," ANZ said in a morning note on Tuesday. "This will remain the case without continued improvement in fundamentals."

With oil prices rising strongly since January, most analysts are predicting the end of the year-and-a-half long slump, but also betting that there is little upside in the near future.

Barclays said net flows into commodities totaled more than $20 billion in January-February, the strongest start to a year since 2011, and prices could fall 20 to 25 percent if that were reversed.

"Were such a scenario to unfold, the price of oil could fall back to the low $30s," it said on Monday.


Monday, 21. March 2016

Brent turns positive; uncertainty over freeze lingers

Brent turned positive on Monday, but crude prices remained under pressure from signs that some of the nimbler U.S. producers increased drilling last week and from uncertainty surrounding a meeting of the world's major exporters next month to discuss freezing output.

U.S. energy firms last week added one oil rig after 12 weeks of cuts, according to data from industry firm Baker Hughes. Oil rigs have fallen by two-thirds over the past year to their lowest since 2009, and this surprise addition suggested the drop-off in crude drilling may be stabilizing after the oil price's 50-percent rally since February.

Oil hit a 2016 high last week, encouraged by optimism that OPEC and its major non-OPEC counterparts could strike a deal next month to leave supply unchanged at January's levels. That could help mitigate one of the largest global build-ups of unwanted crude in modern times.

Brent crude's front-month contract was up 10 cents at $41.30 by 6:21 a.m. EDT (1021 GMT). It hit a high of $42.54 a barrel in the last session.

U.S. crude dropped 80 cents, or 2.03 percent, to $38.64 a barrel. The market on Friday climbed to $41.20 a barrel, its highest since early December, before losing ground to settle down nearly 2 percent at $39.44.

"The rebound in crude oil prices in the last month appears to have stabilised the number of rigs at work in the U.S. shale sector," ANZ said in a note to clients.

"After falling for six consecutive months, Baker Hughes data showed U.S. oil rig counts increased by one to 387."

Global oversupply in oil had knocked crude prices down from mid-2014 highs above $100 a barrel to 12-year lows earlier this year, taking Brent to around $27 and U.S. crude to about $26.

The combination of declining oil output, smaller crude stockpile builds and surging gasoline consumption in the United States helped the recovery.

Prices have also rallied over the last two months after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) floated the idea of a production freeze at January's levels.

But the market is looking for more news on this step.

"Markets want to see a little more back up as to what is happening there," said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance Securities in Sydney.

"The fact is we haven't heard anything after that ... but really it is Monday trading, maybe it will come up little bit later."

The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States gained nearly 25 cents in the past four weeks, according to a survey released on Sunday.

Money managers raised bullish bets on U.S. crude to a five-month high, data showed on Friday.

Reuters - 21. March 2016

Wednesday, 9. March 2016

Oil prices stable as falling US output offset by demand worries

Oil prices were only slightly higher on Wednesday as support from falling U.S. production was countered by a strengthening U.S.-dollar and concerns over slowing demand.

U.S. crude futures were at $36.60 per barrel at 0449 GMT, up 10 cents from their last settlement and 40 percent above February's 2016 low.

Brent crude futures were at $39.41 per barrel, up 9 cents and also some 40 percent higher than 2016 lows hit in January.

Analysts said falling U.S. output was lending support to the market but that concerns over slowing demand and an ongoing global production and storage overhang was capping any potential for bigger price gains.

Goldman says oil will stay low. Is the oil bounce over? Goldman says the commodity rally is unsustainable and calls for $20-$40 oil.

"U.S. crude oil production (is) showing a slow decline. We continue to believe that more corrections should be seen," Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures said, adding that under current conditions the highs of $40 to $41 per barrel reached earlier this week were "as high as it can go".

Price gains were also capped by a strengthening U.S. dollar, which reversed recent losses against leading currencies, potentially hampering demand as dollar-denominated crude gets more expensive as the greenback rises.

Also preventing a fundamental shift towards higher prices is a concern over faltering demand in China, where the economy is growing at its slowest pace in a generation. China's February trade performance was far worse than economists had expected, with exports tumbling the most in over six years.

