Opec sees ‘considerable uncertainty’ in oil market

A tanker truck used to haul oil products drives away from an oil facility near Brooks Alberta Canada

Crude has been supported by healthy demand and voluntary production cuts led by OPEC, but analysts said oil markets were also now heavily driven by public policy events and statements.

Oil prices declined earlier in the decade as a result of increased production in the USA -as prices rise again, will that cause a bump in US oil production, as it becomes more profitable for domestic producers? But the kingdom said it boosted output by 161,400 bpd to just above 10 million bpd, according to its own data.

Global oil demand for the whole of 2018 will average 98.85 million b/d, a 1.65 million b/d increase from 2017, OPEC projected, unchanged from last month's forecast. Though I am not talking about budget deficits or trade deficits right now, but the global oil market supply and demand deficit. They project world oil demand growth in 2017 to 1.65 million barrels per day (mb/d), putting global demand at a record 97.20 mb/d.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were trading at $76.54 a barrel at 0514 GMT, up 8 cents, or 0.1 percent, on their last close.

For now, global oil demand growth is expected at 1.61 millions of barrels per day (mb/d) in the second half of the year, with total oil demand projected to breach the 100 mb/d level.

Output in Saudi Arabia jumped by 85,500 barrels a day but was partly offset by production.

As it stands, the oil supply is surging while the demand side looks anemic.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 36 cents to settle at $66.07, its highest level since June 1.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) shares dipped 0.8% to 82.46 on the stock market today.

"Expect more of the same whippy markets driven by rumours and innuendo ahead of June 22 Vienna OPEC meeting", predicted OANDA analyst Stephen Innes.

Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia reportedly began discussions in April about an output hike.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC's largest producer, pumped 9.99 million b/d in May, a 90,000 b/d increase from April, according to secondary sources.

Meanwhile, independent secondary sources used by the organization to track production estimated OPEC's May output at 31.87 million b/d.

USA bank Morgan Stanley said OPEC and its partners had "largely achieved their stated objective of rebalancing the oil market".

Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow and Associates, said, "Last week, we saw some news stories indicating that the Trump administration had asked OPEC to increase oil production, but the week went out and we saw those stories walk back; and now we're seeing a number of OPEC producers who are in favor of the status quo".

While the Trump administration's request might irk OPEC members, with Iran obviously the most aggrieved, the apparent willingness of Saudi Arabia to comply with Washington's request has ignited furor from within the group.

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