Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Oil prices climb on prospect of OPEC and Russian cuts

WTI oil price Oil falls after Russia preaches patience rather than production cuts
Jean Garcia | 19 November, 2018, 23:52

USA futures were up 15 cents to $56.61, after dropping as low as $55.08, near last week's one-year low.

"It appears that the market takes a production cut for granted".

Alexander Novak, Russian Energy Minister, stated that Russia, which is not an OPEC member, meant to sign a partnership agreement with the group.

Russian Federation plans to sign a partnership agreement with OPEC, Novak said on Monday, adding that it would be discussed at the December meeting.

Here's a good chart from Bloomberg, it shows oil net shorts at the most-extreme since this time past year. "It is not unreasonable to anticipate stable prices until then", Tamas Varga, PVM Oil Associates strategist, said.

Following a 12-day losing streak, crude oil gained traction last week as various OPEC officials said that OPEC+ was planning to introduce an additional output cut of 1- 1.4 million barrels per day to help the oil market find balance. Trade tensions between the world's biggest economies escalated over the weekend with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's attack on China, adding to worries supply may overtake demand.

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West Texas Intermediate for December delivery, which expires on Monday, added 18 cents to $56.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:23 in London. Total volume traded was about 5 percent below the 100-day average.

USA crude futures traded 15 cents lower at $56.31 a barrel.

OPEC and non-OPEC partners in the production cut deal are meeting in Vienna on December 6 and 7, and speculation has intensified over the past week that the cartel and its de facto leader Saudi Arabia may be willing to make another U-turn in oil production policy and decide to cut production next year, just months after increasing output to offset expected losses from Iran and Venezuela.

Louise Yamada, founder and manager at Technical Research Advisors, says data suggests a deeper plunge into bear territory: she told CNBC, "We've seen the completion of the target from a head and shoulders bottom back in 2015-2016: it went directly up to $78-$79 [per barrel]".

US energy firms added two oil rigs in the week to November 16, bringing the total count to 888, the highest level since March 2015, a weekly report by energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday. USA crude production has been rising, hitting a record in the week ended November 9, according to government data. 9, according to government data. With U.S. production at a record, Baker Hughes data Friday showed working oil rigs rose to the highest in more than three years.

Fund managers cut their bullish exposure to crude futures and options to the lowest since around mid-2017 this month. The Cboe/Nymex Oil Volatility Index fell more than 3 percent on Friday, declining for a third day. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

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