OIL PRICE: NOT ABOVE $64 YET
BLOOMBERG - Oil dropped below $58 a barrel as investors weighed an increase in U.S. oil drilling rigs against OPEC's promise to extend output cuts through the end of next year.
Futures fell as much as 0.9 percent in New York after adding 1.7 percent Friday. OPEC and its allies including Russia last week agreed to keep their supply cuts in place and beefed up the extension with the inclusion of Nigeria and Libya. Executives from three of the biggest independent U.S. drillers said while they won't increase activity just because prices rise after OPEC agreed to prolong curbs, they will continue to grow.
Oil has advanced for three consecutive months through November amid optimism that output cuts by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners are helping to balance the market. Drillers targeting crude in the U.S. added two rigs to 749 last week, the highest level since late September, according to Baker Hughes Inc.
"Even though adding Nigeria and Libya is a positive sign, OPEC has basically played all its cards after deciding to extend production curbs through next year," Will Yun, a commodities analyst at Hyundai Futures Corp., said by phone. "As long as U.S. shale suppliers exist, it will be hard to see further gains in oil prices from now on."
West Texas Intermediate for January delivery was at $57.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:02 p.m. in Seoul, down 43 cents. The contract gained 96 cents to settle at $58.36 on Friday. Total volume traded was about 21 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for February settlement dropped 36 cents to $63.37 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices added $1.10, or 1.8 percent, to close at $63.73 on Friday. The global benchmark crude was at a premium of $5.43 to February WTI.
Pioneer Natural Resources Co., Parsley Energy Inc. and Newfield Exploration Co. said their emphasis will be on maintaining spending discipline and generating profits, rather than just boosting supply on higher oil prices. Pioneer plans to boost output from about 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day this quarter to more than 1 million by 2026.
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API - American Petroleum Institute reported that the first four months of this year saw U.S. petroleum demand average 750 thousand barrels a day above the same period in 2017 despite higher prices, a sign of solid economic activity. April also saw the U.S. produce a record 10.5 million barrels per day (MBD) of oil.
IMF - “Egypt’s growth has continued to accelerate during 2017/18, rising to 5.2 percent in the first half of the year from 4.2 percent in 2016/17. The current account deficit has also declined sharply, reflecting the recovery in tourism and strong growth in remittances, while improved investor confidence has continued to support portfolio inflows. In addition, gross international reserves rose to $44 billion by end-April, equal to 7 months of imports.
BAKER HUGHES A GE - U.S. Rig Count is up 1 rig from last week to 1,046, with oil rigs unchanged at 844, gas rigs up 1 to 200, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 2. Canada Rig Count is up 4 rigs from last week to 83, with oil rigs up 6 to 38 and gas rigs down 2 to 45.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $79.57 per barrel at 0310 GMT, up 27 cents, or 0.3 percent from their last close. Brent broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014 on Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $71.62 a barrel, up 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last settlement.