Oil dips, hits 11-day low as U.S. shale output seen surging

Oil dips, hits 11-day low as U.S. shale output seen surging
Oil dips, hits 11-day low as U.S. shale output seen surging
Author

19 April, 2017

Crude output at major U.S. shale plays is forecast to climb to 5.2 million barrels a day in May, the highest since 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration's monthly Drilling Productivity report. A day earlier, before the break wrapped up most key markets, it ended up 3 cents at $55.89 per barrel. While U.S. crude stockpiles declined from a record, OPEC said in a report Wednesday that rivals in the American shale industry are growing stronger.

Benchmark Brent crude futures were down 49 cents at $55.40 at 0310 GMT.

In the prolific Permian play located in West Texas and New Mexico, oil production is forecast to rise by almost 76,000 bpd to 2.36 million bpd, data showed, a new record for the largest US shale play.

OPEC countries, according to the IEA report, have had impressive levels of compliance with the deal to cut production output.

Angola saw its oil output rise to 1.782 million bpd last month from 1.767 million bpd in February, based on direct communication, according to the OPEC report. Movements in US oil inventories have an outsized price impact.

Independent refineries also pushed up crude oil imports as they needed to use up their first batch of import quotas before applying for a second round, market sources said.

US drillers last week added rigs for a 13th straight week, bringing it to its highest in roughly two years.

Local oil firms are raising their pump prices effective today April 18 as rumors the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will extend its production cut linger. Oil is losing momentum after the longest weekly rally in two months, with confidence that U.S. crude stockpiles are beginning to shrink damped by concern that American drilling activity is increasing.

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On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude futures for May delivery fell 0.86% to $52.72 a barrel.

But even though the oil market is likely to tighten throughout the year, "overall non-OPEC production, not just in the USA, will soon be on the rise again", the IEA warned.

Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih has insisted that there exists a consensus within the organisation to stabilise the oil market and that producers would do whatever was necessary to achieve that goal.

But if the extension is secured, USA shale-oil will continue to expand, he said.

"U.S. shale oil producers, particularly in the Permian basin, seem well convinced that they can make money at current prices and we're in no position to argue", Timothy Evans, a Citi Futures analyst said in a recent note.

The country imported 38.95 million mt (9.21 million b/d) of crude oil in March, rising 19.4% year on year, preliminary data released April 13 by the General Administration of Customs showed.

Since mid-2014, the oil market has faced an excess of supply over demand, which has led to a sharp decline in oil prices. The agency's forecast for global demand is now at 1.3 million barrels per day, which comes after a surprisingly low appetite for oil from investors during the first quarter of the year.


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