Oil prices fall for second day on oversupply concerns

US oil output from seven major shale formations is expected to rise by 143,000 bpd to a record 7.47 million bpd in August, the US Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report on Monday. (AP)
Updated 17 July 2018
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Oil prices fall for second day on oversupply concerns

  • Goldman Sachs on Monday said it expects price volatility in oil markets to remain elevated
  • US oil output from seven major shale formations is expected to rise by 143,000 bpd to a record 7.47 million bpd in August

TOKYO: Oil prices fell for a second day on Tuesday as worries about possible disruptions to supply eased and as investors focused on potential damage to global growth from the festering Sino-US trade spat.
Brent crude futures fell 32 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $71.52 a barrel by 0638 GMT to the lowest since April 17. They fell 4.6 percent on Monday.
US West Texas Intermediate futures were down 31 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $67.75 a barrel. They declined 4.2 percent on Monday.
“It is growth fears all around and more about concerns that ... trade worries will come back and bite,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
“(Oil trading) volumes are abysmal and there is very little commitment at current levels.”
China is still confident of hitting its economic growth target of around 6.5 percent this year despite views that it faces a bumpy second-half as a trade row with the United States intensifies, the state planning agency said on Tuesday.
The remarks came a day after China reported slightly slower growth for the second quarter and the weakest expansion in factory activity in June in two years, suggesting a further softening in business conditions in coming months as trade pressures build.
Goldman Sachs on Monday said it expects price volatility in oil markets to remain elevated, keeping Brent crude in a $70 to $80 per barrel range in the short-term.
“Supply shifts, alongside the ongoing surge in Saudi production, create the risk that the oil market moves into surplus” in the third quarter, the report said.
Meanwhile, an oil worker strike in Norway intensified on Monday when hundreds more walked out in a dispute over pay and pensions after employers failed to respond to union demands for a new offer.
The strike, which began last Tuesday, has had a limited impact on Norway’s oil production so far, but some drillers warned of possible contract cancelations if the dispute goes on for a month or more.
While Libyan ports are reopening, output at the country’s Sharara oilfield was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) after two workers were abducted by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation said on Saturday.
US oil output from seven major shale formations is expected to rise by 143,000 bpd to a record 7.47 million bpd in August, the US Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report on Monday.
Production is expected to climb in all seven formations, with the largest gain of 73,000 bpd seen in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico. All shale regions except for Appalachia are at a high, according to the data.


US-Saudi business council reports $13bn in contracts

Updated 24 May 2019
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US-Saudi business council reports $13bn in contracts

  • Improved oil prices, combined with a government focus on spending, contributed to the rise, the council said

LONDON: The value of joint Saudi-US contracts rose to $13 billion in the first quarter of 2019, according to a business council report.

That marked the highest value of awarded contracts since the first quarter of 2015, the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council said.

The value of contracts awarded during the first quarter amounted to about half of the total value in all of last year, it added.

The contracts “included many vital projects, notably in the oil, gas, water and transport sectors,” Abdallah Jum’ah, the co-chair of the council, was reported as saying by Asharq Al-Awsat.

Energy was the top sector, with $3.1 billion of the value of contracts awarded, with many struck by Saudi Aramco. 

Improved oil prices, combined with a government focus on spending, contributed to the rise, the council said.

The construction sector also looks set for a recovery after many projects were put on hold due to the oil-price crash.

“If the pace of awarding construction contracts witnessed during the first quarter of 2019 continues for the rest of the year, the index of awarding construction contracts may return to the range we witnessed before the canceling and postponing of mega projects due to lower oil revenue,” the council said.