Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Excess crude account swells as oil price leaps towards $80

Oil Slips as OPEC Seen Able to Offset Iran Losses From Sanctions Oil steady near multi-year highs as US drilling rises
| 15 May, 2018, 22:43

And reports suggest markets anticipate a sharp fall in Iranian crude supply once US sanctions bite later this year. US light crude was 60 cents higher at $71.56 a barrel, also close to its highest since November 2014. South Korea, according to The New York Times, will seek an exemption from USA sanctions so that it can continue to import Iranian oil. Unfortunately for motorists, that glut has been drained by a combination of strong global demand and production cuts from Venezuela and a collection of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers.

Total volume traded Monday was about 15 percent below the 100-day average. The contract declined 0.5 per cent to US$77.12 on Friday.

Both forecasts top Friday's $70.70 close in USA crude oil prices, which trade at a roughly $5 to $6 discount to Brent crude.

Oil for September delivery rose 1.6% to 472.8 yuan a barrel on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange.

USA drillers added 10 oil rigs in the week to May 11, bringing the total to 844, the highest level since March 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday.


"Russian and Chinese firms in particular may still be willing to invest in Iran, but if sanctions result in excess capacity at existing fields, there will be little economic rationale to support new developments". Mr Zarif is scheduled to meet the British, French and German foreign ministers this week.

Of course, not everyone is as cool headed as Pradhan or Mazroui: Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Italian oil and gas giant ENI, told CNBC that "The impact is more for the crude oil price, because Iran now is exporting about 2.6 million barrels [per day], and if we go back to the first sanctions, they were exporting 1.5 million".

Oil price is now trending towards $80 per barrel following bullish trading that heightened yesterday in the global market which saw the price leap to $78 yesterday, up from $67 April average.

Since the accord was reached at the end of 2016, oil prices have climbed to their highest in almost four years to exceed $77 a barrel, up from $30 in early 2016.

Hedge funds reduced their WTI net-long position - the difference between bets on a price increase and wagers on a drop - by 1.8 per cent to 410,608 futures and options during the week ended May 8, according to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Prices at the pump jumped 6 cents nationwide last week.

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