Economy

Russian Federation satisfied with current oil prices: Novak

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $50.16 per barrel at 0648 GMT, down 26 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last close.

The Baker Hughes' report on the US oil drilling rigs, an early indicator of future output, showed the rig count fall in for the fourth week out of the last five. While the combination of the glut-created by refinery shutdowns and the low price resulting from this glut-increased the appeal of US crude for foreign buyers, this state of affairs is not going to last long, according to analysts.

More news on the Russia/Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reconciliation front came Thursday in the form of Saudi Arabia's King Salmon, who during the first ever visit by a Saudi monarch to Russia vowed to continue working with the former Soviet Union to stabilize the world oil market.

Gen. Barkindo called on Asia regions to join efforts to balance the market, while Russian Federation invited Turkmenistan to join the OPEC oil output cut deal.

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin said he's open to prolonging a deal with OPEC to curb supplies, though a decision won't be made until the current agreement nears expiry in March. Refinery utilization rates fell by 0.7 percentage points.

"We have grown increasingly bullish in our outlook on Brent, revising up our 2018 annual average forecast to $57 per barrel and our longer-term outlook to $73 per barrel by 2022, from $55 per barrel and $70 per barrel previously", BMI Research said. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.48 to December WTI.

"The yearly domestic crude oil refining data from 1997 to 2014 also reflected that 844.19 million of crude oil has been received and 835.58 million processed within the period under review, " the report stated.

Investors were also watching Tropical Storm Nate as companies shut down some oil production in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of its expected arrival in the area as a hurricane on Sunday. That is nearly as much as major OPEC member Iran produces.

Some analysts say United States oil output growth will slow as energy firms cut the number of rigs drilling for oil. OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo called them a "very strong endorsement" of the accord.

Saudi Arabia hopes to reach a consensus with Russian Federation and other major oil producers on the future of a global deal to cut oil output before an OPEC meeting in November, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Friday.



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