Economy

Crude oil pricing can be confusing

Crude oil pricing can be confusing

Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts estimate USA oil inventories fell 2 million barrels last week, with gasoline supplies dropping 750,000.

Instead they have focused on the continued rise in the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States and signs gasoline and diesel demand may not be growing fast enough to absorb the record fuel being produced by US refineries.

Oil hit a seven-month low on Thursday and while there was a slight recovery yesterday, forecasts of more production have prompted analysts to project a grim outlook for the rest of the year.

Oil prices have marginally recovered after slipping to almost seven-month lows on reports of an increase in supply that negated the production-cut initiative by OPEC and other producers.

"In my opinion, market fundamentals are going in the right direction, but in light of the large surplus in stockpiles over the past years, the cut needs time to take effect", he told the newspaper, referring to a global deal to curb oil production.

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OPEC supplies jumped in May as output recovered in Libya and Nigeria, two countries exempt from the production cut agreement.

The US Energy Department noted that oil production, which averaged 8.9 million barrels a day last year, will rise to 9.3 million barrels a day this year.

At 6:35 am EDT Brent crude was trading down US$46.15 a barrel and WTI was at US$43.68.

As recently as May 1, the average daily volume stored in tankers was about 74 million barrels, according to Kpler.

Japan's customs-cleared crude oil imports fell 13.5 percent in May from the same month a year earlier, to 2.83 million bpd, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday.

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It seems to me that it is becoming increasingly hard to determine a stable forecast for future oil prices in light of the tense situation in the region.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 15 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $44.59 per barrel. For this reason, Libya's production over the next few months is one of the wildest wild cards for OPEC and global oil supply.

US crude stockpiles remain more than 100 million barrels above the five-year average, according to data from the EIA. In the last week, there was an increase of 6 operating rigs in the United States, pushing the total number to 747, the highest since April 2015.

The deal reached back in November 2016 involved OPEC-member countries slashing oil output by 1.8 million barrels per day and non-members by 600,000 barrels per day starting 1 January 2017 and would last until the end of June 2017. In addition, the minister, Karim Hattab, said that the Basra Oil Company will increase output from its Leheis oil field, one of the longest-producing in Iraq, to 120,000 bpd, an increase from its current output of 100,000 bpd.

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