Economy

Saudi Arabia's Falih says OPEC close to agreement on extending oil deal

Saudi Arabia's Falih says OPEC close to agreement on extending oil deal”

USA crude oil production rose to a record 124.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in the week to May 31, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday, an increase of 1.63 million bpd since May 2018. Stockpiles jumped despite refineries increasing activity and as USA crude imports jumped by more than 1 million barrels per day.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 50 cents, or one per cent, at $53.09 per barrel, after trading as high as $53.33.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, fell more than 3 per cent to below $60 in mid-afternoon trading in London after the release of the figures, before recovering some losses.

United States crude settled 22 percent lower than its April peak after tumbling as much as 5.4 per cent. Brent sank to the lowest since January.

The European Central Bank's decision to push back the timing of its first post-crisis interest rate hike also weakened the global economic outlook and cooled expectations for crude demand.

The global benchmark Brent for the August settlement has gone up by 69 cents to close the day at $61.97 per barrel.

A bear market is defined as a 20 per cent decline or more in relevant benchmark readings from a recent high.

"While tight fundamentals supported oil prices through mid-May, escalating trade wars and weaker activity indicators have finally caught up with oil market sentiment", Goldman Sachs said in a recent research note. But they have fallen from a peak above $75 in April to below $62 a barrel on concerns about demand due to a U.S. Demand is still seen at 100 million barrels per day on an average this year, according to reports from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

"The addition of new USA supply and its integration into the global market" would pose a "multi-year threat to the market share and revenues" of OPEC+ producers, Goldman Sachs noted.

Over and above that, US crude production hit new record highs of 12.4 million barrels per day.

Oil prices jumped more than 2% on Friday, climbing further from five-month lows hit this week amid signs that OPEC and other producers may extend their output reduction deal. The pact ends this month and the group meets in coming weeks to decide their next move. An extension of oil production output would be considered says Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov of Russian Federation.

Oil prices plunged on Wednesday, with futures falling to their lowest since January, after the USA government reported an unexpected surge in the nation's crude stockpiles.



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