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Output cuts bring oil market 'very close to balance'
14 April 2017, 02:43 | Nichole Osborne
US shale oil producers are ramping up output denting OPEC's efforts to fight a global supply glutMore
Prices were boosted after the IEA said production cuts by major exporters offset a longer-term decline in global demand.
Indeed, although the oil market will likely tighten throughout the year, overall non-OPEC production, not just in the U.S., will soon be on the rise again. Rigs targeting oil in the United States rose to 683 this week, the highest level since April 2015, according to this week's Baker Hughes data. The number of USA rigs has increased for 13 consecutive weeks.
But oil at above Dollars 50 a barrel has, in turn, attracted higher-cost producers in the United States back to the market, and frantic American drilling will push non-OPEC supply to surprisingly high levels throughout the year, the IEA predicted.
Commodities analysts at Commerzbank said the question was now "whether the OPEC production cuts really have translated into a reduction in supplies". If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article. Opec meets on May 25 to decide whether to extend its supply deal for another six months.
OPEC data showed members of the group had cut March output beyond the level they had promised.
World benchmark North Sea Brent crude futures were up 10 cents at US$55.96 a barrel in afternoon trading Arabian Gulf time.
West Texas Intermediate for May delivery rose 7 cents to settle at $US53.18 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. About 431,000 USA crude contracts changed hands Thursday, short of the 531,000-contract average over the past 200 trading days.
The International Energy Agency expects growth in the global demand for crude oil to slow for a second consecutive year in 2017.
It projected oil demand of 1.3 million barrels a day this year, down by about 100,000 barrels a day from its previous forecast.
"It can be argued confidently that the market is already very close to balance, and as more data becomes available this will become clearer".
Non-OPEC producers such as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan, and South Sudan agreed to reduce output by 558,000 barrels per day starting from January 1, 2017 for six months, extendable for another six months.
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