How Will OPEC React To Soaring Shale Production?

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan New York

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan New York City U.S

While total crude inventories in the USA gained 5 million barrels last week, an increase had been expected as refineries head into seasonal maintenance.

Venezuela lost another 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) in February, according to the Paris-based energy agency, and continues to present the largest supply risk to the global oil market.

Crude has struggled to regain the highs of January after a broader market slump last month. Global oil demand is estimated at 97.8 mb/d in 2017, unchanged from last month.

According to the report, Fitch said "Our expectation that USA oil production, including gas liquids, will rise by at least 1.5-1.7 million barrels per day in 2018 is based on progress so far, the rising number of drilling rigs and continued efficiency gains".

Inventories rose by 13.7 million barrels in January to 2.865 billion barrels, although this was only 50 million above the five-year average, the closest yet OPEC has come to the original target.

Lack of investment and financing, mismanagement, sanctions, and a brain drain are among the causes of the steep decline, which has particularly affected shipments to the United States.

While the cartel's oil production was in decline in the past five months, non-OPEC producers are pumping more oil.

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Moody's Investors Service has raised its medium-term price band for crude oil to US$45 (RM175.5)-US$65 per barrel from US$40-US$60 per barrel as continued Opec-led production restraint and strong global demand growth have contributed to declining global inventories, offsetting rapid increases in United States shale production. We retain our view that total non-OPEC production grew by 760 kb/d last year and that it will surge by 1.78 mb/d this year. We said when the oil market looked bleak that low prices will spark demand and it has.

The group said non-Opec producers would boost supply by 1.66-million barrels a day in 2018.

And with productivity of existing wells already improving, Dhar says there's also an abundance of supply waiting in the wings.

Oil prices ticked up on Thursday (March 15) due to a pickup in equity markets.

Its production fell to a 30-year-low of 1.57 million b/d in February, according to the latest S&P Global Platts OPEC survey, not counting a major labor strike in late 2002 and early 2003. The shockingly low level of new discoveries is the direct result of a dramatic fall in spending on exploration.

Oil markets will enter the second quarter of 2018 with only a 75 million barrel surplus of refined products, down from 320 million barrels at the start of 2016. But the market could tighten later in the year - demand picks up in the summer, Venezuela could post stronger declines as the year wears on, and inventories are expected to tighten. Conclusions In any case, it seems likely that US tight oil production will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

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