OIL PRICE: STILL ABOVE $54
The US Energy Information Administration's latest Drilling Productivity Report forecasts crude output from the seven major US onshore producing regions to increase 124,000 b/d month-over-month in May to average 5.193 million b/d .
The Permian is expected to rise 76,000 b/d during the month to 2.362 million b/d, while the neighboring Eagle Ford is projected to gain 39,000 b/d to 1.216 million b/d.
"The battle between the 'sheiks and the shale oil producers' is far from decided," Commerzbank analysts said in a research note. A pact among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and several major non-OPEC producers to rebalance the global oil market by collectively curbing output by 1.8 million b/d is set to expire at the end of June.
OPEC will evaluate whether or not to continue the agreement into the second half during a May 25 meeting in Vienna. If the deal is continued and inventories drop as a result, Citi analysts see oil prices moving "above $60/bbl by the second half of the year," according to a research note.
If the agreement isn't extended, prices could drop "precipitously lower," they said.
The crude oil contract for May delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 53¢ on Apr. 17 to close at $52.65/bbl. The June contract lost 49¢ to $53.11/bbl.
The natural gas price for May declined 6.4¢ to a rounded $3.16/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price closed Apr. 17 at $3.06/MMbtu, up 8¢.
Heating oil for May decreased 1.66¢ to a rounded $1.63/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for May dropped 1.53¢ to a rounded $1.72/gal.
The Brent crude contract for June on London's ICE also declined 53¢, settling at $55.36/bbl. The July contract was down 49¢ to $55.88/bbl. The gas oil contract for May lost 25¢ at $497.75/tonne.
The average price for OPEC's basket of benchmark crudes on Apr. 17 was $52.94/bbl, down 43¢.
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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.