Finance

Oil producers have consensus to extend cuts, 2 OPEC members say

Oil producers have consensus to extend cuts, 2 OPEC members say

OPEC on Thursday sharply raised its forecast for oil supply from non-member countries in 2017 as higher prices encourage usa shale drillers to pump more, hampering the producer group's efforts to clear a glut and support prices by cutting output.

Saudi's Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih said he's "rather confident" OPEC will extend its production cuts into the second half of the year and "possibly beyond".

U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rocketed back above $47 a barrel and worldwide benchmark Brent topped $50 after the Energy Information Administration reported a much larger drop in the nation's crude stockpiles and a strong rebound in gasoline demand.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were trading at $46.40 per barrel, down from an intra-day high of $46.66 and also little changed from their last settlement.

Weekly U.S. data on crude production and inventories, plus monthly reports on supply and demand from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the U.S. Energy Information Administration this week, should provide a detailed picture of how quickly global crude inventories are falling.

While U.S. oil inventories fell, the country's crude oil production continued to rise, jumping above 9.3 million bpd last week, in what is now a more than 10 percent increase since its mid-2016 trough.

Saudi Aramco will reduce oil supplies to Asian customers by about 7 million barrels in June. July brent crude futures on London's ICE Futures exchange picked up 55 cents, or 1.1%, to $50.77 a barrel.

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However, efforts of OPEC to reduce global oil inventories have been undermined by a surge in USA drilling, which has knocked more than 10 per cent off the price of oil in the last month.

Alexander Novak, the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, said Russia is ready to support extending the oil deal beyond 2017.

"I believe the worst is now behind us with multiple leading indicators showing that supply-demand balances are in deficit and the market is moving towards rebalancing", he said.

The report will add to a debate about the effectiveness of the supply cut pact, which is expected to be extended when producers meet later this month.

Falih said nearly all of the expected oil demand growth in the next 25 years was likely to come from Asia as the region's population grows, with countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines rising into the ranks of top 20 global economies.

"OPEC members have no choice but to talk up prices by signalling an extension to the production cuts agreement".

But a downbeat report from Opec tempered early gains as the producer group said higher-than-expected production from its competitors would reduce demand for its crude this year.


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