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Oil nears $49 as brighter demand outlook sparks optimism

14 September, 2017, 03:04 | Author: Jeff Stephens
  • Crude Oil Faces Pivotal Moment As IEA Sees Strong Oil Demand Growth

The agency said global oil supply dropped 720,000 barrels a day last month from July, to 97.7 million barrels a day, largely due to civil unrest in Libya and disruptions to US production due to Hurricane Harvey. The IEA sees global oil demand rising this year by the most since 2015, while OPEC boosted projections for consumption in Europe and China.

Brent crude LCOc1 fell 11 cents to $54.16 a barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) CLc1 dropped 5 cents to $48.18, reported Reuters. November Brent, the global benchmark, climbed 89 cents, or 1.6%, to end at $55.16 a barrel, which was the highest finish since mid-April.

Earlier Wednesday, the EIA reported that U.S. crude stocks rose by 5.9 million barrels for the week ended September 8 while domestic USA crude output jumped by 572,000 barrels a day to 9.353 million barrels as more wells came back on line after the storm. That's below the forecast for a rise of 10.1 million barrels by analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts.

Hurricane Harvey knocked out over 20% of US refinery capacity at the start of the month as refiners shut down operations due to flooding.

While Irma, which made landfall in the Keys late Sunday as a Category 4 storm, will hurt oil demand, Harvey's damage is far greater, the bank's analysts including Damien Courvalin said in a note Monday. As Harvey led to widespread flooding, refineries such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc's Deer Park, Texas plant and Exxon Mobil Corp.'s Baytown complex shut and Magellan Midstream Partners LP suspended its inbound and outbound refined products and crude pipeline transportation services in the Houston area.

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USA crude traded up 70 cents a barrel or 1.47 percent, by 11:13 a.m. EDT (1514 GMT).

"Refinery runs dropped by almost 400,000 [barrels a day] to a 4 1/2 -year low, meaning lower crude demand translated into higher crude flows into storage tanks", said Smith.

Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, both members of OPEC, agreed to consider prolonging production cuts "beyond the first quarter of 2018, if needed", the Saudi ministry said in one of the statements.

In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said the world would need 32.83 million barrels per day (bpd) of OPEC crude next year, up 410,000 bpd from its previous forecast.

Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group, said the weekly drop was the largest in history and that the storms were to blame. Distillate stocks fell 3.2 million barrels.

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"Outright benchmark crude prices gained in August, reflecting higher demand in the northern hemisphere and tight physical markets for oil products", the IEA said.

USA gasoline prices fell despite a record drawdown in fuel inventories.

The agency said global oil supply dropped 720,000 barrels a day last month from July, to 97.7 million barrels a day, largely due to those disruptions to USA production due to Hurricane Harvey and supply disruptions in Libya.

The IEA also said the impact from Hurricane Harvey on US oil markets in the Gulf Coast was easing and its impact on global markets was likely to be relatively short-lived, although it would possibly help inventories rebalance more quickly.

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