Although China imported record crude volumes of 8 million barrels per day (bpd) in February, analysts expect this figure to fall as the Beijing scales back buys for its strategic reserves, and car sales begin to fall as the sharp economic slowdown starts to show results.

Additionally, chances of a coordinated freeze in production to halt a ballooning global supply glut of over 1 million bpd above consumption are ebbing as OPEC-member Kuwait said it would only cap output if all major producers participate, including Iran, which has balked at the plan.

One key factor in determining the oil market balance will be U.S. output, which the government said would be 8.19 million bpd in 2017, down from over 9 million bpd currently.

Fresh U.S. output data is scheduled to be published later on Wednesday.


Tuesday, 8. March 2016

Brent holds above $40 as investors call bottom on oil rout

Oil prices fell on Tuesday on weak Chinese trading data, but Brent remained over $40 a barrel after jumping to 2016 highs the previous day as producers announced talks to support the market and investors opened new bullish bets.

International benchmark Brent crude futures managed to defend $40 per barrel on Tuesday, standing at $40.32 at 0359 GMT, down 52 cents from their last settlement. On Monday, the contract had surged over 5.5 percent in intra-day trading and has gained 49 percent from its 2016 lows on Jan. 20.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $37.48 a barrel, down 42 cents from their last close but almost 45 percent up from their 2016 low on Feb. 11.

On the demand side, China's crude imports jumped 19.1 percent between January and February to 31.80 million tonnes(about 8 million barrels per day) despite overall weak commodity and trading figures released on Tuesday.

"Higher 'teapot' (independent refinery) demand and stronger refining margins which encouraged higher refinery throughputs have contributed to increased imports. Falling domestic crude production is also supportive," said Virendra Chauhan of Energy Aspects in Singapore.

Will the commodities rally last? Hilary Kramer, Founder of Greentech Research and Chief Investment Officer at A&G Capital, believes short-sellers are blocking the market from sustained gains.

Despite strong oil demand, questions about the sustainability of growing consumption weighed on markets as China's economic downturn saw its overall exports plummet by a quarter in February in the worst slump since 2009.

China's vehicle sales, a key driver for gasoline demand, in February fell 3.7 percent from a year earlier to 1.37 million, data from China Passenger Car Association showed on Tuesday.

"This is really a poor start for trade this year," said Zhang Yongjun, senior economist at the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges.

Bulls vs bears

Following steady rises from late February on the back of a falling U.S. rig count, oil markets gained strong traction last Friday after Russia's energy minister said that a meeting between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other oil producers about freezing output could take place between March 20 and April 1.

Late on Monday, South American producers also said they would meet to talk about action to support prices.

Gary Ross, executive chairman at New York-based consultancy PIRA, said that oil would recover to $50 a barrel by the end of the year.

