Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Research | By Derrick Holloway

Oil prices stable as OPEC says market is rebalancing

Oil prices stable as OPEC says market is rebalancing

"Quiet market overall this morning though (refined) products are weaker as it looks like Nate was a non-event for refining", said Scott Shelton, broker at ICAP in Durham, North Carolina.

Once more, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has contradicted statements made by its members, this time negating an earlier claim from Saudi Arabia that it welcomed more USA shale production: Mohammed Barkindo, secretary-general for OPEC, now says he wants the participate in the cartel's crude cutback initiatives.

The impact of Hurricane Harvey, which hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in late August, is expected to have curtailed production in August and September.

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North American shale drillers have helped production soar by almost 10% in the United States this year, despite OPEC and some other producers, including Russian Federation, cutting supplies to prop up prices.

In an unconventional plea to USA shale drillers, OPEC's Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo urged North American producers on Tuesday to share the responsibility for drawing down the global oil overhang.

OPEC and other producers are looking to create an extension to their deal to cut production ahead of the official November meeting of the cartel.

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Oil Price reports in its article Oil Stable After OPEC Chief Suggests "Extraordinary Measures" that "there is a growing consensus that, number one, the re-balancing process is underway".

In the meantime, Investment Bank Barclays raised its Brent crude price outlook for the first quarter of 2018 to 56 dollars a barrel. Earlier in the session it touched a three-week low of $55.06. The jump follows a 3.3-percent decline last week, the sharpest weekly fall in four months.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading at $49.65 per barrel at 0327 GMT, up 7 cents, or 0.14 percent, from their last close. This is helping to limit the upside in crude oil.

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"There is little doubt that leading producers have re-committed to do whatever it takes to underpin the market and to support the long process of rebalancing", the agency said. "It will take an increase in end-user demand or a reduction in supply to actually help the market to rebalance".

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