OIL PRICE: STILL ABOVE $47
REUTERS, BLOOMBERG - Oil markets held around seven-month lows on Tuesday as investors focused on persistent signs of rising supply that are undermining attempts by OPEC and other producers to support prices.
Brent futures were up 4 cents at $46.95 at 0214 GMT. On Monday, they fell 46 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $46.91 a barrel.
That was their lowest since Nov. 29, the day before the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers agreed to cut output for six months from January.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 1 cent at $44.19 a barrel. They declined 54 cents, or 1.2 percent in the previous session, to settle at $44.20 per barrel, the lowest close since Nov. 14. The July contract will expire on Tuesday and August will become the front-month.
Both benchmarks are down around 15 percent since late May, when OPEC, Russia and other producers extended by nine months the cut in output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd).
"Recent data points are not encouraging," Morgan Stanley said in a research note. "Identifiable oil inventories - both crude and product in the OECD, China and selected other non-OECD countries - increased at a rate of (about) 1 (million bpd) in 1Q."
OPEC supplies jumped in May as output recovered in Libya and Nigeria, two countries exempt from the production cut agreement.
Libya's oil production has risen more than 50,000 bpd after the state oil company settled a dispute with Germany's Wintershall, a Libyan source told Reuters.
Analysts said rising U.S. crude production has fed the global glut. Data on Friday showed a record 22nd consecutive week of increases in U.S. oil rig numbers.
Still, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih remained confident OPEC's cuts were working. The oil market is heading in the right direction but still needs time to rebalance, al-Falih told the London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.
"In my opinion, market fundamentals are going in the right direction, but in light of the large surplus in stockpiles over the past years, the cut needs time to take effect."
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PLATTS - National Australia Bank announced Thursday it will no longer provide financing for new thermal coal projects.
Petrobras and ExxonMobil signed a memorandum of understanding regarding a strategic alliance to jointly identify and evaluate potential business opportunities.
ExxonMobil Development Africa B.V. has acquired a 25 percent indirect interest in Mozambique’s gas-rich Area 4 block from Eni and assume responsibility for midstream operations.
U.S. Rig Count is down 1 rig from last week to 930, with oil rigs down 4 to 747, gas rigs up 3 to 183, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged. Canada Rig Count is up 19 rigs from last week to 238, with oil rigs up 22 to 134 and gas rigs down 3 to 104.