Nigeria's oil production rose by 274000 barrels per day in April -OPEC

Gladys Abbott
May 20, 2017

OPEC crude oil production decreased by 18,000 bpd, from the previous month to average 31.73 million bpd in April, sources said.

Brent crude was down 17 cents at $52.04 a barrel by 0837 GMT.

Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday ahead of U.S. crude inventory data that could give investors a clue as to whether an OPEC-led output cut is making progress in reducing the persistent global supply overhang.

USA crude oil inventories rose by 882,000 barrels in the week ending May 12 to 523.4 million, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 2.4 million barrels, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Tuesday.

That defied expectations of analysts who estimated a draw in the stockpiles of 2.4 MMbbl, according to a Reuters survey.

OPEC and its oil-producing partners may have to do more than merely extend their petroleum-output cuts to achieve their goal of rebalancing global supply and demand, the International Energy Agency said.

Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia said Monday they want to extend oil production cuts through the first quarter of 2018, in a move the two major producers say would support the market price.

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In late November, OPEC agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day, the first such reduction agreement since 2008.

Having seen a almost two-week short-covering rally bring prices in WTI and Brent crude oil back about 50% of their last sell-off, it's now up to OPEC and non-OPEC members to agree to a further extension of the deal to cut production at the cartel's May 25 meeting to bring in new buyers to sustain the rally.

"Having seen an initial short-covering rally, we now need OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreeing on the nine-month extension for the market to begin build up new long positions", Saxo's Hansen said. Kuwait, Iraq, Oman and Venezuela have said they supported an extension to the supply cuts.

"It has taken some time for stocks to reflect lower supply when volumes produced before output cuts by OPEC and eleven non-OPEC countries took effect are still being absorbed by the market", the report said.

The EIA forecasts USA production to average almost 10 million bpd by the end of 2018.

Shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon shows that US crude exports to Asia have soared from a handful of tankers a quarter throughout 2015 and 2016 to 10 tankers in the first quarter of 2017 and that figure is expected to rise.

North Sea oil shipments to Asia have also been at record highs this year, with nearly 19 tankers registered to have been shipped in Q1, and a similar amount expected to go to Asia in the second quarter.

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