OPEC chief says producers seek market stability

Sectors of the Nigerian economy transport

Sectors of the Nigerian economy transport

Despite concerns over a rise in US shale output, some analysts, however, are adamant that OPEC-led cuts would offset rising levels of USA shale production.

"As long we do not get any negative surprises in terms of demand, the price is likely to settle back into its recent range with the upside still capped", Ole Hansen, the head of commodity strategy at SaxoBank, said in a semi-regular newsletter.

Gold had risen amid rising tensions over United States relations with Russian Federation and North Korea, with prices also buoyed as the dollar slid after President Donald Trump reportedly said the currency was too strong.

"Is sentiment on the oil market now taking a negative turn again?" Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said during an event at Columbia University in New York April 14.

"Unless the [Energy Information Administration] data shows something drastically different, this report should cause a severe dent in the bullish case [for oil prices]", said Sukrit Vijayakar, director of energy consultancy Trifecta.

This gain and a surge in output by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries in the fourth quarter had an effect that would "ultimately obstruct and for a period of time reverse the very rebalancing they were trying to accelerate", the analysts said. Brent was down 28 cents, trading at $55.08 a barrel by 3:24 p.m. EDT.

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Saudi Arabia has undertaken the largest cut in oil output (486,000 barrels per day) among the participants of the OPEC deal signed previous year in Vienna.

Prices rallied by 15 per cent since November 30, 2016 when Opec's 13 members led by the group's largest producer Saudi Arabia, agreed to curb output by more than one million barrels a day.

Looking ahead for oil, "the next big market mover looks to be when OPEC meets regarding an extension in production cuts on May 25", said Macaluso. Inventories are at record highs. "The Opec meeting will take place just before the Memorial Day holiday, which is the start of the summer driving season".

The latest United States government drilling data showed shale production in May was set to rise to 5.19 million barrels per day, with output from the Permian play, the largest U.S. shale region, expected to reach a record 2.36 million bpd, Reuters reported. U.S. fuel producers typically boost crude processing at this time of year as they prepare for the summer surge in gasoline demand.

Crude inventories dropped for the second week in a row but gasoline saw the first build in 9 weeks... That will be discussed in Vienna next month, and until then we can expect oil prices to continue to jump and fall on the cryptic words of oil and energy ministers alike.