New York oil sinks under $50 on OPEC doubts

New York crude dipped below $50 on Thursday. (Shutterstock)
Updated 29 November 2018
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New York oil sinks under $50 on OPEC doubts

  • West Texas crude hits 14-month low
  • All eyes on G20 and OPEC meets

LONDON: New York oil sank Thursday under $50 on doubts over an OPEC output cut, while most stocks rose as the Federal Reserve hinted at a softer pace of interest rate hikes.
Investors meanwhile remain wary about the weekend’s crunch trade talks between US President Donald Trump and China counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.
The pound fell versus the dollar and euro one day after the UK government and Bank of England painted a bleak picture of the country’s economic future following Brexit.
Milan’s stocks index was one of the few falling into negative territory on lingering concerns over Rome’s budget deficit.
New York’s West Texas Intermediate crude, one of the world’s major oil contracts, slumped in morning deals to strike a near 14-month low at $49.41 per barrel.
European benchmark London Brent North Sea oil dived to $57.50, a level last seen in early October 2017.
Traders remain uncertain about whether OPEC and non-OPEC producers like Russia will agree to curb output at their Vienna gatherings next week.
“The oil market is clearly not 100 percent convinced that the OPEC+ will cut supplies next week, but the pressure is certainly building as prices continue to fall amid ongoing concerns over excessive supply and lower demand growth,” Forex.com analyst Fawad Razaqzada told AFP.
“With WTI hovering around the $50 mark, it has given up more than 50 percent of its gains made since hitting a low in 2016.
“This represents a significant drop for a healthy market, which makes intervention from the OPEC+ group even more likely,” Razaqzada added.
However on Thursday, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid Al-Falih and Russian leader Vladimir Putin both appeared to dent hopes of a deal.
“Comments by... Al-Falih and Russian President Putin gave rise to doubts that the OPEC+ group will be able to agree on a sufficiently comprehensive production cut when it meets in Vienna,” said Commerzbank analysts in a note to clients.
“Al-Falih made it clear that Saudi Arabia would not reduce production alone. Saudi Arabia in particular had recently stepped up its production hugely and was therefore chiefly responsible for the oversupply.”
Commerzbank analysts also noted that Putin indicated that key oil producer Russia is “absolutely fine” with an oil price at $60.
Oil had spiked to four-year peaks in October after OPEC and other global producers had snubbed pressure from Trump to lift output and dampen the market.
Prices have since tumbled however on rising production, Chinese growth fears, and easing concerns about the impact of sanctions on Iran.


Norway oil firms lower 2019 investment forecast

Updated 21 February 2019
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Norway oil firms lower 2019 investment forecast

  • Investment forecasts for 2019 lowered to $20.06 billion
  • Several plans for development and operation (PDOs) expected to be submitted

OSLO: Oil and gas companies operating in Norway have lowered their investment forecasts for 2019 to 172.7 billion crowns ($20.06 billion) from 175.3 billion crowns seen in November, a survey by the country’s statistics agency (SSB) showed on Thursday.
In 2020, investments are expected to fall to 158.5 billion crowns according to initial forecasts, but the forecasts could be revised upwards in the months to come, it added.
“Several plans for development and operation (PDOs) are expected to be submitted to the government in both 2019 and 2020,” the agency said in a statement.
“If the schedules for these plans are realized, the accumulated investment costs in 2020 from these projects will increase the investment in field development compared to the present estimate.”
Norway’s oil and gas investments have rebounded from a sharp fall as rising crude prices and cost cuts lift industry activity. It was SSB’s fourth release of companies’ forecasts for 2019 and the first for 2020.
Equinor is Norway’s largest oil firm.