In Fight Against US Shale Oil, OPEC Risks Lower for Longer

Oil Hourly

Oil prices fell slightly on Friday as evidence that US production was still rising overshadowed hopes that the global crude glut would diminish on expected production cut extensions from OPEC and other producing countries.

Vitol, the world's largest oil trading house, moved a record 7 million barrels per day of crude and oil products a year ago.

However, the OPEC report also noted that the cartel expects non-OPEC oil supplies to rise by 950,000 barrels a day this year, an upgrade from last month's forecast.

Eleven Non-OPEC producers also are expected to extend their commitment to decrease oil output by 558,000 b/d.

The head of oil analysis for the IEA, Neil Atkinson said it was starting to become clear "that if the objective of the OPEC cuts was to flip the market from surplus into deficit, that is now slowly beginning to happen".

On Friday, Baker Hughes (BHI) reported that the number of active USA rigs drilling for oil climbed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-hold-losses-as-baker-hughes-reports-17th-weekly-rise-in-us-oil-rig-count-2017-05-12) by 9 to 712 rigs this week.

"The dilemma now for OPEC and their key non-OPEC partners Russian Federation and Oman is that cutting to support prices risks stoking the embers of a shale fire storm", said Adam Ritchie, director at Petro-Logistics in Geneva.

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OPEC could try even deeper production cuts but OPEC members won't like that. US light crude CLc1 was up 1 cent at $47.84.

This is the final segment in a three part series discussing the recent past and future of oil prices and the reasons why prices are where they are.

Timing is everything, and there is a lot of noise surrounding near-term oil prices.

According to the report, this was the biggest among oil producers as Nigeria makes move to over-take Angola and retain its position as biggest oil producer in Africa.

Any more supply from OPEC or non-OPEC could return the market to surplus. It showed the resilience of US shale production, and it dramatically cut spending in capital intensive projects in non-OPEC producers.

Meanwhile, Iraq and Algeria reportedly said Thursday they were in favor of extending the crude output cut deal.

Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy said that "U.S. oil production has gained significant momentum" and that there was "limited downside risk in the short-term". Prices are back below $50 a barrel now and thanks to increased efficiency, US producers can still make money at those prices.

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