OPEC oil supply rises to one-year high

Crude Oil

The commodities markets kept investors glued to it during the week gone by with crude oil swinging to the news reports coming out of the US, Iran and Saudi Arabia while all eyes were on the precious metals amid strong volatility in equity and currency markets.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 11 cents at $71.08 a barrel, after falling 3 percent in the previous session to the lowest since September 21.

Fatih Birol, the IEA's executive director, said in a Bloomberg interview earlier this week that prices are "entering the red zone" that signals danger to consumption, and called on OPEC members with spare supplies to increase production.

Crude was still heading for its first weekly drop in five weeks, pressured by a big rise in U.S. inventories and fading concerns for now that looming USA sanctions on Iran will cut supplies significantly.

USA crude stocks rose last week as refineries cut output, while gasoline stocks increased and distillate inventories fell, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday.

"The decline may deepen significantly ahead of USA sanctions - and subsequently as final cargoes are delivered", said the IEA, which advises major oil consumers on energy policy. On Oct. 3, it hit a four-year high of $86.74 U.S.

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It is an extraordinary achievement for the global oil industry to meet the needs of a 100 mb/d market, but today, in 4Q18, we have reached new twin peaks for demand and supply by straining parts of the system to the limit. Opec made a similar move on Thursday.

"Oil bulls are bearing the brunt of another bruising session as yesterday's selling frenzy intensifies", said Stephen Brennock, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil.

Additionally, the USA oil drilling rig count rose this week for the first time in four weeks, an indication that production is rising.

The monthly report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Friday weighed on crude markets.

This week, we tried to capture the emerging trends in these commodities. The speculator group cut its combined futures and options position in NY and London by 36,652 contracts to 296,456 during the period. In the US Gulf of Mexico, companies cut output by 40 per cent on Thursday because of Hurricane Michael, even as some operators began returning crews to offshore platforms.

Oil traders will watch for the weekly US drilling rig count, an indicator of upcoming production, which is due at about 1 p.m. from Baker Hughes.

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