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Amidst low Saudi exports, oil goes high on demand

Amidst low Saudi exports, oil goes high on demand
On last Tuesday, oil prices rose slightly as Saudi exports fell and solid demand soaked up some of what is seen as an oversupplied market, but Ecuador's decision to opt out of an OPEC-led supply reduction pact complicated the outlook.
Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 settled up 42 cents at $48.84 a barrel, while U.S. light crude oil CLc1 settled up 38 cents at $46.40.
Tony Headrick, energy market analyst at CHS Hedging, said, "Saudi Arabia showed a reduction of output so there's a little bit of strength from the data there."
As per official data, Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports in May fell to 6.924 million barrels per day (bpd) from 7.006 million bpd in April. The top oil exporter's goal remains to stabilize oil markets by drawing down the global inventory overhang, a Saudi industry source stated.
Meanwhile in a sign of strong demand, data on Monday showed refineries in China increased crude throughput in June to the second highest on record. But many markets are well supplied and oil for prompt delivery is trading at heavy discounts to forward futures in several parts of the world. As a result, crude oil prices are trading at only around half the levels seen three years ago.
A deal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with Russia and other non-OPEC producers to cut supplies by around 1.8 million barrels per day until March 2018 has so far failed to tighten the market or push up prices. Although many OPEC countries have restricted production, others including Nigeria and Libya are allowed to increase output. Ecuador said it would no longer comply with an agreed OPEC production cut of 26,000 bpd due to the country's financial difficulties.
Oil Minister Carlos Perez said Ecuador was cutting only 60 percent of that figure, putting current output at 545,000 bpd.
While Ecuador is a small producer, in a note RBC Capital Markets wrote that "it could embolden other cash strapped producers to seek an exit (from the OPEC deal) as well."
RBC note added, "We highlight Iraq as the most important ‘at-risk’ OPEC member. Iraqi oil minister ... has repeatedly criticized the terms of the November 2016 agreement, insisting that Iraq should have been exempted like Libya and Nigeria and that the (210,000 bpd) cut imposes too high a financial burden on the war-ravaged country."
The U.S. Energy Department said in a report on Monday U.S. shale oil output was likely to rise for the eighth consecutive month in August, climbing 112,000 bpd to 5.585 million bpd.
Oil prices briefly pared gains in post-settlement trade after data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed a surprise build of 1.6 million barrels in crude stocks for last week.
Updated 22 Jul 2017 | Soruce: Reuters | By S.Seal
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