Oil prices continue sliding as production limit optimism fades

Posted March 21, 2017

OPEC oil producers increasingly favour extending beyond June a pact on reducing crude supply to balance the market, sources within the group said, although Russian Federation and other non-members need to remain part of the initiative.

What's helping prices stay in a holding pattern? They have added 106 machines to fields this year.

The first United States shale boom, which lasted from 2012 to 2014, took advantage of oil prices that hovered around... To reverse this trend, OPEC members have expressed interest in extending the production cuts beyond the original deadline of June to help regain control of oil prices. But, despite an earlier hard line, there are signs that some countries are cheating, Kloza said.

"High market prices are supported by Opec cutbacks, and the higher profits are funding the growth of American firms' drilling".

Minister Al-Falilh, speaking at an energy conference in Houston, said Saudi Arabia can not be the swing producer any longer. "The other country not keeping its word is Iraq".

Birol noted that "we will see a major boom of a second wave of USA shale production" this year and OPEC in considering extending its reduction initiative needs to take this into consideration: because if an extension results in higher prices, this will merely cause the Americans to pump even more.

Analysts expect USA production to continue to increase.

The prospect of a still-oversupplied market has prompted oil bulls to flee. As reports about the strong compliance rates began to filter out in early 2017, prices moved even higher. It later edged back with the pound falling 0.36% to $1.2348 against the greenback as the government confirmed prime minister Theresa May would trigger article 50 and the formal start of European Union withdrawal talks at the end of the month.

Crude oil inventories are seen up 2.602 million barrels, while gasoline supplies are seen down 2.231 million barrels and distillates expected to show a decline of 1.3 million barrels. That's when summer blend gas starts showing up at the pump, although gas stations have until May 1 to phase out winter gas.

"Most gas stations switch by April 1", Kloza said. Additionally, refineries tend to reduce their oil stocks at the end of each year for tax reasons.