GROWTH IS SLOWING
IEA wrote, global oil demand growth is slowing at a faster pace than initially predicted.
For 2016, a gain of 1.3 mb/d is expected – a downgrade of 0.1 mb/d due to a more pronounced 3Q16 slowdown. Momentum eases further to 1.2 mb/d in 2017 as underlying macroeconomic conditions remain uncertain.
Meanwhile world oil supplies fell by 0.3 mb/d in August, dragged lower by non-OPEC. At 96.9 mb/d, global oil output was 0.3 mb/d below a year ago, but near-record OPEC supply just about offset steep non-OPEC declines. Non-OPEC supply is expected to return to growth in 2017 (+380 kb/d) following an anticipated 840 kb/d decline this year.
OPEC crude production edged up to 33.47 mb/d in August - testing record rates as Middle East producers opened the taps. Kuwait and the UAE hit their highest output ever and Iraq lifted supplies. Output from Saudi Arabia held near a record, while Iran reached a post-sanctions high. Overall OPEC supply stood 930 kb/d above a year ago.
Refinery runs in 2016 are set to grow at the lowest rate in a decade.
OECD total inventories built by 32.5 mb in July to a fresh record of 3 111 mb. As refinery activities reached a summer peak, crude oil inventories refused to decline until an exceptional storm-related draw hit the US in late August.
Oil prices rallied in early August, rising from four-month lows near $42/bbl to briefly above $50/bbl amid peak summer demand for crude oil, which is expected to lead to the first quarterly crude stock draw in more than two years. At the time of writing, Brent futures had retreated to around $48.45/bbl while WTI was at $46.35/bbl.
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BP and its partners in Azerbaijan's giant ACG oil production complex agreed Thursday to extend the production sharing contract by 25 years to 2049 and to increase the stake of state-owned SOCAR, reducing the size of their own shares.
The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $123.1 billion (preliminary) in the second quarter of 2017 from $113.5 billion (revised) in the first quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit increased to 2.6 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.4 percent in the first quarter.
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.
“The principal risk regarding Russian and Chinese activities in Venezuela in the near term is that they will exploit the unfolding crisis, including the effect of US sanctions, to deepen their control over Venezuela’s resources, and their [financial] leverage over the country as an anti-US political and military partner,” observed R. Evan Ellis, a senior associate in the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Americas Program.