After early year slump, crude oil returns to profit

Posted March 14, 2018

Explorers idled four oil rigs in the USA, bringing the total to 796, Baker Hughesdata released Fridayshowed. While Friday's jump helped push prices higher for the week, futures are still below their peak in January, with the market struggling to recoup losses from last month's broader market slump. The futures on USA crude oil with delivery in April fell by 0.20% to 61.24 United States dollars per barrel.

"Venezuela is obliged to supply barrels to China and Russian Federation to pay back debts, so not too much is left for others, mainly India", Ehsan Ul-Haq, director of crude oil and refined products at consultancy Resource Economist, told Reuters.

Futures in NY were little changed after surging 3.2 percent Friday.

LONDON, March 13 (Reuters) - Oil rose on Tuesday, after Libya said loadings of crude at a key port had been suspended, offseting an earlier dent to the price caused by evidence of the inexorable growth in US oil output.

"Oil prices pulled back yesterday as basic fundamentals of oversupply continued to worry the markets", said Sukrit Vijayakar, director of energy consultancy Trifecta. While there's renewed confidence over demand on a brighter economic outlook following a better-than-expected jobs report in the U.S., expanding American production continues to remain a challenge to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russian Federation that are trying to prop up prices via output curbs. Total volume traded was about 37 percent below the 100-day average.

Brent for May settlement added 14 cents to $65.63 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Both crude benchmarks dropped by around one per cent the previous session. The global benchmark traded at a $3.58 premium to May WTI.

US production is expected to rise above 11 million bpd by late 2018, taking the top spot from Russian Federation, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Workers at Libya's Zawiya oil-export terminal started a strike on Monday over delayed salary payments, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

U.S. crude production from major shale formations is expected to rise by 131,000 bpd in April from the previous month to a record 6.95 million bpd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report on Monday. Gasoline futures in NY are down 0.2% at $1.8895 a gallon.