"They (OPEC) want $50 oil, this is going to become the new anchor for global oil prices," said Ross. In anticipation of higher oil prices, oil traders have started to cut back short positions that would profit from lower prices, while opening up new long positions that would profit from higher prices. Yet Singapore-based Phillips Futures cautioned of an overblown price rally. "The main change in fundamentals ... comes from the declining U.S. crude production. Besides this change, we do not see other changes to supply as other factors mainly involve talks rather than concrete movements," the brokerage said. "These talks involve major producers meeting to negotiate a production freeze. However, with the current oversupply issue; a freeze should be barely enough." REUTERS Monday, 7. March 2016 Oil rises as traders close short positions, US producers cut rig count Nick Oxford | Reuters A pump jack operates at a well site leased by Devon Energy Production Co. near Guthrie, Oklahoma. Oil prices opened strongly on Monday after rallying in the previous session, supported by tightening supply and strengthening sentiment around a market recovery. Front-month Brent crude futures were trading at $39.20 per barrel at 0127 GMT, up almost half a dollar and over a percentage point from their last settlement. That is almost a third above 2016 lows from mid-February, when prices hit levels not seen since 2003. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were trading at $36.36 a barrel, up 44 cents and from their last close and 40 percent above February lows. Is oil still the key to this market? The Fast Money trades discuss the role oil plays in the market. "U.S. shale producers continue to pull rigs from the ground in an effort to conserve capital," ANZ bank said on Monday. U.S. energy firms last week cut oil rigs for an 11th week in a row to the lowest level since December 2009, data showed on Friday, as producers slashed their drilling rig count to focus on uncompleted wells amid low oil prices. Drillers removed eight oil rigs in the week ended March 4, bringing the total rig count down to 392, oil services company Baker Hughes said in its closely followed report. Beyond a tightening supply outlook, ANZ said that a shift in sentiment was also pushing prices as traders shut down short positions that had bet on further falls in prices. "Short-covering in commodities continues to push prices higher. This week's slew of economic data releases in China, however, will determine if this rally continues," the bank said. BMI Research, a subsidiary of ratings agency Fitch Group, said that "the next four to six weeks will mark the inflection point", but added a cautionary note in saying that "bloated crude inventories and seasonally softer demand" also posed a downside risk to prices. The company said that it expected Brent and WTI to average $40 and $39.50 per barrel respectively in 2016. Friday, 4. March 2016 Oil Set for 3rd Weekly Gain as Producers Plan to Meet on Freeze Oil headed for the longest run of weekly gains since May as Nigeria said key members of OPEC intend to meet with other producers in Russia this month to renew talks on an agreement to freeze output. Futures rose as much as 0.9 percent in New York on Friday, taking gains over the last three weeks to about 18 percent. There will be a "dramatic price movement" when the meeting takes place on March 20, Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said Thursday. A production cap will help to balance the market and trigger a price rebound in the second half, said Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of consulting group IHS Inc. Oil is still down about 6 percent this year on speculation a global glut will be prolonged amid brimming U.S. stockpiles and the outlook for increased exports from Iran after the removal of sanctions. Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela agreed on Feb. 16 in Doha that they would freeze output if other producers followed suit in an effort to tackle the oversupply. "Investors are not necessarily buying into a bull market scenario yet, but at least it's a relief that prices have stopped falling," Ric Spooner, a chief analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by phone. "A production freeze will be very difficult to achieve, the market is not expecting Iran to curb its output. The large stockpiles act as a cap on any really big rallies from here." West Texas Intermediate for April delivery gained as much as 32 cents to $34.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and traded at $34.82 at 2:24 p.m. Hong Kong time. The contract slid 9 cents to $34.57 on Thursday. Total volume traded was about 19 percent below the 100-day average. Freeze Talks Brent for May settlement was 25 cents higher at $37.32 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, rising for a fifth session, the longest run of gains since November. Prices are up 6.4 percent this week. The European global crude was at a premium of 72 cents to WTI for May. While Russia confirmed its readiness to take part in the freeze talks, the time and date of the meeting is still being discussed, according to a statement on the website of the nation's Energy Ministry. Nigeria's Kachikwu didn't specify whether Iran would attend the planned discussions. Oil