Oil falls 1 percent amid growing U.S. crude output concerns
By Bryan Sims
Houston (Reuters) – Oil prices slid 1 percent on Friday and were on track for the biggest weekly falls since October despite hitting three-year highs earlier this week as concerns over growing U. S. production outweighed tightening global supplies.
Brent crude futures
U. S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures
Both benchmarks were on track for a weekly loss of nearly 2 percent.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), in its monthly report, said that global oil stocks have tightened substantially, aided by OPEC cuts, demand growth and Venezuelan production hitting near 30-year lows.
But it warned that rapidly increasing production in the United States could threaten market balancing.
“Explosive growth in the U.
U. S. crude oil production
“Prices are encouraging drilling and I think there is a race to cash in here at these elevated prices,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC.
However, the U. S. oil rig count, an indicator of future production, fell by five this week but at 747, was still much higher than the 551 rigs a year ago, according to General Electric Co’s
Overall, however, oil prices remain well supported, and most analysts do not expect steep declines.
The supply cuts, scheduled to last throughout 2018, were aimed at tightening the market to prop up prices.
Even in the United States, not part of the pact to curb output, crude inventories fell 6.9 million barrels last week to 412.65 million barrels, the lowest seasonal level in three years and below the five-year average marker around 420 million barrels.
“U. S. production growth remains a relative counterweight for OPEC/non-OPEC to continue to balance this market,” Again Capital’s Kilduff said.
(Additional reporting by Libby George in London, Henning Gloystein in Singapore and Jane Chung in SEOUL; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)