OIL PRICES UP
Crude oil prices for May delivery climbed for a sixth consecutive day on both New York and London markets Apr. 16, which analysts attributed to signs of a possible slowing in US oil production.
The US Energy Information Administration's latest weekly inventory report showed a rise of 1.3 million bbl in crude oil supplies for the week ended Apr. 10, but that increase was less than half of the analysts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had expected.
Meanwhile, oil traders continued to monitor for signs of increased volatility in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia started air strikes inside Yemen nearly 3 weeks ago. US President Barack Obama has scheduled a summit at Camp David in May where Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain are expected to attend. Iraqi officials have said they will not attend the summit.
Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in Washington, DC, on Apr. 15 that Saudi Arabia's air strikes on Yemen made no sense. He urged world leaders to push for a ceasefire in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia reported to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that it increased its oil production by 658,000 b/d during March to an average 10.294 million, which confirmed earlier statements by Oil Minister Al-Naimi that Saudi production was 10.3 million b/d.
The New York Mercantile Exchange May crude oil contract rose 32¢ on Apr. 16 to $56.71/bbl. The June contract was up 42¢ to $58.11/bbl.
The natural gas contract for May rose 7¢ to $2.68/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price on Apr. 16 held unchanged at $2.58/MMbtu.
Heating oil for May delivery rose nearly 2¢ to a rounded $1.91/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for May was down a fraction of a penny to remain at a rounded $1.94/gal.
The June ICE contract for Brent crude combed 66¢ to $63.98/bbl, while the July contract was up 63¢ to $64.76/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for May rose $11.50 to $572.25/tonne.
The average price for the OPEC's basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $58.88/bbl on Apr. 16, up $1.87.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.