Crude Oil Prices to Remain Bid as Overbought Conditions Persist

US oil output to top record 11 million barrels per day by end of 2019: EIA

Crude Oil Prices to Remain Bid as Overbought Conditions Persist

On the data front, the number of rigs operating in USA oil fields rose by 10 to 752 this week, the biggest increase since June, oilfield service firm Baker Hughes said in its weekly report on Friday.

Brent crude futures, used in the pricing of more than half the world's oil, rose as much as 1.2 per cent to the highest since December 4, 2014. While Brent averaged $54 per barrel in 2017, the December average was $64, up $2 per barrel from November, “the highest monthly average since November 2014, ” and only the fourth time in the past 36 months that Brent has averaged more than $60.

Fatih Birol, head of the Paris-based International Energy Agency, said on Friday that oil prices at $65 to $70 a barrel risked encouraging more oversupply from USA shale drillers.

US commercial crude stocks C-STK-T-EIA fell by nearly 5 million barrels in the week to January 5, to 419.5 million barrels.

The EIA revised its production growth forecast for 2018 sharply higher to 970,000 bpd from 780,000 bpd in its previous outlook.

The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark for the price of oil, was up 0.41 percent as of 9:16 a.m. EST to $69.10 per barrel.

Crude Oil Prices to Remain Bid as Overbought Conditions Persist

The market was bolstered modestly by data showing a sharp decline in USA production last week.

OPEC crude oil production averaged 32.5 million barrels per day (MMBPD) in 2017, a decrease of 0.2 MMBPD from 2016, primarily due to the November 2016 OPEC production agreement created to limit OPEC crude oil output to 32.5 MMBPD. However, the high compliance rate in the latest data includes a sizeable drop in Venezuela's production level of more than 0.2 MMBPD in 2017. These levels of US crude oil output are expected to continue increasing in 2019 to an average of 10.8 million b/d.

Global consumption of petroleum and other liquid fuels grew by 1.4 million b/d in 2017, reaching an average of 98.4 million b/d for the year.

EIA expects OPEC crude oil output will rise by an additional 0.3 MMBPD in 2019 as crude oil production slowly returns to pre-agreement levels. The agency increased its demand estimates for 2018 to 470,000 bpd from 410,000 bpd. As 2018 gets underway, commercial crude oil inventories in the United States remain 28 percent higher than they were four years ago.

Liquefied natural gas gross exports are forecast to average 3 bcf per day in 2018, up from 1.9 bcf in 2017. According to the Q4 Dallas Fed Energy Survey published at end-December, 42 percent of executives at 132 oil and gas firms expect the USA oil rig count to substantially increase if WTI prices are between $61 and $65 a barrel.

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