OPEC crude production rises in April - IEA

Ivan Schwartz
May 20, 2017

"The ministry stressed that the agreement on oil output cuts had a positive impact on oil prices, adding that additional steps to ensure market stability in the long term were still needed as global commercial oil reserves were above their five-year average".

OPEC officials will meet next week in Vienna to talk about extending oil production cuts that have stabilized oil prices but haven't rebalanced the global oil market yet.

Oil prices were little changed on Tuesday as the market awaited direction from weekly USA inventory data and as Kuwait joined top producers Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation in support of prolonging supply cuts through March 2018 to reduce a global crude glut."We expect a rangebound trade today with prices largely confining to yesterday's parameters as the market awaits another round of weekly stats", Jim Ritterbusch, president of Chicago-based energy advisory firm Ritterbusch & Associates, said in a note.USA crude oil inventories were expected to fall by around 2.3 million barrels during the week ended May 12, according to a Reuters poll. Crude oil prices moved below $50 per barrel in late April on signs the designed balance envisioned by production cuts was slow to materialize. Nonetheless, "stocks at the end of 2017 might not have fallen to the five-year average, suggesting that much work remains to be done in the second half".

Amid strong production increases in the United States and Brazil, the International Energy Agency said non-OPEC output would grow by 600,000 bpd this year.

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US shale drillers aren't the only ones threatening to offset OPEC's oil production cuts. "Any significant increase clearly offsets cutbacks by other OPEC and non-OPEC countries", it said.

The agency trimmed its estimate for first-half global demand growth by 115,000 barrels a day, citing weaker consumption in "previously solid countries" like India and the USA, yet kept the full-year growth forecast steady.

The OPEC agreement was supported by 11 non-OPEC states, which joined the deal by promising to jointly reduce oil output by 558,000 barrels per day. This is required to stabilize the oil market.

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