Oil prices to stay low as USA increases crude output

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USA benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices were $8/b lower than Brent prices in December 2018, and EIA expects this difference to narrow to $4/b in the fourth quarter of 2019 and throughout 2020.

According to EIA, U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 17.2 million barrels per day last week, 343,000 barrels per day less than the previous week's average.

The IEA said the United States increased output by 2.1 mbd past year, the "highest ever" annual growth ever recorded.

The IEA has previously touted the "growing influence" of the U.S.in global oil markets, saying such a dramatic rise in crude output could soon challenge the market share of OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia.

After the OPEC + decision on oil production cut was made, Brent crude price dropped by more than $10 to $49.3 per barrel.

Saudi Arabia slashed its crude shipments to refiners in the U.S.by 32% to 684,000 bpd in the week ended January 11, after exporting more than 1 MMbpd the previous week, according to preliminary data from the EIA.

The International Energy Agency said that United States oil production growth combined with a slowing global economy would put oil prices under pressure.

Even as the US rig count tumbled by 21 to 852, the biggest decline since 2016, Energy Information Administration data last week showed American drillers pumped 11.9 million barrels a day.

Specifically, the prices of Brent, West Texas Intermediate, WTI and OPEC basket stood at $62.90, $53.92 and $60.90 respectively.

Given the fact that recent risk-off trading activities have provided precious metals market with significant positive price action, renewed risk on trading activity saw fund flow decrease in precious metals segment.

During the 4th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting, an agreement was reached to increase oil production by one million barrels per day. Bloomberg News reported China proposed a six-year shopping binge for American goods, diminishing concerns about a brake on economic growth. In November, waivers were announced for eight major Iranian oil importers, among them China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Taiwan, Italy, and Greece.

Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy in London, said factors such as rising USA production and its trade dispute with China would cap price gains, "negating much of the benefits from the OPEC+ pact". That's an area that of course attract a lot of attention but we are also in the process of building an inverse head and shoulders, which could measure for a move to the $66 area. Net imports are expected to continue to fall, to an average of 1.1 million bpd this year, and to less than 100,000 bpd in 2020.