frozenmail.net
frozenmail.net February 19, 2018


Oil drops as market rout resumes, North Sea pipeline increases operations

10 February 2018, 03:54 | Virginia Santiago

An offshore oil platform is seen at the Bouri Oil Field off the coast of Libya

An offshore oil platform is seen at the Bouri Oil Field off the coast of Libya

An oil well near Tioga, North Dakota.

Futures fell for a fifth day in NY, posting the longest streak of losses since April 2017.

This led oil prices to rally close to $70 per barrel over the past month.

Earlier this week, the EIA raised its full-year USA production forecasts to 10.59 million bpd this year and 11.18 million bpd in 2019.

While the production cut pact has been a success, there has been growing speculation that the higher oil prices could unravel the deal, because OPEC and/or Russian Federation could either start cheating or see rising USA supply as a threat to prices and market share.

The U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, West Texas Intermediate, was up 0.06 percent to $61.84 per barrel. Prices are headed for a third straight decline, their longest losing streak since November 29.

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Daily trading volumes of U.S. oil futures contracts have more doubled in the past decade, averaging more than 1.2 billion barrels per day in 2017, according to exchange operator CME Group.

Support yesterday came from the second outage in as many months on the 450,000 barrels per day Forties pipeline network, Britain's biggest, which supplies much of the crude underpinning Brent futures. It fell below its 50-day moving average, at $66.57, for the first time since July. It was the biggest one-day point drop ever, and worst on a percentage basis since 2011.

The rate of refinery utilization was projected to fall 0.3 percentage point from 88.1 percent of total capacity in the week ended January 26, according to the poll. However, forecasted increase in US crude inventories over the next few weeks and months may change sentiments drastically. "The market is going to try to determine if the crude draw offsets the distillate build heading into tomorrow's EIA report", said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group.

The dampening effects of surging United States production and a seasonal slowing down of demand were given a further boost last week, with the release of the USA wages data, which showed a stronger increase than expected.

A preliminary poll by Reuters on Tuesday showed analysts expected weekly data to show U.S. crude inventories last week rose 3.2 million barrels.

Based on the current price action, the direction of the market the rest of the session will be determined by trader reaction to the steep downtrending Gann angle at $62.16.



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