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Oil Prices Remain High On China Demand

Oil Prices Remain High On China Demand

US drillers added two oil rigs in the week to July 14, bringing the total to 765, Baker Hughes said on Friday. The increasing numbers of operating rigs, as well as increasing production, have been raising concerns that the US shale oil producers which were able to cut their production cost dramatically over the past years are now a low-priced global competitor and would continue to undermine the OPEC agreement to cut supplies.

So, demand is rising faster than expected, particularly in the second quarter compared to the first, which suggests the second half the year will probably lead to stronger inventory declines.

Gulf crude accounted for about 58.5 percent of India's imports compared with about 66 percent in May, while the share of oil from Latin America, Africa, and Central Asia, including Russian Federation, rose, according to ship tracking data obtained from sources and data compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research & Forecasts. The IEA expects global crude oil demand to rise 1.5% to 98 MMbpd in 2017. That signals a disruption in the output from Nigeria.

Chinese crude oil imports improved.

With the global oil supply glut seen lasting into 2018, crude oil has failed to crack the $50 a barrel mark in months. China imported 8.55 million bpd of oil in first half of this year, up 13.8 per cent from the same period in 2016.

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Ecuador, a small producer within OPEC, also said on Tuesday that it is not complying with its production cut of 26,000 bpd due to the country's fiscal deficit which is expected to hit 7.5 percent of GDP this year. Nigerian production is back at a 17 month high of 2.0 mbpd while Libyan output has almost tripled from previous year with production nearing 0.95 mbpd.

Weekly data from EIA shows that total USA oil production is close to 9.4 million bpd, the highest since August 2015. Oil production in North Dakota fell 10,000 barrels-per-day in May. The EIA drilling productivity report shows that shale oil output will likely increase by 127,000 bpd in July to 5.47 mbpd.

A sharp drop in USA crude inventories in the week to July 7 supported prices last week.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures for August delivery were marked 0.34% higher from their Friday close at $46.70 in the opening hours of European trading while Brent contracts for September, the global benchmark, were seen 0.25% higher at $49.03 per barrel. Prices jumped 5% last week, moving away from yearly lows.


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