Oil to Average in the $50sa Barrel in 2018 — GIQ Industry Survey

Posted September 23, 2017

Crude oil prices continued to climb on Wednesday, amid hopes for additional global supply cuts, while traders eyed the release of weekly US stockpiles data due later in the day.

Oil prices remained at $55.50 per barrel despite reduced output from OPEC that aims to constrict the market and shore up the prices.

The GIQ Survey respondents by an overwhelming 71% polled that OPEC should continue its supply cut agreement when it expires at the end of the first quarter of 2018, but that said, 29% of respondents were of the view that the oil exporters should abandon their output cuts and stop handing over market share to U.S. Shale oil producers.

November Brent crude, the global benchmark, advanced $1.05, or 1.9%, to $56.19 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, set for the highest finish since mid-April.

USA crude futures climbed 1.2% to $50.09 a barrel, and Brent rose 1.2% to $55.80 per barrel.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russian Federation have agreed to reduce output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until March to reduce global oil inventories and support prices.

Oil prices have slipped following reports of an increase in the USA crude inventories and production. Iraq's Oil Minister said on Tuesday the group was discussing several options, including extending supply cuts until end of next year versus its initial commitment through March 2018.

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Oil production also improved significantly to 9.51 million barrels per day, which reduced to 8.78 million bpd after it was affected by storm Harvey that hit the US Gulf Coast.

Gasoline stockpiles were down 2.1 million barrels for the week, while distillate stockpiles fell to 5.7 million barrels, according to the EIA.

It was the third consecutive week crude inventories increased in the USA, as heavy flooding due to storm Harvey knocked out almost quarter of the nation's refining capacity in August, pressuring demand for crude oil, the primary input at refineries. The EIA's next weekly dataset is on Wednesday.

Aside from expectations for a relatively small US crude stock build last week, oil prices have also been supported lately by a continuous slide in the number of oil rigs operating in the country. Ahead of that, will be API's closely-watched inventory sampling at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Going into the meeting, the crude oil market appears to be underpinned so I think investors will be disappointed if nothing is accomplished.

Some market participants think the amount of crude swirling in the market in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey was being underestimated, and prices could come under more pressure.

However, U.S. crude remains rangebound around $50.