losangelesnewstoday.com May 24, 2018

Oil extends rally before OPEC meeting after United States stockpiles fall

20 April 2018, 12:55 | Maryann Sutton

Sergiy Serdyuk Adobe Stock

Sergiy Serdyuk  Adobe Stock

With oil prices reaching their highest point in three and a half years, back patting will be in order when energy ministers from OPEC gather with their non-OPEC partners today.

IHS expects the oil price to be lower in 2019 on the expectation of rising USA production that could cause the market to over-supply again. All parties are looking to offset the U.S. shale boom that continues unabated.

Shrinking US crude inventories and geopolitical concerns have also helped boost oil prices.

Also, Canada's Kinder Morgan admits that its planned Trans Mountain pipeline may be "untenable" due to resistance from BC.

The price of Brent, the worldwide benchmark for light sweet crude, topped $74 per barrel, the highest since late 2014 on Thursday, as a mix of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, and supply disruptions in Venezuela spurred its rally.

Oil rose Thursday as Saudi Arabia reportedly eyes a price of as much as $100 a barrel ahead of a key OPEC-Russia meeting Friday.

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"The idea of bearish United States production just getting dumped onto the open market and taking down oil prices is getting some reprieve for now". Analysts including investment bank JP Morgan had predicted that oil prices could rise as high as $80 per barrel this year.

Brent crude oil futures were up 0.87 percent at Dollars 74.08 per barrel, from their last close while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.74 percent, at USD 68.98 a barrel.

Investors have taken a buying position in the market in the hope that the agreement will be extended and a global supply glut will be further reduced, analysts said. OPEC will then meet on June 22 to review its oil production policy.

Daniel Lacalle, chief economist at Tressis Gestion, told CNBC on Thursday that "oil prices are high because the dollar is low" and warned that "massive supply management" has always been likely to lead to an "artificial" jump in the price of oil.

Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, said: "While the elimination of oversupply has been a critical factor pushing oil prices, I still believe there's a significant risk premium being priced in, specifically the fear of supply disruption from the Middle East and possible renewed sanctions on Russian Federation and Iran".

"I personally think that now $70 is the floor for oil prices", a second OPEC source said.

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