Crude Oil Price: US-China Trade Fears Capping Crude Oil For Now

11 Février, 2019, 21:36 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Crude Oil Price: US-China Trade Fears Capping Crude Oil For Now

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 65 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $52.07 a barrel.

Energy firms in the United States last week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the second time in three weeks, pointing to a further rise in US crude production, a weekly report by Baker Hughes said on Friday. The markets continue to be underpinned by the OPEC-led production cuts and USA sanctions against Venezuelan exports.

Due to tighter supply of medium and heavy sour crude oil, Middle Eastern benchmarks for sour crude grades have been trading higher than Brent Crude prices since the beginning of February in a rarely seen development in global oil prices.

The third key reason for Middle Eastern sour crude to trade higher than Brent is the uncertainty over whether the USA will extend waivers (if any) to Iran's oil buyers when the current exemptions expire in early May.

According to Baker Hughes, U.S. energy firms last week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the second time in three weeks. The report released on Friday showed producers added seven oil rigs in the week to February 8, bringing the total count to 854.

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Concerns are also being raised about the sustainability of the OPEC-led supply cuts which include Russian Federation. According to Reuters, the head of Russian oil giant Rosneft, Igor Sechin, has written to Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying Moscow's deal with OPEC to withhold output is a strategic threat and plays into the hands of the United States.

Oil prices fell on Monday as an uptick in US drilling and concerns about demand due to the slow progress in U.S.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he did not plan to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before the March 1 deadline, dampening hopes of a quick trade pact. Trade talks between the two economic powerhouses are set to begin this week, but the two parties are said to be far from reaching a deal.

First, OPEC is now on a mission to cut supply again in a bid to rebalance the market and lift prices, and many OPEC producers do pump and cut from medium to heavy grades.

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