Oil Price Hit New High In 2017

SINGAPORE Petroleumworld 09 22 2017

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Brent settled 58 cents, or 1 percent, lower at $58.44 a barrel after hitting $59.49, its highest since July 2015 and more than 34 percent above their 2017 low.

The oil pipeline delivers between 500,000 and 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) to Ceyhan Port in Turkey. The oil price squeeze has been orchestrated by the Opec oil producers' group but could be exacerbated if Turkey follows through on threats to block supplies from Kurdistan.

Demand is growing at a rapid clip - increasing at a 1.6 million-barrel-per-day rate this year - global supply fell in August, and inventories have drained at a much swifter pace in recent months. Backwardation signals the market is tightening and discourages oil traders from stockpiling barrels.

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World oil prices jumped on Monday (9/25/2017) after major oil producers said at a meeting in Vienna, Austria, that the global market is on its way to rebalance.

The front-month in USA crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures was up $0.08, or 0.2%, at $50.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The deal was extended in May through March 2018 and signatories have recently indicated a willingness to potentially hold back production through next year. Crude prices were on course for a rise of almost 16 per cent this quarter which would make this year's performance the strongest for the third quarter since 2004.

On the whole, the near term bias for oil remains positive and prices sustaining above $50 will further support technical buying. It led to a fall in global crude oil inventories, which supported Brent crude oil prices in particular.

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OPEC also recently pledged to cut output by a collective nearly two million barrels per day, and there are signs that the notoriously fractured cartel will make good on its pledge this time.

But much of the renewed call for a cutback extension has been accompanied by an equally loud demand that OPEC focus on exports rather than production, and on that score Iran stated it will continue to maintain its rate of exporting oil to global customers, to the tune of about 2.2 million barrels per day (this was in response to reports of US president Donald Trump intensifying his offensive against the country).

Some analysts suggested, however, that the production-curb exemptions which have allowed Nigeria and Libya to ramp up production could be lifted to ease the glut in global crude supplies.

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Thomson Reuters, the parent of Reuters news, competes with Platts and Argus in providing news and information to the oil market. OPEC members have indicated they would be happier with an average price of $60 per barrel. While demand has yet to catch up to elevated supplies, rebounding economies in Europe and steady economic growth in the US could at least keep oil prices steady around current levels in the second half of 2017.

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