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Oil Prices Fall Again as US Crude Inventories Rise

01 December, 2018, 04:58 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • Crude Oil

Crude oil price remained in a major downtrend and it recently traded below the $53.00 and $52.00 support levels.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said signals from Iraq, Nigeria and Libya were positive ahead of the group's December 6 talks because all ministers want to restore oil market stability.

Saudi Arabia led suppliers to cut production two years ago to curb a glut, then reversed course in June on concerns that United States sanctions on Iran could create a shortage.

The price of crude oil decreased more than 30 percent from $75 to $51 between October 2 and November 29.

But oil trade, vital for Russian economy, is conducted in United States dollars, a "monopoly" Russia's President Vladimir Putin wants to end.

"Trump tweets as if he has a joystick and he has everything under his command like he is playing one of these video games", said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service. The producer group plus non-OPEC member Russian Federation will gather on December 6 and 7 in Vienna to discuss output policy.

Rising inventory has sent crude prices south. Brent has fallen 31 percent over the past two months - and is now trading below $60.

Data released from the International Energy Agency revealed that the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are pumping crude at record levels, causing supply to surpass demand. "Other insane people talk of $100 oil", said Pérez, who will represent his country at the OPEC meeting next week.

The cooperation had been a "a 100 percent" success, Putin said, adding that this was largely due to Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the "initiator" of the deal.

There are several reasons why oil prices have been in freefall over such a relatively short space of time, but they all relate to Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's tentative alliance with U.S. president Donald Trump. "At the same time, we have expanding American crude stockpiles and they are unlikely to shrink in the near future". This increase in the country's oil inventory was fed by increasing oil imports.

But the U.S. also offered generous waivers to allies who imported Iranian crude and might have struggled to find other supplies quickly when USA sanctions kicked in on November 4. If a meeting of presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping project a conciliatory tone and raised hopes of de-escalation, a pick-up for risk appetite could lead to higher crude oil prices compared to stocks.

Russian and Saudi officials are scheduled to meet in Moscow over the weekend, signaling that an agreement on production cuts is possible if the Putin-MBS meeting in Buenos Aires goes well, said people briefed with the talks. The global benchmark traded at an US$8.19 premium to WTI.

Saudi Arabia can not afford another slump in oil prices.

Yet Russia is becoming increasingly convinced it needs to reduce oil output in tandem with OPEC even though it is still bargaining with Saudi Arabia over the timing and volume of any reduction.



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