May 20, 2018

Global oil markets have started to rebalance

16 September 2017, 12:39 | Kenneth Drake

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Hurricane Harvey Corpus Cristi oil refinery

"In addition, the recent drop in oil prices has been considerably sharper than the decline in prices for other commodities - which is in stark contrast to, for example, the oil price collapse of 1985-1986 when all commodity prices saw a steep decline".

This led to a squeeze in the available fuel supply and the biggest decline in US gasoline stockpiles on record last week, an Energy Information Administration report showed Wednesday.

"Outright benchmark crude prices gained in August, reflecting higher demand in the northern hemisphere and tight physical markets for oil products", the IEA said.

The historic output cut deal wherein OPEC, which accounts for one-third of the global output, Russian Federation and other producers agreed to curb production by 1.8 million barrels per day until next March, is now paying off.

Inthe monthly report, OPEC reported that the oil production fell by 79,000 barrels per day (to 32.76 million barrels per day) in August. Crude stockpiles rose by 5.9 million barrels during the same week, a result of lagging demand from recovering refineries in the wake of Harvey.

Also helping prices, demand for oil increased in the second quarter, largely driven by Germany and the US, according to the International Energy Agency. The IEA and OPEC also boosted demand forecasts.

The agency said a global oil glut was shrinking thanks to strong European and USA demand, as well as production declines in OPEC and non-OPEC countries.

Should OPEC keep pumping at August's rate, the market would see a small supply deficit next year, versus a 450,000-bpd surplus implied by last month's report.

Global oil commercial stocks remained unchanged in July 2017 at 3.016 billion barrels versus June.

On similar lines, the oil for delivery in October edged up by Rs 2.60, or 0.48 per cent to Rs 549 per 10 kg in 172 lots.

ExxonMobil Corp said it was restarting its 362,300-barrels-per-day Beaumont, Texas, refinery for the first time since it was shut by Harvey.

"While these bullish forecasts will buoy expectations for a sustained price recovery, we should caution that global oil stockpiles are expected build in the early part of next year", said Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM oil, in a note.

"Stronger demand and supply restrictions from OPEC and Russian Federation are the main reasons for the oil price upsurge", said analyst Fawad Razaqzada.

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