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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and several other producers have cut production by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) since the start of 2017, helping lift oil prices by about 15 percent in the past three months.
International benchmark Brent crude futures were at $56.51 a barrel at 0644 GMT, up 8 cents, or 0.14 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 12 cents, or 0.24 percent, at $50.67 per barrel.
Chinese oil refineries are gearing up to receive more Russian oil transported through an expanded Siberian pipeline network from January, likely cementing Russia’s position as China’s largest oil supplier in a close race with Saudi Arabia.
The October light, sweet crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 2¢ to settle at $49.91/bbl on Sept. 18. The November contract dropped 9¢ to settle at $50.35/bbl. The NYMEX natural gas price for October rose 12¢ to $3.14/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price climbed by 11¢ to $3.10/MMbtu. Heating oil for October fell nearly 2¢ to a rounded $1.78/gal. The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for October was up less than 1¢ to $1.67/gal on Sept. 18. The Brent crude contract for November on London’s ICE fell 14¢ to $55.48/bbl. The December contract declined 17¢ to $55.25/bbl. The gas oil contract for October was $525/tonne, down $9.75. OPEC’s basket of crudes for Sept. 18 was $53.78/bbl, up 14¢.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were trading up 41 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $50.30 by 0852 GMT, near the three-month high of $50.50 it reached last Thursday. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the benchmark for oil prices outside the United States, were at $55.91 a barrel, up 29 cents, and also not far from the near five-month high of $55.99 touched on Thursday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was down 21 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $49.68 a barrel at 0302 GMT. It briefly broke above $50 on Thursday, hitting a four-month high, and finished 1.2 percent higher at $49.89, its highest close since July 31. Brent crude LCOc1 futures were down 29 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $55.18 a barrel. They gained 0.6 percent to settle at $55.47 the previous session, the highest close since April 13.
Oil prices are expected to hold between $50 and $60 a barrel as bloated global stocks fall after a deal between OPEC and other producers to trim output, BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley said on Thursday.
Emmanuel Kachikwu, Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum resources, told the Financial Times that the west African nation’s energy sector was still suffering from years of violent disruptions and needed more “recovery time” before joining a supply deal agreed last year between some of the world’s biggest oil producers.
By 1021 GMT, international benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 27 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $54.54 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) CLc1 was up 38 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $48.61 a barrel.
EIA forecasts Brent spot prices to average $51/b in 2017 and $52/b in 2018. Expected growth in natural gas exports and domestic natural gas consumption in 2018 contribute to the forecast Henry Hub natural gas spot price rising from an annual average of $3.05/MMBtu in 2017 to $3.29/MMBtu in 2018.