Friday, 22 September, 2017

OPEC Sees Higher Oil Demand, Signs Of Tighter Market

Marathon Petroleum Corp. oil storage tanks sit at a terminal in the Ybor Channel ahead of Hurricane Irma in Tampa Florida U.S. Sept. 9 2017 Saudi Arabia open to another OPEC cuts extension
Dexter Carr | 13 September, 2017, 00:14

Oil held gains near $48 a barrel as Hurricane Irma weakened further after moving inland and as Gulf Coast refining continued to recover following two strikes from Harvey.

Irma, which initially hit the Keys in Florida with winds of 130 miles per hour, knocked out power to millions of Florida customers, paralyzed tanker traffic and shut about 6,000 gasoline stations.

Opec said its pact to reduce output, which includes Russian Federation among other producers, is beginning to cut into inventories.

USA crude stockpiles likely rose by 4.82 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey ahead of Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday.

Oil prices edged up on Monday after the Saudi oil minister discussed possibly extending a pact to cut global oil supplies beyond March 2018 with his Venezuelan and Kazakh counterparts.

Backwardation in Brent is consistent with a tightening global oil market while contango in WTI is consistent with local oversupply of crude as a result of refinery shutdowns and the closure of export terminals.

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OPEC said inventories were falling and that an increase in the price of Brent crude for immediate delivery to a premium to that for later supplies raised hopes that a rebalancing is under way.

"By the end of this month, we expect crude stocks to be 43 million barrels higher than they would have been had Harvey and Irma not occurred", analysts at Goldman Sachs said in a note. That would come on top of the stockpile growth of 4.6 million barrels officially reported in the previous week to Sept 1 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said the USA economy could suffer lost revenue from the storms and the estimate for third-quarter gross domestic product could drop a half point to 2.5 percent as a result.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump said North Korea would regret escalating recent nuclear tensions, but added that a military option wasn't inevitable. A quarter of US refining capacity to be taken off-line due to the hurricane, sapping demand.

Stretching the duration of OPEC production limits by three months or more would fall under a worst-case scenario that ministers are now contemplating, the people said, asking not to be named because the talks were private.

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