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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Brent crude pares losses, but spectre of output boost lingers

Brent crude pares losses, but spectre of output boost lingersLONDON: Brent crude oil rose on Tuesday, paring losses triggered by expectations that Saudi Arabia and Russia could pump more crude to compensate for a potential supply shortfall.

International crude benchmark Brent futures were up 68 cents at $75.98 a barrel by 1405 GMT, while US crude futures dropped 65 cents to $67.23.

Brent now commands its largest premium over US futures in more than three years, meaning US exports are rapidly becoming far more competitive globally than those from northern Europe, Russia or parts of the Middle East.

“Rising anticipation of a gradual exit from the OPEC-led output-cut agreement has continued to weigh on oil prices,” said Abhishek Kumar, senior analyst at Interfax Energy Global Gas Analytics, adding that the devil will be in the detail when the producer group meets in June.

“Market participants will closely watch how quickly any such measure is implemented and whether it will go beyond just balancing the output drop from Venezuela.”

Concerns that Saudi Arabia and Russia could boost output have exerted downward pressures on oil prices, along with rising production in the United States.

The Brent price has fallen nearly 7 percent since hitting a 2014 high above $80 on May 22.

Saudi Arabia and Russia have discussed raising OPEC and non-OPEC oil production by 1 million barrels per day (bpd) to counter potential supply shortfalls from Venezuela and Iran.

“High uncertainty clouds the short-term outlook and we maintain a neutral view. In the medium to longer term, we still see oil prices falling as indicated by the downward-sloping futures curve. Our ‘low for longer’ view is deferred, not refuted,” Julius Baer’s Norbert Ruecker said in a note.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is due to meet in Vienna on June 22.

Volatility, a way of measuring demand for a derivative, on highly bearish Brent sell options that expire just after the meeting has shot to its highest since February.

The spread between Brent and US crude stands at nearly $9 a barrel, its widest since March 2015 because of the depressed price of US crude compared with Brent.

Record crude oil volumes from the United States are expected to head to Asia in the coming months, nibbling away the market share of OPEC and Russia.

US oil production has surged by more than 27 percent in the past two years to 10.73 million bpd. That puts the United States ahead of Saudi Arabia and within reach of top producer Russia, which pumps about 11 million bpd.

Copyright Reuters, 2018

Source: Brecorder

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