OIL PRICES: ABOUT $46 ANEW
According to REUTERS, oil prices edged higher on Monday, after falling as much as 2 percent in early trading, as the market grappled over the shaky prospect of major producers being able to agree output cuts at a meeting on Wednesday aimed at reining in global oversupply.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell as far as 2 percent before clawing back to trade up 29 cents at $47.44 per barrel at 1008 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 also recouped early losses and were trading up 15 cents at $46.21 per barrel.
The choppy trading came after prices tumbled more than 3 percent on Friday as doubts grew over whether the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would reach agreement to help curb global supply overhang that has more than halved prices since 2014.
On Sunday, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said that he believed the oil market would balance itself in 2017 even if producers did not intervene, and that keeping output at current levels could therefore be justified.
The statement added to simmering disagreement between OPEC and non-OPEC crude exporters such as Russia over who should cut production by how much.
Analysts said that even if some form of an output restriction is announced after producers meet in Vienna on Wednesday, the details matter greatly.
"Do not take an announcement of a headline cut of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) at face value. It could still imply an OPEC production level considerably in excess of 33 million bpd, depending on developments in Libya and Nigeria and the speed and rigor of compliance," David Hufton, managing director of brokerage PVM Oil Associates Ltd. said in a note.
He added that the stakes of failure are high for producer nations dependent on oil export revenue.
"But one thing few, if any, analysts will disagree with is that if OPEC do not come up with a credible agreement to cut production on Wednesday oil prices will end the year below $40 bbl and be chasing down $30 bbl early next year," Hufton said.
A meeting scheduled for Monday between OPEC and non-OPEC producers was called off after Saudi Arabia declined to attend, while concerns over the feasibility of a deal pushed the crude oil volatility index .OVX close to a nine-month high.
Even if a cut is agreed, oversupply may not end soon.
The U.S. oil rig count rose by three last week, and Goldman Sachs said that "since its trough on May 27, 2016, producers have added 158 oil rigs (+50 percent) in the U.S.".
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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.