Markets

Iraq, Algeria support extension of oil production cuts

Iraq, Algeria support extension of oil production cuts

Saudi Aramco will curb oil supplies to Asia by about 7 million barrels in June, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said, as the national oil giant plays its part in a global output cut to support prices.

The power center has shifted to the U.S. shale oil producers.

The Energy Information Administration said domestic output will climb to a record 9.96 million barrels a day in 2018, up from 9.9 million barrels projected last month, according to the agency's monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook released Tuesday.

A statement by Saudi energy minister on extension of oil cut agreement will be good news Nigeria, PREMIUM TIMES can report.

"The economy could slow more sharply than ... expected", he said. "We don't want to create a shortage or squeeze".

Crude oil will remain under pressure unless OPEC throws a surprise in their next meeting.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were trading at $46.46 per barrel, down from an intra-day high of $46.66 and also little changed from their last settlement.

But a price recovery may have to wait, despite OPEC's best efforts.

Most oil traders had already concluded that OPEC had no option but to extend the production cuts so the clearer language from Falih and other ministers is unlikely to shift expectations.

Some analysts have concluded even a six-month extension would not be enough to bring stock levels down to their long-run average.

"The indications that I have so far is that there is a willingness to extending that", Mr. Kachikwu had said.

But if rapid production growth in USA shale fields keeps prices in the US$50 to US$60 range, producers will need to reduce costs by another 20 to 25 per cent, the analysts estimate.

"Our analysis of supply and demand shows that if OPEC continues at more or less the same rate of compliance-setting aside increases in Libya and Nigeria-the market does tighten up in the second half of the year", said Ann-Louise Hittle, a vice-president of research at Wood Mackenzie.

"If OPEC announces a production cut, the surprise leads to an upward adjustment in prices ..."


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