Oil prices rise on worries over Venezuelan supply

The impact of output curbs led by the OPEC had created “ultra-tight” supply conditions, with any signs of supply disruption sending prices sharply higher, a market analyst said. (Reuters)
Updated 22 May 2018
0

Oil prices rise on worries over Venezuelan supply

SINGAPORE: Oil prices rose on Tuesday amid worries that Venezuela’s crude output could drop further following a disputed presidential election in the country and with potential sanctions on the OPEC-member.
Brent crude futures were at $79.37 per barrel at 0110 GMT, up 15 cents, from their last close. Brent broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014 last week.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $72.49 a barrel, up 25 cents from their previous settlement.
“The markets’ positive take on ‘no trade war’ and Venezuela’s political woes are driving oil prices higher,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.
Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro faced widespread international condemnation on Monday after his re-election in a weekend vote his critics denounced as a farce cementing autocracy in the crisis-stricken oil producer.
The United States is actively considering oil sanctions on Venezuela, where output has dropped by a third in two years to its lowest in decades.
“Tightening the economic screws will severely cripple ... Venezuela’s ability to export while making it virtually impossible for the country to acquire dollars,” said Innes.
Meanwhile, Washington and Beijing both claimed victory on Monday as the world’s two largest economies stepped back from the brink of a global trade war and agreed to hold further talks to boost US exports to China.
Elsewhere, concerns that looming US sanctions on Iran will curb that country’s crude exports have also been boosting oil prices in recent weeks.
OANDA’s Innes said that and the impact of output curbs led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries had created “ultra-tight” supply conditions, with any signs of supply disruption sending prices sharply higher.
“Supply-side dynamics are apparently in the driver’s seat, suggesting prices should push higher near-term,” he said.


Oil mixed on tighter US outlook

Updated 21 August 2018
0

Oil mixed on tighter US outlook

  • Traders said US markets were lifted by a tightening outlook for fuel markets in the coming months
  • The Iran supply cut may also be more than compensated for by production increases outside OPEC

SINGAPORE: Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday, with US fuel markets seen to be tightening while the Sino-US trade dispute dragged on international crude contracts.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for September delivery were up 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, at 0306 GMT, at $66.70 per barrel. The contract expires on Tuesday.
The more active October futures were up 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $65.49 a barrel.
Traders said US markets were lifted by a tightening outlook for fuel markets in the coming months.
Inventories in the United States for refined products such as diesel and heating oil for this time of year are at their lowest in four years.
This is occurring just ahead of the peak demand period for these fuels, with diesel needed for tractors to harvest crops and the arrival of colder weather during the Northern Hemisphere autumn raising consumption of heating oil.
Outside the United States, Brent crude oil futures were somewhat weaker, trading at $72.18 per barrel, down 3 cents from their last close.
This followed the United States offering on Monday 11 million barrels of crude from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for delivery from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30.
The released oil could offset expected supply shortfalls from US sanctions against Iran, which will target its oil industry from November.
Because of the sanctions, French bank BNP Paribas said it expected oil production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which Iran is a member, to fall from an average of 32.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018 to 31.7 million bpd in 2019.
Still, traders said overall market sentiment was cautious because of concerns over the demand outlook amid the trade dispute between the United States and China.
A Chinese trade delegation is due in Washington this week to resolve the dispute, but US President Donald Trump told Reuters in an interview on Monday he does not expect much progress, and that resolving the trade dispute with China will “take time.”
The impact of the Iran sanctions is not yet clear.
China has indicated that it will continue to buy Iranian oil despite the US sanctions.
The Iran supply cut may also be more than compensated for by production increases outside OPEC.
BNP Paribas said non-OPEC output would likely grow by 2 million bpd in 2018 and by 1.9 million bpd next year.
“Depending on when pipeline infrastructure constraints are lifted in the US, non-OPEC supply growth by the end of 2019 may prove higher than currently assumed,” the bank said.
The search for new oil has increased globally in the last two years, with the worldwide rig count rising from 1,013 at the end of July 2016 to 1,664 in August 2018, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes.
The biggest increase was in North America, where the rig count shot up from 491 to 1,057 in the last two years.
How prices develop will also depend on demand.
“We see global oil demand growing by 1.4 million barrels per day in both 2018 and 2019,” BNP Paribas said, implying that global markets are likely to remain sufficiently supplied.