OIL PRICE: ABOVE $63
Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was unchanged at $63.49 a barrel by 0840 GMT. On Tuesday, Brent reached an intra-day high of $64.65, its highest since June 2015.
U.S. light crude CLc1 was steady at $56.81, not too far off this week's more than two-year high of $57.69 a barrel.
Traders said a rally that has pushed up Brent by more than 40 percent since July may have run its course due to increases in U.S. supplies and some indicators of a demand slowdown.
"Prices may have reached a short-term peak," said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at futures brokerage Forex.com.
Prices are still supported by efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia to withhold supplies in order to tighten the market and prop up prices.
OPEC will discuss output during a meeting on Nov. 30, and is expected to extend the limits beyond their expiry in March 2018.
"With the OPEC/non-OPEC deal extension beyond March 2018 a certainty, prices may become stronger and temporarily reach the $65-$70 per barrel range in 2018," said energy consultancy FGE.
Despite this, many analysts say the price rally of the past months may have run its course, at least for now.
U.S. crude stockpiles rose 2.2 million barrels in the week to Nov. 3, to 457.14 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, contrary to analysts' expectations for a decrease of 2.9 million barrels.
U.S. crude production inched up 67,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.62 million bpd, the highest on record.
Output looks set to rise further. Texas issued 997 oil and gas drilling permits last month, up nearly 17 percent versus the same month a year ago, the state's energy regulator said on Wednesday.
Global fuel consumption remains strong, although the latest figures from top importer China were below expectations.
Key for the last weeks of 2017 is whether traders remain confident about their huge bets on further price rises, or if they sell out, satisfied with recent strong gains.
"It doesn't matter how bullish the fundamentals are ... when an asset goes vertical there is always room for a pullback and consolidation of recent price moves," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at brokerage AxiTrader.
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U.S. EIA - Energy companies’ free cash flow—the difference between cash from operations and capital expenditure—was $119 billion for the four quarters ending June 30, 2018, the largest four-quarter sum during 2013–18 Companies reduced debt for seven consecutive quarters, contributing to the lowest long-term debt-to-equity ratio since third-quarter 2014
OPEC - Total oil demand for 2018 is now estimated at 98.82 mb/d. In 2019, world oil demand growth is forecast to rise by 1.41 mb/d. Total world oil demand in 2019 is now projected to surpass 100 mb/d for the first time and reach 100.23 mb/d.
ARAB NEWS - Oil exports from southern Iraq are heading for a record high this month, two industry sources said, adding to signs that OPEC’s second-largest producer is following through on a deal to raise supply and local unrest is not affecting shipments.
PLATTS - The International Energy Agency expects the US to account for 75% of the global growth in natural gas exports over the next five years, a bullish outlook for LNG developers facing challenges at home getting projects off the ground and abroad with tariffs affecting trade flows.