Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Brent premium over WTI hits new 3-year high

Future Shock Rapid oil price increases have an uncanny knack for predicting peaks in the U.S. business cycle
Jan Cook | 04 June, 2018, 10:00

However, the American production has increased significantly and seen a growth of 27 per cent in the last two years to around 10.73m barrels per day.

US West Texas Intermediate crude had lost 16c or 0.2% to $66.88 a barrel by 4.23am GMT, after falling nearly 2% on Thursday.

Futures in NY fell 1.8 percent, set for the first monthly drop since February.

Brent for August settlement fell 47 cents to $77.12 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

It's tough to stay positive on crude when the world's three oil superpowers are likely to increase production.

Hedge funds and other money managers cut their bullish wagers on USA crude futures and options during the week to May 20.

The spread between Brent crude oil futures contracts and US West Texas Intermediate hit a fresh three-year high on Friday with the latter set for a second consecutive week of declines as US oil output comes close to matching that of top producer Russian Federation.

Concerns about growing USA crude production and a glut trapped inland due to a lack of pipeline capacity have pressured prices of WTI, doubling its discount to Brent over the course of a month.

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The global benchmark is at a $10.75 premium to WTI, after earlier reaching as much as $11.56 and having settled at the widest since February 2015 on Thursday.

But Hatsaturjants said oil is poised to recover after the EIA also posted a surprise weekly crude drawdown of 3.62 million barrels in the US.

OPEC output rose by just 12,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 31.93 million bpd in April, according to figures OPEC collects from secondary sources.

Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are among the few OPEC members who could raise output quickly, but the ministers were tight-lipped and would not confirm if they had discussed possible increases to production. According to services group, Baker Hughes, another 2 rigs were activated last week to look for oil in the U.S., taking the figure to 861 last week, the highest for more than three years. That was the eighth time drillers have added rigs in the past nine weeks.

Venezuela, whose output has plunged due to an economic crisis, told OPEC its production fell to 1.505 million bpd in April, believed to be the lowest in decades.

The speculator group cut its combined futures and options position in NY and London by 50,937 contracts to 370,980 during the week.

Rosneft PJSC is testing its capacity to bring back production it cut under the deal between Moscow and OPEC by boosting output this week by about 70,000 barrels a day, Renaissance Capital said.

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