OIL PRICES DOWN TO $26
The price for light, sweet crude oil for March delivery dropped more than $1 on the New York market Feb. 11 to settle at $26.21/bbl, the lowest settlement since May 6, 2003. But oil prices appeared to be climbing in early trading on Feb. 12 after news reports of comments about possible production cuts.
Late on Feb. 11, UAE Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazrouei reportedly said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is open for a discussion on possible reductions in output.
Meanwhile, Venezuela proposed that OPEC and non-OPEC producers could freeze production at current levels. Many traders and analysts remained skeptical that any such agreement could be reached.
"An OPEC cut is still hard to see, but this week the notion of an OPEC freeze was introduced, and we find that easier to envisage," said Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix.
Jakob said the proposed OPEC production freeze would not immediately reduce oil supplies to world markets but that any sign of OPEC supply management could provide sentimental support.
The March crude oil contract on NYMEX dropped $1.24 to settle at $26.21/bbl on Feb. 11. The April contract declined 83¢ to $28.83/bbl.
The NYMEX natural gas contract for March dropped 52¢ to a rounded $1.99/MMbtu. The Henry Hub gas price was down 1¢ to $2.12/MMbtu on Feb. 11.
Heating oil for March delivery edged up less than a penny to remain at a rounded 98¢/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for March also held steady at a rounded 94¢/gal on Feb. 11.
The April ICE contract for Brent crude dropped 78¢ to $30.06/bbl on Feb. 11, and the May contract declined 72¢ to settle at $30.78/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for March was $285.50/tonne, up 25¢.
The average price for OPEC's basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $25.21/bbl, down 72¢.
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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.