Saudi oil minister hopes OPEC, allies will ease output cuts in 2019

Reuters

U.S. production is expected to rise even more this year and top 11-million barrels a day in late 2018, a headwind for oil cartel Opec efforts to drain stockpiles.

“Libya is another outage, ” said John Kilduff, partner at investment manager Again Capital in NY.

Brent crude futures rose 78 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $67.17 a barrel. "This market has benefited from a series of them over the past several months now, whether it's the Keystone, the North Sea [Forties], and now this". The global benchmark's session high of $67.37 was its highest since February 7.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures increased 81 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $63.58 a barrel by 12:20 p.m. EST. USA benchmark WTI posted a weekly rise of about 3 percent.

India is seeking a reasonable price for crude oil from Saudi Arabia, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Friday, in a move that could help Riyadh regain top spot in supplying the world's third largest oil consumer.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russian Federation agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million bpd from January 2017, removing nearly 2 percent of global supply from the market, to end a supply glut that had triggered an oil price collapse.

OPEC wants to reduce inventories held by industrialized nations to their five-year average and is getting closer to that goal.

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The latest decline for crude came despite the U.S. Energy Information Administration reporting crude stocks fell unexpectedly by 1.6 million barrels.

US production is expected to rise even more this year and top 11 million bpd in late 2018, a headwind for OPEC efforts to drain stockpiles.

Crude exports jumped to more than 2-million barrels a day, close to a record 2.1-million hit in October.

Analysts also said prices were following through a more than 1.5 percent rise on Thursday.

Oil slipped to $66 a barrel on Friday, under pressure from the concern that rising United States oil output and exports will offset Opec-led attempts to erode stockpiles with output curbs. "But we don't know when and we don't know how", he said.

"The bull rally which we have seen for the black gold could fade away as the USA oil production undermines the OPEC production cut commitments", he said.

The group raised their combined futures and options position in NY and London by 478 contracts to 478,160 in the week to February 20, the CFTC said.

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