RIYADH: Oil prices were in a holding pattern on Thursday, as a larger-than-expected draw in US crude stocks and hopes for China demand contended with worries that more aggressive US interest rate rises would slow economic growth and dent oil consumption.
Brent crude futures edged down by 5 cents to $82.61 per barrel at 11.00 a.m. Saudi time, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures went down 4 cents at $76.62 per barrel.
Both benchmarks declined between 4 percent and 5 percent over the previous two days.
Barclays cuts 2023 oil price forecasts on resilient Russian output
Barclays cut its 2023 oil price forecasts on Wednesday, due in part to more resilient output from Russia than expected, and said the market could flip into a deficit in the second half of the year due to growing demand in China.
The bank cut its average forecasts for the Brent and West Texas Intermediate benchmarks by $6 per barrel and $7/b, respectively, to $92/b and $87/b.
It also forecast Brent would average $97 per barrel next year and WTI $92 per barrel.
OPEC does not need to make up for Russia oil output cut: Angola Minister
There is no need for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase oil output to make up for Russia’s 500,000 barrel per day cut, Angola’s secretary of state for oil and gas told Reuters on Wednesday.
“We believe the Russian oil is still there,” Angola’s Jose Barroso said on the sidelines of an energy conference in Houston. “They find a way, they find new markets... There is a balance in the market.”
Russia said it would cut 500,000 bpd of supply from March. The Group of Seven countries, the EU and Australia implemented the price cap on seaborne cargoes of Russian oil on Dec. 5, setting it at $60 a barrel.
Russian oil has found buyers in countries such as China and India that have not imposed sanctions.
If China is importing more oil from Russia, then perhaps it is importing less from other countries, Barroso said.
“We believe for the time being there is no need for the OPEC member countries to increase their production,” he added.
OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, agreed to cut their output target by 2 million barrels per day from last November through 2023. As part of this, the 10 OPEC members bound by the deal have a target to produce 25.416 million bpd.
(With input from Reuters)