Economy

Oil steadies, but rattled by concern about OPEC's clout

Oil steadies, but rattled by concern about OPEC's clout

West Texas Intermediate for June delivery rose 21 United States cents to US$46.43 a barrel before Mr Falih's comments, and traded little changed at US$46.20 at 10.16am in London yesterday.

OPEC along with other key producers have agreed to reduce oil production by 1.8 million barrels a day from the usual output.

From the beginning, oil producers envisaged the agreement on production cuts might need to be extended to rebalance the oil market fully.

Higher crude output from the US should pressure global oil prices through the end of 2018, the USA government said May 9, ahead of a meeting later this month at which OPEC and non-member producers will discuss extending supply cuts.

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Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, the largest of the 24 nations that agreed to cut production, are reaffirming their commitment to the deal amid growing doubts about its effectiveness.

Oil held on to gains yesterday as Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation said they are prepared to extend production cuts into next year to clear the global surplus. "With multiple leading indicators showing that [the] supply and demand balance is in deficit, the market is moving towards rebalancing". The shale oil drillers continued to add rigs for the 16th consecutive week, which shows that oil production is likely to increase going forward.

The kingdom will cut supplies by a little more than 3 million barrels for India and slightly less than 1 million barrels for Japan, the source with knowledge of the nominations said. "OPEC members have no choice but to talk up prices by signalling an extension to the production cuts agreement". Crude oil prices are stable in the early hours on May 9.

While Alexander Novak, Russian energy minister, also hinted he supported maintaining the cuts, stating an increase in oil demand would make them more effective over the next few months.

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OPEC members are set to meet on 25th of May in their Vienna headquarters to decide on whether to extend the supply cut deal or not.

Traders said that oil markets were under pressure as persistent climbs in USA production, especially from shale oil drillers, and concerns over a slowdown in China undermine efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to prop up prices.

From a bullish perspective, Falih confirmed Saudi Arabia and other oil producers are prepared to do "whatever it takes" to bring global crude inventories back to the five-year average.

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