production and stockpiles remain elevated: Output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries fell by 79,000 barrels a day to 33.06 million a day in February. Saudi output was unchanged while Iran pumped an additional 140,000 barrels a day. U.S. crude stockpiles expanded by 10.4 million barrels last week to 518 million barrels, the highest level since 1930, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. Thursday, 3. March 2016 Oil Ends at Two-Month High as Refineries Boost Crude Use Oil ended at the highest level in almost two months in New York after a government report showed U.S. refineries boosted their use of crude. West Texas Intermediate futures rose for a third day after the Energy Information Administration said fuel plants processed 16 million barrels a day of crude last week, the highest level for this time of year in data going back to 1989. Gasoline inventories fell by 1.47 million barrels. "This is starting to look like a bull market," said Bill O'Grady, chief market strategist at Confluence Investment Management in St. Louis, which oversees $3.4 billion. "Every time the market falls back, it's an opportunity to buy." Crude has surged 32 percent since closing at a 12-year low on Feb. 11 on speculation low gasoline prices will boost demand. Russian oil producers met with President Vladimir Putin to pledge support for a plan agreed with Saudi Arabia and other nations to freeze output at January levels. U.S. crude inventories rose by 10.37 million to the highest since 1930, the EIA said. The build in crude supplies isn't "going to interrupt an early spring rally," James Cordier, founder of in Tampa, Florida, said of the higher crude supplies. "Gasoline demand is going to be tremendous." WTI for April delivery gained 26 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $34.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since Jan. 5. Brent for May settlement climbed 12 cents to $36.93 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude was at a premium of 63 cents to WTI for May. U.S. refineries used 88.3 percent of their capacity last week, up from 87.3 percent the previous week. U.S. crude stockpiles increased to about 518 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 26, the EIA said. That's the highest level in weekly data going back to 1982. In monthly data, inventories were higher in 1930. Stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI and the biggest U.S. oil-storage hub, increased by 1.19 million barrels last week to 66.3 million barrels, the highest weekly level since data starting in 2004. 'Bull Market' "People decided to ignore this week's numbers," said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. "People are more convinced that the market is generally moving towards a bull market." Russian crude and condensate output edged lower in February from a record the previous month amid talks with Saudi Arabia and other exporters on freezing production. Russian oil production fell 0.2 percent to 10.885 million barrels a day from January, according to data e-mailed from the Energy Ministry's CDU-TEK unit. The freeze should bring predictability to market participants, lower volatility and allow for planning in the long term, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday in Moscow. Bloomberg Wednesday, 2. March 2016 Sorry, OPEC. The U.S. oil boom isn't dead yet. The U.S. pumped an average of 9.43 million barrels per day last year, according to new government figures. That's the highest level since 1972 and represents an impressive growth of 89% since 2008. The crash in oil prices has caused production to slow a little in recent months. But shale oil producers have held up far better than many feared. "The U.S. oil industry has demonstrated remarkable resilience," said Jason Bordoff, a professor at Columbia University and a former energy adviser to President Obama. The shale oil revolution has given consumers a big boost in the form of cheap gasoline prices, which are now below $2 a gallon nationally. It's also made America one of the planet's biggest oil players behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. It's also fueled the epic oil supply glut. OPEC, led by the Saudis, decided to fight back in November 2014 by deciding to pump oil aggressively -- despite the oversupply issue. The thinking was that strong OPEC output would cause prices to drop to uncomfortably low levels which U.S. shale producers would struggle to cope with. Prices did drop, even more than OPEC members were prepared for. Oil touched $26 a barrel last month, down 75% from its mid-2014 peak. However, OPEC's strategy has failed to kill off the U.S. oil boom. At least so far. Despite the drop in prices, domestic production rose 8% last year and is now up 45% since 2012. Strong U.S. output has been fueled by a wave of innovation that has improved companies' productivity and efficiency. The oil companies have also benefited from lower service costs due to the downturn. "Shale production has been more resilient than anyone thought it could be," said Brian Youngberg, senior energy analyst at Edward Jones. "Companies are investing in their core assets where they can get the biggest bang for their buck." It's not like U.S. oil companies aren't feeling the OPEC pressure. They've been forced to aggressively slash costs and cut thousands of jobs. Smaller oil companies saddled with debt taken on during the boom years have gone under. U.S. bankruptcies of oil and natural gas companies spiked 379% in 2015. This financial pressure, combined with cheap prices, has caused U.S. production to slow a bit since it topped out in April 2015. Investors are combing through the latest output numbers for signs of a more meaningful drop that could balance the global supply imbalance. The U.S. pumped 9.26 million barrels in December, down 2% from the year before and off 4.5% from the April peak. "While production rose year-on-year, it is now falling fast," said Bordoff. Many oil companies continue to slash spending plans and are now forecasting flat to negative production in 2016. Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service, predicted that reduced output from the Lower 48 states will cause U.S. output to drop to around 9 million barrels per day in 2016. Youngberg thinks production could slip even further, possibly to about 8.5 million barrels per day. "Hopefully that's near the bottom until prices improve," he said. CNNMoney (New York) First published March 1, 2016: 11:52 AM ET Tuesday, 1. March 2016 Is the oil crash over? Prices soar 30% in 11 daysReplay Oil has stopped crashing. Investors around the world freaked out when oil prices plummeted to a 13-year low of $26.05 a barrel on February 11. But they are now sitting at $34 a barrel, marking an incredible 30% spike in the span of just 11 trading days. The ridiculous surge from the recent lows reflects a swing in sentiment, even if it's not a dramatic shift in the fundamentals. The world still has too much oil and U.S. production hasn't slowed enough yet to ease the epic supply glut. "Fundamentally, things are still extremely weak. It's being driven more by hope," said Matthew Smith, head of commodity research at ClipperData, which tracks global crude shipments. Hope has been fueled by OPEC. Saudi Arabia, Russia and other producers agreed to atentative deal on February 17 to freeze output. "That was the trigger. It helped us reach a bottom in oil," said Rob Thummel, a portfolio manager at energy investment firm Tortoise Capital. However, that freeze deal requires the participation of other producers like Iran. Officials from Iran recentlyblasted the freeze as a "joke" and told CNN on Monday the country still plans to significantly ramp up output now that sanctions have been lifted. "The recent output freeze talks are unlikely to have any immediate impact on market balances," Barclays wrote in a report. Analysts also pointed out that the countries that have agreed to freeze production are already producing close to their full capacity. Still, Barclays said the freeze talks represent a "litmus test for building trust" and have raised the still-unlikely chances of coordinated action from global producers. It's made people think twice about (betting against oil), said Mike Wittner, global head of oil research at Societe Generale. Of course, oil remains in a huge hole. Despite the recent rally, oil prices are down by nearly half from a year ago when they were sitting at $62 a barrel. And it's hard to be too enthusiastic about oil's prospects given the enormous supply glut in the U.S. Crude oil inventories increased by another 3.5 million barrels last week to nearly 508 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration. "Inventories are still crazy high. We're swimming in crude oil around the world," said Wittner. Sky-high inventories are raising concerns that certain storage facilities will soon run out of room to keep all that crude. The supply glut continues to be fueled by very high U.S. production. Despite the crash in prices, the U.S. pumped 9.26 million barrels per day in December, according to the latest government figures. That's only 4.5% below the April 2015 peak. "It's been exceptionally resilient, more so than anybody expected," said Smith of ClipperData. Oil bulls believe production will fall sharply in the second half of the year when many oil drillers are forced to switch off production due to the cheap prices. U.S. oil rig counts have declined for 10 straight weeks and are now down 25% this year alone, according to Baker Hughes. If U.S. output does take a big hit, that could mean the February 11 low of $26.05 a barrel may have been the bottom. "That's always hard to predict. But we think we're very close to this commodity cycle ending," said Thummel. But that doesn't mean oil prices are going to skyrocket back to $80 a barrel. Higher oil prices -- even in the $40 to $50 range -- will just encourage U.S. shale producers to start pumping aggressively again, renewing the oversupply problem. "There is definitely a lid on prices," said Smith. CNNMoney (New York) First published February 29, 2016: 1:17 PM ET Friday, 26. February 2016 Oil Set for Weekly Advance as Russia Pursues Iran to Join Freeze Ben Sharples BenSharps February 26, 2016 - 12:47 AM CET Updated on February 26, 2016 - 8:48 AM CET Oil headed for its biggest weekly advance since August as Russia said talks with Iran are continuing before a planned producer meeting next month on a proposed output freeze. Futures were little changed in New York, up 11.7 percent for the week. The cap agreed with Saudi Arabia