The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects OPEC countries to continue producing above their quotas, pushing the cartel's average output 770,000 bpd above official levels for the quarter. OPEC's actual production would also be just 619,000 bpd lower during the first quarter from output levels at the end of last year, the agency said in its monthly OPEC update. That would be much less than the 1.5 million bpd that OPEC members (excluding Iraq) agreed to cut from their production quotas during a meeting last month in Vienna. The cartel set its production at 25.2 million bpd beginning Feb. 1 in order to stop oil prices from falling from what is expect to be lower oil demand in the first half of this year. The EIA said OPEC's production cuts should be sufficient, unless there is a world economic slowdown that dampens oil demand. "Not further cuts would be needed to maintain prices within OPEC's ($22-$28) target range," the agency said. Separately, the agency lowered its assessment of Iraqi oil production for the year. The EIA said it assumes Iraq will try to further erode United Nations sanctions by disrupting its own oil supplies. The EIA said it continues to believe that Iraq will not be able to meet its goal of producing 3.4 million bpd of oil this year, which was the country's output level in July 1990 just prior to the Gulf War. Because of problems with Iraq, the EIA lowered its projected overall OPEC production levels by 300,000 bpd for this year.
U.S. oil prices rocketed almost two dollars Wednesday on word that Saudi Arabia would reduce February crude sales by five percent despite U.S. appeals to the OPEC cartel not to cut oil output too sharply, Reuters reported. February crude futures oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) closed at $29.50, up $1.86 a barrel or some seven percent. This takes gains over the last eight trading sessions to more than $3.50 dollars a barrel.
Oil Averages $18 In 1999 Oil prices in 1999 posted a 35 percent increase on average over 1998, in a triumph of output restraints by exporter group OPEC and key ally Mexico. International benchmark Brent blend for the year was averaging $18 a barrel near the close of business on the last trading day of the year. Brent averaged just $13.34 a barrel in 1998, the lowest in 22 years, when prices slumped amid global surplus caused by excess output and shrinking demand in collapsing Asian economies
Excess oil industry stockpiles are likely to disappear entirely in October or November as winter demand overwhelms supply constrained by OPEC export curbs, analysts said. Inventory statistics, always key to the international oil market, have assumed an even greater significance over the past week as OPEC officials singled out the indicator as the leading factor for judging when to ease supply limits. Now, even the most cautious of analysts expect OPEC's target of shrinking stockpiles to
Oil importers last week were facing the prospect of a severe winter price spike as OPEC exporters prepared to turn the screw on stringent supply restrictions. Benchmark Brent crude in London struck new 31-month highs last week at $22.30 barrel -- another 32 cent rise on top of Tuesday's 60 cent jump which took prices above $22 for the first time since February 1997. "As long as key producers give no hint of relaxing output restraint the price of Brent will probably approach $25 in the fourth
OPEC compliance with supply curbs appears to have fallen in October but from a level revised higher for September, according to a leading consultant. Preliminary indications from shipping and oil industry data are that OPEC October supply rose 230,000 barrels a day to 26.52 million bpd from a revised 26.29 million in September, Geneva's Petrologistics told clients on Wednesday. Output from the 10 OPEC members, excluding Iraq, that agreed output reductions in March was 23
Oil prices steadied as buyers returned to the market on Friday to take advantage of a five percent slump set off by speculative fund sell-off on Thursday. Brent crude futures in London were trading 18 cents stronger at $21.60 a barrel, clawing back some of the losses sustained in Thursday's dramatic $1.17 fall. The losses were caused by funds selling futures in response to technical indicators, denting OPEC's hopes of keeping prices firm while they hold a tight rein on production
Oil inventories are getting so tight that commercial stockcover held by oil companies could hit minimum operating levels by early next year, London's Center for Global Energy Studies warned. The CGES said that after a heavy draw in September, commercial inventories held in the industrialized nations of the OECD fell again in October - by an estimated 800,000 bpd in the U.S. and Europe. "What is more, there are hardly any spare stocks at sea, in temporary storage or in the non-OECD countries
Saudi Arabia is poised to unilaterally boost its oil output by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of August, industry sources said. The kingdom, the world's biggest oil producer, has already turned up its taps by 250,000 bpd and aims to lift output by the same amount starting from August 1, the sources added. The extra Saudi barrels will head for markets in the U.S. and the Far East, they said. OPEC President and Venezuelan Oil Minister Ali Rodriguez said on Tuesday OPEC would not raise
OPEC is ready to pump extra oil in the event of any supply disruptions caused by Iraq and its biggest producer, Saudi Arabia, can ramp up to capacity if needed, oil officials said on Tuesday. For now the market is well-supplied and prices above $114 a barrel are the result of market nervousness, OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri said. An official from Saudi Arabia, the only OPEC member with significant spare capacity, said it was committed to supplying the market if needed.
