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Oil prices rise after Saudi remarks

02 March 2018, 04:54 | Melanie Burgess

Oil hits 2-week high as Saudi Arabia to keep output well below cap

Solutions oil refinery is seen at sunset in front of the Philadelphia skyline

The market was also supported by data showing USA crude stockpiles fell more than expected earlier this month.

US inventories probably rose by 2 MMbbl last week, following a surprise drop in the previous week, according to a Bloomberg survey before Energy Information Administration data due Wednesday.

Birol said he did not see United States oil production peaking before 2020, and that he did not expect a decline in the next four to five years.

West Texas Intermediate for April delivery added 25 cents to $63.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 1:09 p.m.in Singapore.

Oil price gains were again capped by strong USA production and rising exports. While Canadian production has continued to rise, reflecting past investments, pipeline capacity constraints have limited producers' options for moving their products to USA markets.

US output was 10.27 million barrels per day (bpd), according to government data released on Thursday, higher than the latest figures for the world's largest exporter Saudi Arabia and just below Russian Federation.

Looking at the bigger picture, prices are expected to continue to be underpinned over the longer-term as long as Saudi Arabia and other major producers continue to remain committed to reducing output in order to trim the global supply glut and stabilize prices.

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Oil prices climbed on Monday as Saudi Arabia promised that it would continue to curb production.

The spread, however, shrank in recent years after the broader oil market meltdown in 2014, combined with the inauguration of US crude exports at the end of 2015 and into 2016.

The 2018 federal budget, released February 27, did not have good news for the oil sector, with a forecast for lower oil prices.

'Rising global oil demand will be driven mainly by emerging markets, with non-OECD consumption rising by an average of 2.8 percent per year in 2018-19, which would be the fastest rate since 2013, ' the Economist Intelligence Unit's Birch said.

"Last week's inventory report wasn't bullish, but it also wasn't bearish". Mind you, the US production now stands at highest level since the early 1970s. USA crude exports bounced around between 0.5 million barrels per day (mb/d) and 1 mb/d in the first half of the year, a level that jumped to a range between 1 and 2 mb/d in the third and fourth quarters. Crude slipped after an industry report was said to show an increase in United States crude stockpiles.

Dear reader, I have mentioned this before, and I will say it again: there's too much oil and not enough matches.

However, an increase of 2 million barrels was still a conservative estimate, Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said, as he expected imports to have corrected, re-balancing last week's record low imports.

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