Oil prices fall as increased USA drilling points to…

Venezuela's crude sales to US falls to 15-year low in…

Oil prices fell on Monday as increased drilling in the USA pointed to more output, raising concerns about a return of oversupply.

Brent oil futures dropped to $65.85/bbl, a 0.5-percent decline as well. Subsequently, multiple energy small-cap companies have been able to ramp up their extraction, bringing more oil to the market.

On a simple supply versus demand basis, however, global oil markets are facing the risk of returning into oversupply after being in a slight deficit for much of past year.

"Surging U.S. production will hamper exponential growth in crude oil prices", Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures said on Monday.

USA crude oil exports to China accounted for 202,000 bpd-or 20 percent-of the 527,000-bpd total increase in American exports in 2017, EIA data showed.

Thanks to the high drilling activity, United States crude oil production has risen by more than a fifth since mid-2016, to 10.38 million barrels per day (bpd), pushing it past top exporter Saudi Arabia.

Venezuela's crude exports to the United States declined in February to a 15-year low as oil production continues falling and President Donald Trump's administration weighs new sanctions on the OPEC country, according to Thomson Reuters data. Russian Federation is now pumping nearly 11 mln bpd.

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Despite the shale boom and the United States lifting its restrictions on oil exports, global oil prices remain highly exposed to political risks.

"If the USA decides to put back the sanctions (against Iran), we have to look at what the consequences are, and then we will see, either (President) Donald Trump decides to maintain the waivers and we will move on with the (oil) project", Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne said.

Meanwhile, OPEC member-states, joined by Russian Federation, are committing to the oil production caps - a joint effort to curb oil output in order to support the prices.

The International Energy Agency said last week that Venezuela, where an economic crisis has cut oil production by nearly half since early 2005 to well below 2 million bpd, was "clearly vulnerable to an accelerated decline", and that such a disruption could tip global markets into deficit despite soaring USA output.

US exports will continue to rise in the medium term, and by 2022, the United States will be the fourth biggest oil exporter in the world behind Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Iraq, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said at the end of January.

Currently, oil traders are reacting to near-term news, with political headlines largely dictating the direction of oil prices.

Oil prices slipped on Monday as Wall Street slid more than 1 percent and energy market investors remained wary of growing crude supply, although tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran gave prices some support.


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