will need to be in place for a minimum of 12 months to support prices, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Thursday. A meeting with the Iranian Oil Minister is possible next month, he said. Iran, seeking to boost exports after sanctions were lifted, said the deal is "ridiculous," while Iraq said a pact hinges on unified support. "U.S. production cuts are by far the most likely source of further price support for the oil market, rather than any talks between Venezuela, Russia and other producers," Ric Spooner, a chief analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by phone. "Oil is stabilizing above $30." Crude is still down 11 percent this year on speculation a worldwide surplus will be prolonged amid rising U.S. stockpiles that have swelled to the highest level in more than eight decades and the outlook for increased shipments from Iran. Producers are in discussions about a site for a meeting next month on the production freeze, Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino said during a television broadcast on TeleSur. West Texas Intermediate for April delivery was at $33.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 5 cents, at 3:43 p.m. Hong Kong time. The contract rose 92 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $33.07 on Thursday. Total volume traded was 16 percent above the 100-day average. Prices are set for a second weekly gain. Freeze Pact Brent for April settlement, which expires Monday, was 3 cents lower at $35.26 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices climbed 88 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $35.29 on Thursday and are up 6.8 percent for the week. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $2.10 to WTI. The more-active May futures rose 2 cents to $35.72 a barrel. Exxon Mobil Corp. may lose its top-notch credit rating from Moody's Investors Service as the oil-market collapse imperils cash flow needed to cover debt payments and investment in new discoveries. Seven of the other largest U.S. energy explorers also were put on notice or downgraded by Moody's Thursday after the rating company concluded prices will remain weak for years. Halliburton Co. announced it's cutting another 5,000 workers, or 8 percent of its remaining global workforce, to survive a lengthening crude market downturn. With the latest layoffs, the Houston-based provider of drilling and hydraulic fracturing services will have let go nearly 29,000 workers, or more than a quarter of its headcount since staffing reached its peak in late 2014. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq laid out their positions on the output freeze this week: Proposal to freeze output at January levels puts "unrealistic demands" on Iran, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Tuesday, according to the ministry's news agency Shana. High-cost producers should bear the burden of reducing the current surplus and Saudi Arabia won't cut production because it doesn't trust other countries to join, Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said Tuesday. Iraq is ready to cooperate on the output cap, Falah Al-Amri, chairman of Iraq's state Oil Marketing Organization, known as SOMO, said at conference in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Thursday, 25. February 2016 Oil Advances as Cheap Gasoline Leads U.S. Fuel Stocks to Drop Crude oil advanced as cheap gasoline bolstered U.S. demand for the motor fuel and sent inventories lower. Gasoline supplies fell 2.24 million barrels to 256.5 million, according to the Energy Information Administration. Demand rose as U.S. pump prices lingered near a seven-year low. Crude stockpiles climbed to an 86-year high while production dipped. Prices dropped earlier after oil ministers from Iran and Saudi Arabia signaled on Tuesday that they're not willing to curtail production. "Crude is feeling the impact of the drop in product inventories," said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy. "Gasoline inventories dropped and demand is pretty strong. Low prices are encouraging driving, which is helping with demand." Crude is down about 13 percent this year on speculation the global glut will linger after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries abandoned output targets in early December. Iran is seeking to boost production by 1 million barrels a day in 2016 after sanctions were lifted last month. West Texas Intermediate for April delivery rose 28 cents, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $32.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell as much as 4.1 percent to touch $30.56 before release of the report at 10:30 a.m. in Washington. Total volume traded was 22 percent above the 100-day averageat 2:53 p.m. Brent for April settlement increased $1.14, or 3.4 percent, to $34.41 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude closed at a $2.26 premium to WTI, the most since December. Rising Demand Gasoline demand rose 1.8 percent to 9.06 million barrels a day through Feb. 19, averaged over four weeks. Consumption was up 5.2 percent from the same period last year. March gasoline futures rose 4.6 percent to $1.0104 a gallon, the highest settlement since Feb. 12. Diesel advanced 3.7 percent to close at $1.0594. The gasoline crack spread, a rough measure of the profit from processing a barrel of oil into gasoline, rose to $21.43, the highest since Jan. 22. The average price of regular gasoline at the pump nationwide was $1.709 a gallon on Tuesday, according to Heathrow, Florida-based AAA, a national federation of motor clubs. Retail prices touched $1.696 on Feb. 14, the lowest since January 2009. Nationwide crude stockpiles rose 3.5 million barrels to 507.6 million last week. Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the biggest U.S. oil-storage hub, rose to a record 65.1 million barrels. The site, which is the delivery point for WTI, has a working capacity of 73 million, according to the EIA. Production fell by 33,000 barrels a day to 9.1 million, the lowest since October. Rigs targeting oil in the nation's fields fell to 413 last week, the lowest since December 2009, Baker Hughes Inc. said on its website Feb. 19. "We aren't seeing any sign of an end to the inventory builds in the near term," said Adam Wise, who helps run a $7 billion oil and natural gas bond and private equity portfolio as a managing director at John Hancock in Boston. "Until there are sustained inventory declines, there won't be a significant price move to the upside. The only other thing that could spur a rebound is an OPEC agreement to cut output, which is looking extremely unlikely." Saudi Arabia, which won't cut supply as it doesn't trust fellow exporters to follow suit, believes high-cost producers should bear the burden of rebalancing markets, Ali Al-Naimi said Tuesday. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said a Saudi-Russia proposal to freeze output was "ridiculous" since Iran seeks to boost exports after years of sanctions, according to his ministry's news agency. BLOOMBERG Wednesday, 24. February 2016 Oil Extends Decline as Iran Calls Freeze Proposal `Ridiculous' Ben Sharples BenSharps February 24, 2016 - 12:45 AM CET Updated on February 24, 2016 - 6:14 AM CET Oil extended declines after Iran said a proposal by Saudi Arabia and Russia for producers to freeze output was " ridiculous" as the Persian Gulf nation seeks to boost exports after years of sanctions. Futures slid as much as 2.4 percent in New York. The proposal to cap output at January levels puts "unrealistic demands" on Iran, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Tuesday, according to the ministry's news agency Shana. Ali Al-Naimi, his counterpart from Saudi Arabia, said at a conference in Houston high-cost producers should bear the burden of reducing the current surplus and reaffirmed the kingdom's commitment to last week's accord. "There won't be a pact on output, there's no possibility of that occurring because there are insufficient levels of trust," Michael McCarthy, a chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by phone. "The market is still in surplus and will remain that way for some time." Crude is down 16 percent this year on speculation a global glut will persist amid the outlook for increased shipments from Iran and brimming U.S. supplies, which are at the highest level in more than eight decades. The nation's stockpiles expanded by 7.1 million barrels last week, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute was said to report Tuesday. West Texas Intermediate for April delivery fell as much as 77 cents to $31.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $31.18 at 1:06 p.m. Hong Kong time. The contract for that month lost $1.52, or 4.6 percent, to $31.87 on Tuesday. Total volume traded was about 33 percent above the 100-day average. Prices lost 30 percent last year. 'Inevitable Reckoning' Brent for April settlement slid as much as 56 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $32.71 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices fell $1.42 to $33.27 on Tuesday. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $1.71 to WTI. "We are in the situation where we will continue to have an oversupplied market," Victor Shum, a vice president for Asia Pacific at IHS Inc., said in a Bloomberg Television interview Wednesday. "In the coming weeks and months, oil prices will likely be low." Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar reached a preliminary agreement in Doha to freeze output if other states join them. The accord marks "the beginning of a process" that will continue with further talks between producing countries in March, according to Al-Naimi. Iran is seeking to boost production by 1 million barrels a day this year after sanctions were lifted last month. Saudi Arabia won't reduce production because it doesn't trust other countries to join in, Al-Naimi said in Houston. Cutting low cost output to subsidize higher cost supplies only delays an " inevitable reckoning," he said. Crude stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI and the biggest U.S. oil-storage hub, increased by 307,000 barrels last week, the API reported Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the figures. Nationwide supplies probably rose by 3.25 million barrels, a Bloomberg survey shows before data from the Energy Information Administration Wednesday. Monday, 22. February 2016. OPEC's Path to Output Cuts Unclear! Thursday, 18. February 2016. Iran Supports Oil Production Freeze! OPEC's Path to Output Cuts Unclear

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