January 17, 2019

U.S. passes Russian Federation, briefly, to become world's top oil producer

03 November 2018, 02:02 | Austin Hogan

Oil prices fall on signs of rising supply, economy worries

Oil price falls to $75 from high of $86

On Wednesday, U.S. oil prices rebounded 0.59 percent on fall of gasoline and diesel stockpiles in the previous week in the United States.

China's imports of Iranian crude tumbled 41.6 percent in September from a year earlier to 458,000 bpd, according to oil flow data on Refinitiv Eikon.

By 11:12 a.m., WTI front-month traded only 1.5 percent lower at $66.05 per barrel, while Brent front-month traded 1.7 percent lower at $76.05.

"The strong build in oil inventories is likely to keep downward pressure on oil prices", ANZ Research analysts said in a note.

USA crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed no change in production for the week ending October 19 at 10.9 million bpd-300,000 bpd off the highest ever United States production of 11.2 million bpd reached just weeks ago.

Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have said they will pump enough crude to meet demand once the sanctions kick in.

The looming sanctions on Iran's energy sector, which go into full force November 4, have played a major part in the oil market's rally to almost four-year highs in early October.

"Oil investors are now betting on the potential of global slowdown", Xue said.

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"The market's reaction isn't strongly negative because the USA administration hasn't actually gone soft on Iran", said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity-markets strategy at BNP Paribas SA.

According to API data, the six-week running tally of crude oil inventory gains equals 27 million barrels.

Increases in global supply, as well as trade war tensions between the U.S. and China, sent oil plunging earlier in the week. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 41 cents to $64.90 a barrel.

USA crude stocks rose last week, while gasoline stocks decreased and distillate inventories fell, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

As sanctions take effect, buyers for Iran's crude will dry up. The rise in U.S. oil production to an all-time high of 11.2 mln bpd also weighed on global prices of the fuel.

On Thursday, oil prices rose as investors were encouraged by a strong rebound in the USA stock markets.

October wasn't just a tough month for equities, it was also a crushing month for crude oil.

But oil supply from other countries is rising. The US has allowed eight countries, including India, South Korea, and Japan, to buy limited volumes of Iranian oil as many countries may not be able to cut their purchases to zero, Bloomberg said in a report.

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