LONDON, Nov 2 — Oil prices steadied today as supply cuts by Opec and other major exporters tightened the market despite higher production in the United States.
Benchmark Brent crude was unchanged at US$60.49 (RM256) a barrel by 1005 GMT (6.05pm Malaysian time). Yesterday, Brent reached US$61.70, its highest intraday level since July 2015. The contract is up more than a third since its 2017-lows in June.
US light crude was 10 cents higher at US$54.40, almost 30 per cent above its 2017-low in June.
Confidence has been fuelled by an effort this year lead by the Organizsation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia to hold back about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in oil production to tighten markets.
Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said today supply and demand balances were tightening and oil inventories falling, while compliance with the Opec-led pact to curb supplies had been “excellent”.
Russian oil output edged up to 10.93 million bpd in October from 10.91 million bpd in September, official data showed today, but the country remains in compliance with the deal to curb output.
Overall, oil markets have been slightly undersupplied this year, resulting in inventory drawdowns.
The pact to withhold supplies runs to March 2018, but there is growing consensus to extend the deal to cover all of next year.
Oil was also supported by falling US commercial crude inventories despite rising output.
US commercial crude oil inventories fell by 2.4 million barrels in the week to October 27 to 454.9 million barrels, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.
“US crude inventories are back on a downward trend after disruptions from hurricane Harvey caused a small build,” said William O’Loughlin, analyst at Rivkin Securities.
This came despite a 46,000 bpd increase in production to 9.55 million bpd. US crude output is now up over 13 per cent since mid-2016.
Goldman Sachs said it expected year-on-year US oil production growth of 0.8 million to 0.9 million bpd at year-end 2017. That would put end-2017 output at 9.6-9.7 million bpd, only slightly above current levels.
The EIA said a record 2.1 million bpd of US crude was exported in the latest week.
Traders said this was due to US crude trading at a wide discount to Brent, making exports attractive. — Reuter
Source: The Malay Mail Online