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Oil prices drop amid concerns over rising crude output

03 November 2018
Oil prices drop amid concerns over rising crude output

Also stoking the bearish mood were expectations of a build in US crude oil inventories.

Prices of the barrel of the American reference for the sweet light crude oil are extending the downtrend and gyrating around the $66.00 mark.

Monthly crude oil production in several USA states reached a record high.

The second week saw USA crude oil open bearish but price edged higher up owing to news of partial shutdown of oil rigs in Gulf of Mexico owing to hurricane Michael and reports of falling crude exports from Iran ahead of United States sanctions as investors worries that U.S. demand for oil embargo could result in significant supply shortfall. "What this means in the near-term is that the US may double production, double export capacity and introduce new market innovations", Fannon said. OPEC reports Saudi Arabia pumped 10.4 million barrels a day.

US crude stocks rose last week, while gasoline stocks decreased and distillate inventories fell, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, US crude oil production surged by 416,000 bpd to a record 11.346 million bpd in August, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report this week.

Distillate inventories are still a worry as supply tanked by 4.1 million barrels and are now 5% below average for this time of year.

WTI and Brent crude futures continued to trend lower following reports that the United States has agreed to let several countries keep purchasing Iranian oil.

Still, Goldman Sachs on Thursday reiterated a year-end forecast for Brent prices of $80 barrel. While it is unclear to what extent the impact will have on global oil markets, it could pave a path for a rebound in oil prices toward the $75-per-barrel level by the end of the year.

EIA forecast that USA crude oil production to increase by 1 million barrels per day in 2019. Also, Iranian crude bodes well for Indian refiners as it is usually sold at a discount of up to $2-$4 per barrel compared with other Middle Eastern crude oil grades.

The market could get some clarity next week, when sanctions on Iran's energy industry go back into full force.

Could oil prices reverse this drop?

Oil has been caught in the global financial market slump this month, with equities under pressure from the trade conflict between the world's two largest economies, according to Asian Oil & Gas.

The mid-1970s were the heyday of the Iranian oil sector, when its output accounted for 10 percent of global production. WTI picked up 0.26 dollar to settle at 67.59 dollars a barrel. Investors are weighing market sentiment ahead of new US sanctions on Iran that begin on November 4.

Are there waivers coming from the U.S. to some buyers of Iranian crude oil? -China trade dispute will dent economic growth and by signs of rising global supply despite upcoming sanctions against Iran.

All this is happening a few days before Iran is expected to cease oil exports.

Fears of oversupply from the world's major oil producers cast a pall over the market.