OPEC says oil deal bearing fruit, but US pumping more

Oil futures turned negative on Wednesday, pulling back after eight straight sessions of gains after US crude inventory data suggested that the market was still heavily supplied. "Although the oil market will likely tighten throughout the year, overall non-OPEC production, not just in the US, will soon be on the rise again", it said in the report.

Due to the higher expectations from outside producers, OPEC trimmed forecast demand for its crude in 2017 to 32.22 million bpd - 130,000 less than last month but more than current production, suggesting stocks will drop if output does not rise.

May West Texas Intermediate crude was trading at $53 a barrel, down 8 cents, or 0.2%, while June Brent fell 23 cents, or 0.4%, to $55.75.

OPEC and some non-OPEC producers pledged to cut output in the first half of 2017 to support oil prices.

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Global demand for oil is finally close to outstripping supply after almost three years of surplus production, despite growth in the overhang of unused crude, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday. But the oversupply returned by the fourth quarter, when oil producers made 1.1 million barrels a day more than global demand.

Oil is riding the longest winning streak since December on optimism Saudi Arabia will support an extension to Organisation of petroleum exporting countries-led output cuts just as USA stockpiles show signs of shrinking.

The government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) said USA 2018 crude output C-OUT-T-EIA would rise to 9.9 million bpd, from 9.22 million bpd this year. Several OPEC countries, including Kuwait, have expressed public support for an extension, Bloomberg said.

U.S. crude oil inventories dropped more than expected last week, official figures revealed on Wednesday.

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Crude oil futures were largely unchanged on Thursday, with the market torn between rising United States production and the output cuts being made by OPEC and other producers.

Last month, Libya's output dropped by almost 9 percent, and production edged lower in the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Nigeria, Iran, Angola and other countries.

As demand is expected to increase by 340,000bpd next year, the increase in production will swell USA inventory. It also voiced concern that the recovery of prices encourages shale oil companies to return to the competition, which harms OPEC efforts in reducing the supply.

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  • Kelly Blake