Oil prices slide on strong United States production

Oil slides as stronger dollar, rising US output weigh

"We are looking at global oil demand of over 1.6 million barrels per day in 2018, so accounting for non-OPEC producers especially in North America, with their supply being around 1.1 million bpd".

"We feel oil prices should be reduced", oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters here.

The number of rigs drilling for crude in the United States jumped to the highest in nearly six months, and US output breached 10 million barrels a day in November, the highest in more than 40 years. Both indicators were improved by 3.1 percent compared to the previous forecast.

Nigeria's 2018 budget is based on $45 per barrel and 2.3 million daily oil output.

The recent production number report has surpassed Saudi Arabia's production average of 9.92 million barrels per day back in December according to the OPEC's monthly oil market report data which was released last month.

West Texas Intermediate for March delivery traded at $61.70 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 9 cents at 8.58am in Tokyo.

Oil prices were also pressured by an announcement from Iran that it is looking to boost production over the next four years.

"The U.S. now exports up to 1.7 million barrels per day of crude, and this year will have the capacity to export 3.8 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas", the Daily Mail informed.

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Non-OPEC oil producers such as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan, and South Sudan agreed to reduce output by 558,000 barrels per day starting from January 1, 2017.

Yet fears that American shale production will outweigh efforts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut global inventories have been brought back to the forefront of investors' minds as data show US output now eclipses Saudi Arabia's. Saudi Arabia and rivaling Russian Federation are the world's two largest crude producers now accounting over 40% of global oil, and the USA is on pace to surpass them.

United States energy exports now compete with Middle East oil for buyers in Asia.

This led oil prices to rally close to $70 per barrel over the past month.

"Oil prices remain under pressure in today's trading session as market participants continue to digest yesterday's bearish oil inventories report", Abhishek Kumar, Senior Energy Analyst at Interfax Energy's Global Gas Analytics in London.

Terminal operators and shippers in the U.S. Gulf are ramping up investment to guard against supply bottlenecks as more barrels leave the U.S. It can take 18 to 24 months to build an export dock.

North Sea Forties crude differentials were steady on Thursday after the Forties pipeline restarted after an unplanned shutdown, while Brent rose.

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