Crude oil futures settle at $46.40 /bbl. Up $0.38

Brent daily chart

Brent daily chart

US crude prices then spent much of the session bumping around barely positive territory, eventually grinding 38 cents higher to settle at $46.40 - comfortably within the $10 range the contract has traded in for almost three months.

Opec's implementation of output cuts slipped to 92 percent in June, from 110 percent in May, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Weekly data from EIA shows that total United States oil production is close to 9.4 million bpd, the highest since August 2015.

A ministerial committee from OPEC and non-OPEC countries, which is headed by Gulf OPEC member Kuwait, meets in Russian Federation on July 24 to discuss compliance with the cuts, from which Nigeria and Libya are exempted due to years of output-sapping unrest.

On Monday, oil prices have recorded as much as $49 per barrel on reports of a sharp decline in United States crude inventories in the week that ended last July 7.

The cuts also drove up the Middle East crude prices, prompting price-sensitive Indian buyers to seek substitutes from Russian Federation and Latin America as the world remains awash with oil.

Kuwait said on Friday the market was on a recovery track due to rising demand and said it was premature to cap Nigerian and Libyan output.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd could buy US light crude in a tender on Friday as they are priced competitively against African oil, the company's head of refineries Ramachandran said. But the report also showed (http://ir.eia.gov/wpsr/overview.pdf) a rise of 32,000 barrels per day in total domestic crude output to 9.429 million barrels a day.

Bullish sentiment remained high in Asia as a weaker U.S. Dollar gives helpful tailwinds to both oil and gold.

USA oil production, meanwhile, dipped in mid-July after a series of losses for crude oil prices put financial pressure on the upstream, or exploration and production, side of the industry.

The Opec nations, Russian Federation and other major producers agreed to cut production late a year ago and there were hopes that the price might recover, at least to sit consistently above the psychologically important $50 per barrel mark.

The turning point in Saudi stocks in October/November 2015 roughly coincided with the turning point in crude prices and calendar spreads in December 2015/January 2016. If confirmed, it would be first increase after two weeks of decline. On December 10, 2016, 11 non-OPEC countries chose to jointly cut oil output by 558,000 barrels per day for six months from January 2017.

Oil prices gained last week as the dollar weakened and global demand forecasts were revised higher by the IEA.

Still, oil stocks remained comfortably above the five-year average and prices were more than 15% below their 2017 highs.

"Unfortunately, we are now at a reduction of around 16,000 barrels per day".

On the other hand, worries over OPEC compliance, rising Libyan and Nigerian production, and US shale production growth will likely keep the pace of total global storage re-balancing, as well as sentiment, in check.

Many analysts believe that oil will not reach pre-slump highs again for several years, and some are starting to question whether it ever will. Prices jumped 5% last week, moving away from yearly lows.

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