Sunday, 16 December, 2018

US Crude Oil Output Hits Record 10.47-M BPD in March

Comex Gold Weekly August Comex Gold
Jodi Jackson | 04 June, 2018, 10:01

Saudi Arabia stayed within its quota and its production inched up to 10.00 million bpd because more crude oil was consumed domestically by power plants, according to sources in the Reuters survey.

US West Texas Intermediate crude had lost 16c or 0.2% to $66.88 a barrel by 4.23am GMT, after falling nearly 2% on Thursday. Last week, the market lost around 3 percent, adding to a near 5-percent decline from a week before.

There is some evidence to suggest that this has happened in recent weeks, with vessel-tracking data compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research and Forecasts pointing to record arrivals of USA crude in Asia in June.

On top of that, USA government data hasn't shown the usual sweep of crude inventory declines that's typical of the key gasoline-making season.

And it's not just a front-month aberration, with WTI's discount to Brent for crude for delivery in six months at $10.71 a barrel on June 1, the most since September 2014.

"It's hard to get really excited in the short-term on the oil price, given that USA production is surging, hitting record-highs every week", said Joseph Bozoyan, a portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management LLC in Boston. Output at the world's largest listed oil producer Rosneft edged up by 0.2 percent in May from April.

US crude production has been rising to record high levels since late a year ago.

Refinery crude runs rose 527,000 barrels per day to 17.2 million bpd as utilization rates jumped 2.1 percentage points to 93.9 percent of total capacity, both the highest runs and rates since January, EIA data showed. Surging output and a lack of pipeline capacity in the prolific Permian Basin shale play in Texas is exacerbating swelling US inventories.

The largest fall in production was registered in Nigeria, according to the survey based on shipping data from external sources, Thomson Reuters flows data, and information provided by sources at OPEC and oil and consulting firms.

"Until transportation is incentivized to get crude to the coasts or production is shut in, "we're going to continue to see some weakness in WTI", Smith said".

Sources told Reuters last week that Saudi Arabia, the effective leader of Opec, and Russian Federation were discussing boosting output by about 1-million barrels a day to compensate for losses in supply from Venezuela and to address concern about the impact of United States sanctions on Iranian output. Output has risen for 14 straight weeks as drillers put more rigs to work.

The speculator group cut its combined futures and options position in NY and London by 50,937 contracts to 370,980 during the week.

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