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Page added on September 10, 2018

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Oil in Global Economy


While the oil market continues to focus on supply/demand fundamentals, these are some key updates that you need to keep a tab on,

  • U.S. oil rig count: The United States is continuing to see a surge in production. According to the latest report, the production is at 11 million barrels per day. Despite fewer rigs operating compared to 2014/15, the production efficiency has pushed the overall production higher.  As of the latest report, the numbers of operating rigs declined to 860, the highest since March 2015 but down from its recent peak around 869. The numbers of operating rigs have increased more than 170 percent since bottoming in May 2016.
  • Venezuela crisis: Crisis continues in Venezuela. According to the latest report, inflation has reached an all-time peak of 46,300 percent and IMF has warned that it could reach 100,000 percent. Reports suggest that payment starved workers are quitting Venezuela’s oil production, which is dwindling production further. However, the country’s leadership has been trying to overcome the trouble using cryptocurrencies as a means to fund the country. The reelection of Maduro resulted in stronger sanctions from the United States. In addition to that, Venezuela’s state-owned oil producing company PDVSA announced that it would not be able to meet supply contracts as production dwindle. Oil refineries continue to shut down due to lack of crude oil supply. In the next few months, Venezuela’s production is expected to decline to 1 million barrel threshold. According to the latest production survey by OPEC, oil production in Venezuela has declined to 1.34 million barrels per day in June. In the latest move, Venezuela has introduced a new sovereign bolivar, which will be supplied by the central bank beginning August 20th. The government has lined the new currency with its already introduced cryptocurrency petro. President Maduro has also transferred the country’s oil reserves to the central bank. Venezuela has the biggest oil reserve in the world, surpassing Saudi Arabia. According to the latest report, the residents are still struggling with the introduction of the new ‘Boliver’ as the currency, which has been linked to the country’s cryptocurrency ‘Petro’. NYT reports that the Trump administration is discussing a coup with regard to Venezuela. According to the latest surveys by Reuters and Bloomberg, the oil production in Venezuela is declining to a new abyss. Current production approximately 1.22 million barrels per day.
  • Libya: After reports that the violence subsided in Libya with all the hostile parties agreed to hold a formal election and the oil production has recovered in August reaching a million barrel per day, the violence has once again taken a hold on the country’s capital. As expected, according to a Bloomberg survey Libya’s production has reached 0.97 million barrels per day in August. But that is to change as violence continues to take hold in Libya. According to latest reports, national oil corporation’s Tripoli office is under attack.
  • Iran: As the U.S. sanctions on Iran mount up, French oil giant ‘Total’ has officially announced that it is withdrawing from Iran despite the European Union passing a provision which prevents European companies from abiding by U.S. sanctions. The European Union has announced €18 million aid package to offset the impact of U.S. sanctions, however, Iranian foreign minister said that the country is still waiting to receive oil guarantees. European officials are currently working to set up banking and payments channels to protect the Iran agreement from U.S. sanctions.
  • OPEC & Russia & Saudi Arabia: The OPEC group agreed to production increase by easing the ceiling. However, confusions remain over the increment size. The OPEC statement suggested full compliance to 100 percent from current 147 percent. According to OPEC’s MOMR, OPEC produced around 32.323 million barrels of crude oil per day in July, up 41,000 barrels per day in June. Reuters reported that the production has increased by 70,000 per barrels in July, compared to June. According to IEA, while OPEC compliance is at 121 percent, the overall compliance to the Vienna agreement has dropped to 95 percent.
  • Saudi Arabia and Trump: President Trump is pressurizing Saudi Arabia to increase production and push oil price lower in order to make the looming sanctions pinch Iran more.  According to Reuters’ survey, Saudi Arabia increased production by 10.7 million barrels per day. Expect Saudi production to rise further as production dwindles in Angola, Libya, Nigeria, and Venezuela. According to OPEC, Saudi pumped 10.39 million barrels per day in July. According to Reuters’ survey, Saudi Arabia pumped 10.48 million barrels of crude oil in August.

Key global oil benchmarks:

WTI – $68.1/barrel

Brent – $77.2/barrel

OPEC basket – $74.2/barrel

Urals – $77/barrel

Oman – $75.9/barrel

Dubai – $75.3/barrel

Western Canada Select – $39.3/barrel


One Comment on "Oil in Global Economy"

  1. dave thompson on Mon, 10th Sep 2018 8:58 pm 

    Interesting disparity in the price of Canadian “select” vs the rest of the listed countries. Makes me wonder what is the dif?

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