OIL PRICES: EVEN ABOVE $47
REUTERS wrote, oil prices rose on Thursday as expectations of an OPEC deal to limit production outweighed growing evidence of global oversupply and rising inventories, particularly in the United States.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday he was optimistic OPEC would formalize a preliminary oil output deal reached in Algeria in September.
"I'm still optimistic that the consensus reached in Algeria for capping production will translate, God willing, into caps on states' levels and fair and balanced cuts among countries," he told Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV.
Falih said he believed the market was on its way to becoming balanced and that an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries at its meeting in Vienna on Nov. 30 would speed the recovery.
Brent crude oil LCOc1 was up 60 cents a barrel at $47.23 by 1120 GMT (6:20 a.m. ET). U.S. light crude CLc1 was up 50 cents at $46.07.
U.S. crude inventories rose by 5.3 million barrels in the week to Nov. 11, well above forecasts of an increase of 1.5 million barrels, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. [EIA/S]
Stocks are also rising elsewhere, thanks to record output by OPEC, which pumps around 40 percent of world oil supply.
"The name of the game is 'volatility' as confusing signals are arriving before OPEC meets," said Tamas Varga, senior analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.
"We have evidence of oversupply - U.S. stocks rising - versus hopes for some action by OPEC."
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday OPEC countries are ready to reach a "forceful" agreement on cutting oil output. Maduro met OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo in Caracas to discuss a possible OPEC deal.
Russia has also expressed willingness to support an OPEC decision to freeze output, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.
But rising oil production and changing fundamentals "make a credible OPEC cut all the more difficult to achieve", Jason Gammel, analyst at U.S. investment bank Jefferies, said.
"The physical market has shifted back to oversupply because of surging OPEC output, with the most material increases driven by improving security conditions in Libya and (tenuously) Nigeria," he said.
Jefferies expects Brent to average $58 a barrel next year.
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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.