Oil Rises as Saudi Forecast a Decline in Export in August

Gladys Abbott
July 20, 2018

From its office in Paris, out of sight of the drama of US President Donald Trump's European adventure, the International Energy Agency's Oil Market Report makes for sober reading.

"The organization's legal team will hold talks in the coming days with law firms including White & Case about the "No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act", one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is not public".

OPEC+ Increases. Saudi Arabia, which detests Iran, has already begun to violate OPEC limits and pump oil to keep prices down. Its June report suggests that the oil market will be "finely balanced next year", which is a polite way of saying that it will be turbulent and - in essence - a mess.

Oil prices went up on Wednesday after official data showed that US gasoline inventories declined more than expected. The country has added almost 1 million bpd in production since November, thanks to rapid increases in shale drilling. U.S. Administration is actively considering releasing part of the 660-million-barrel SPR, with options ranging from a test sale of 5 million barrels to a release of as much as 30 million barrels, and even higher if coordinated with other countries.

N Crude has retreated by about 6 per cent this month as the prospect of a tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China rattled global financial markets. Last year, the U.S. consumed 7.26 billion barrels of oil, or about 19.88 million barrels per day.

USA independent refiners, including Phillips 66 and Marathon Petroleum Corp, are expected to announce strong results due to the heavy discounts for US and Canadian crude, along with strong fuel demand and lower costs to comply with the nation's biofuel laws, analysts said.

Refinery throughput hit a new record of 18 mb/d.

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Under the 2015 deal struck between Iran and six major powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States - Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

Refiners on the East Coast, for instance, don't have easy access to all of that oil from Texas.

"With demand continuing to grow through to its peak in the mid-2030s, the industry must find increasingly expensive oil to offset declines from a maturing asset base". As U.S. output rises, prices are inclined to fall. Japanese oil companies are preparing for a complete cessation of oil imports from Iran, Japan's leading business newspaper Nikkei reported on Thursday.

OPEC will continue to play a key role in oil supply and prices in the global oil market through 2040. Both WTI and Brent crude are now selling off.

Limited supply has been stabilizing prices.

"Even though the overall crude number was bearish, the gasoline numbers and distillate numbers were pretty bullish", said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago, Reuters reported.

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