Crude Oil Surges as IEA Forecasts Stronger Demand

Oil rose in tandem with global equity markets, shrugging off concerns over a new wave of crude production from the fears of a global trade war eased.

US crude oil production will rise by 2.7 million bpd to 12.1 million bpd by 2023, as growth from shale, known as light tight oil, more than offsets declines in conventional supply.

The forecast kick-starts the annual CERAWeek conference, a gathering of thousands of oil executives, traders, bankers and investors in Houston.

West Texas Intermediate for April climbed as much as 71 cents to $63.28/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange and traded at $63.19 as of 1:09 p.m. London time.

While crude has mostly stayed above $60 a barrel this year as OPEC and its allies continue to cut production to drain a global glut, investors worry record United States oil output could thwart the group's efforts. USA crude production is projected to hit a record of 12.1 million barrels a day in 2023, which would reflect an increase of roughly 2 million barrels compared with this year.

Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday, under pressure from forecasts for a weekly rise in USA crude stockpiles but supported by a weaker dollar.

That surge in prices, however, boosted USA production sharply, which hit a record in November 2017 at more than 10 million bpd and is expected to surpass 11 million bpd later this year.

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Last year, total upstream oil investment stood at US$41.7 billion, its lowest level since 2005.

As well as Trump's trade offensive, concerns over growing USA stockpiles weighed on oil futures.

The US Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report it expected fourth-quarter US crude output to reach an average of 11.17 million bpd, up from its forecast a month ago of 11.04 million bpd.

"OPEC is still really struggling to understand: 'What is this new oil business called shale?'" said Yergin. This is mainly due to the strong recovery in production in the USA, which reached 10.28 million barrels per day (its historic maximum). Meanwhile, nationwide USA inventories are forecast to have risen by 2.5 MMbbl last week. "More investments will be needed to make up for declining oil fields - the world needs to replace 3m bpd of declines each year, the equivalent of the North Sea - while also meeting robust demand growth". This enabled them to profit when oil price was below $40 a barrel.

Oil has traded above $60/bbl for most of this year as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied producers continue efforts to drain a global supply glut through voluntary cuts.

"We had the rig count flatten out a bit and start to rise again this year from the oil perspective, so you're going to continue to see oil production in the fairly strong for an extended period of time here", said Rob Thummel, portfolio manager at energy investment manager Tortoise Capital in Leawood, Kansas.

Mohammed Barkindo, OPEC Secretary-General suggested Monday that the oil group may continue its alliance with Russian Federation and other non-OPEC producers, but stopped short of saying their production cuts should be extended beyond this year's planned expiration.

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