Global oil markets fell again on Wednesday in holiday-thin trade, extending more than a week of see-saw volatility as traders jousted over whether a growing supply glut had been fully priced in. Oil whipped lower early in the day and tested new lows after U.S
Hariga fields still producing but Libya's current output a fraction of pre-2011 levels. Libya is producing 128,000 barrels of oil a day from fields connected to far eastern port of Hariga, an oil official said on Monday, while fighting halts work at major ports Es Sider and Ras Lanuf.
Oil prices fell on Wednesday as concerns about demand for fuel kept worries about a global supply glut intact. Both Brent and U.S. crude significantly pared losses just before government data showed U.S. crude oil inventories fell 1
Brent crude was buoyed on Friday by market uncertainty over the future of Saudi oil output, while U.S. crude fell on more signs of oversupply. Saudi Arabia's new king, Salman, who took the throne on Friday morning after the death of his brother Abdullah
World oil prices resumed a months-long rout on Tuesday to close at their lowest in more than two years, pressured by reduced economic and demand growth forecasts. U.S. crude oil prices fell faster than European Brent, reversing a weeks-long compression in the Brent/WTI spread amid signs that U.S
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia told OPEC it raised its oil production in September by 100,000 barrels per day, adding to signs it has yet to respond to a drop in prices well below $100 a barrel by trimming output. In a monthly report issued on Friday
Venezuela's 2015 budget will be based on a target oil price of $60 dollars per barrel, President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday night, but he repeated expectations that prices will recover. Venezuela routinely underestimates oil prices when planning its budget to permit more
* Middle East supply remains strong * Equities fall on confirmed case of Ebola in New York * Economists see gloomy 2015 for China, euro zone - Reuters poll * Commerzbank cuts price forecast on bearish OPEC signals (Updates prices, adds Middle East supply)
Venezuela and Ecuador are working on a joint proposal to defend oil prices that the two countries will present at the next OPEC meeting, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday. Venezuela was the first country to request an extraordinary meeting of Organization of the
Angola's Sonangol is hoping to start supplying crude oil to Indonesia's state oil firm early next year in a possible joint venture, company officials said on Monday. Indonesia has struggled to attract sufficient investment to halt declining domestic output
Saudi Arabia cuts oil prices for U.S. customers; Brent and WTI touch respective 4-year and 3-year lows. Brent crude oil fell more than 3 percent to its lowest in over four years near $82 a barrel on Tuesday, after top oil exporter Saudi Arabia cut sales prices to the United States.
Brent crude jumped almost $2 a barrel on Friday for its biggest daily gain in three weeks as support emerged a day after prices crashed to four-year lows below $80, but analysts were skeptical the rebound would continue, citing concerns over oversupply.
Russia, the world's biggest energy exporter, does not plan to cut oil production to shore up prices, Rossiya 24 television quoted Energy Minister Alexander Novak as saying on Saturday. Russia, which relies on oil and gas exports for about half its federal budget
Russia's rouble and shares hit new lows on Friday as oil prices collapsed after OPEC decided to leave its output unchanged despite heavy oversupply. At 1000 GMT, the rouble was around 2.2 percent below the previous close at 49.72 roubles per dollar, and 1
Asian refiners shift towards cheaper Mideast oil, naphtha-trade; U.S. light oil exports to Asia only started 4 months ago. U.S. exports now going to Europe instead. An aggressive strategy by Mideast Gulf producers to exploit the lowest oil prices in five years to defend market share is showing