OIL PRICES: ABOVE $48
REUTERS, BLOOMBERG - Oil slid more than 4 percent on Thursday, to its lowest since late November as investor worries about a growing global glut of crude erased most of the gains that followed last year's OPEC's output cut.
The slide worsened after OPEC delegates said their group and other producing countries were downplayed the chance of a bigger output when the producers meet on May 25, even though they said the output cuts were likely to be extended.
U.S. crude CLc1 fell $2.05 or 4.3 percent to $45.77, by 12:08 p.m. Brent was down $2.07, or 4.1 percent to $48.71.
“The market continues to hunt for a bottom," said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. "We’ve dropped to a five month low.”
Late last year, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), together with other key producers such as Russia and Oman, announced that they would cut oil output for the first six months of this year to reduce a vast global overhang of unused crude.
The pledge to remove 1.8 million barrels per day from the market sparked a 25-percent rally in the price, pushing Brent crude to 18-month highs.
But despite the OPEC action, McGillian said, "We still have a near record overhang and signs of increasing production in areas of the world outside the producers that agreed to the cuts."
Crude output has surged in the United States, with increasing rig counts for the past 11 months.
U.S. government data on Wednesday showed crude stocks USOILC=ECI fell 930,000 barrels in the week to April 28, while analysts had been expecting a drop of 2.3 million barrels. Stocks have steadily declined for the last four weeks, but at 527.8 million barrels they are just 7 million barrels off a record high.
Russia's Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, said in written comments on Thursday that his country is inclined to extend.
But the market continues to question whether continuing the 1.8 million bpd cut will be sufficient to reduce the glut significantly.
"At some point, the market should recognize OPEC isn't the most important player in the market any more," said Commerzbank's Eugen Weinberg, "That is non-OPEC, and, above all, U.S. shale."
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U.S. FRB - Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in July after rising at an average pace of 0.5 percent over the previous five months. Manufacturing production increased 0.3 percent, the output of utilities moved down 0.5 percent, and, after posting five consecutive months of growth, the index for mining declined 0.3 percent. At 108.0 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.2 percent higher in July than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was unchanged in July at 78.1 percent, a rate that is 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
NPD - Preliminary production figures for July 2018 show an average daily production of 1 911 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an increase of 64 000 barrels per day compared to June.
GAZPROM NEFT - For the first six months of 2018 Gazprom Neft achieved revenue** growth of 24.4% year-on-year, at one trillion, 137.7 billion rubles (RUB1,137,700,000,000). The Company achieved a 49.8% year-on-year increase in adjusted EBITDA, to RUB368.2 billion. This performance reflected positive market conditions for oil and oil products, production growth at the Company’s new projects, and effective management initiatives. Net profit attributable to Gazprom Neft PJSC shareholders grew 49.6% year on year, to RUB166.4 billion. Growth in the Company’s operating cash flow, as well as the completion of key infrastructure investments at new upstream projects, delivered positive free cash flow of RUB47.5 billion for 1H 2018.
REUTERS - Front-month Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $72.34 per barrel at 0648 GMT, down by 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 23 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $66.81 per barrel.