Crude Oil Steady As OPEC Sees Strong Demand

WTI Crude Oil

Weekly January WTI Crude Oil

Oil-dependent Venezuela's crude output dipped last month below 2 million barrels per day, its lowest level in almost three decades, global producer group Opec said on Monday.

Oil prices held steady in a tight range Monday after briefly testing lower, with support from Middle East tensions and record long bets by fund managers balanced by rising U.S. production.

In the 12 months between November 2016 and November 2017, several things that used to be just suspicions or suggestions became evident: that OPEC is no longer the master of oil markets, capable of swinging prices higher or lower whenever it fancied; that US shale is here to stay and grow; and that, were it not for demand growth and the latest developments in the Middle East, Brent would never have returned to $60 a barrel exclusively as a result of OPEC's production cut efforts.

The level of inventories held by industrialized above the five-year average "has fallen by more than 50 percent in 2017, with inventories now at around 160 million barrels", consultancy Timera Energy said.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reports weekly crude and refined product inventories later on Tuesday.

The exporters reached the deal last December and have already extended the agreement through March 2018.

OPEC and allied oil producers should extend their production cuts beyond March to help re-balance the market, the United Arab Emirates said, adding weight to a gathering consensus for longer reductions in output among participants in the global accord.

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Mazroui, whose country next year holds the rotating OPEC presidency, said that while the UAE backed an extension, he could not say yet whether it would support maintaining the supply cut until the end of 2018.

The Paris-based IEA revised demand growth down by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) for both 2017 and 2018, for an increase of around 1.5m bpd this year, to 97.7m bpd, and 1.3m next, to 98.9m bpd, which could push the market back into a surplus in the first half of next year.

It also said industrialised countries' September commercial oil inventories, a key marker OPEC uses to measure market balance, fell by 23.6 million barrels to 2.985 billion barrels.

Also, OPEC sees no reason for investors to expect oil to hit peak demand before 2040, the organization's secretary general said Monday.

Brent has gained 11 per cent this year and the benchmark grade touched US$64.65 (RM270.90) a barrel in London on Nov 7, the highest intraday price since June 2015.

WTI light sweet crude oil was up 2 cents at USD57.76 a barrel.

Regional concerns in the Middle East include the war in Yemen and growing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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