Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Oil prices dip on relentless rise in U.S. crude output

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices dipped on Tuesday, extending losses from the previous session, as the inexorable rise in U.S. crude output weighed on markets.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.18 a barrel at 0747 GMT, down 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their previous close.

Brent crude futures were at $64.77 per barrel, down 18 cents, or 0.3 percent.

Both crude benchmarks dropped by around 1 percent in their Monday sessions.

“Oil prices fell on the back of concerns that surging U.S. production … could push inventories in the U.S. higher,” ANZ bank said on Tuesday.

Healthy demand and ongoing supply restraint by a group or producers led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia, however, are preventing further price falls.

But in a sign that an early-year rally in crude oil has fizzled out, money managers cut their combined net long positions in the six most important futures and options contracts linked to petroleum prices by 50 million barrels in the week to March 6.

Scaring off traders betting on further price increases has been a relentless rise in U.S. crude oil production, which soared past 10 million barrels per day (bpd) in late 2017, overtaking output by top exporter Saudi Arabia.

U.S. production is expected to rise above 11 million bpd by late 2018, taking the top spot from Russia, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

“Oil prices pulled back yesterday as basic fundamentals of oversupply continued to worry the markets,” said Sukrit Vijayakar, director of energy consultancy Trifecta in a note.

The rising U.S. output comes largely on the back of onshore shale oil production.

U.S. crude production from major shale formations is expected to rise by 131,000 bpd in April from the previous month to a record 6.95 million bpd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report on Monday.

“Oil prices moved lower … after (the) Energy Information Administration published a report that crude production from seven major U.S. shale plays is expected to see a climb,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

That expected increase would top the 105,000 bpd climb in March from the previous month, to what was then expected to be a record high of 6.82 million bpd, the EIA said.

The EIA is due to publish its latest weekly U.S. production data on Wednesday.


(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford and Tom Hogue)

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