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Oil Rises as Saudis Pledge Deep Export Cuts, Shale Boom Slows

July 25, 2017


Oil rose as Saudi Arabia promised deep cuts to crude exports next month while the U.S. shale boom showed signs of slowing.

Futures in New York added 1.8 percent, the biggest gain in almost a week. Saudi Arabia will cap shipments at 6.6 million barrels a day in August, 1 million lower than a year earlier, said Energy and Industry Minister  Khalid Al-Falih. In the U.S., Halliburton Co. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. signaled that the investment in shale fields may finally be succumbing to the oil price slump.

Oil remains in a bear market amid concern rising global output will offset curbs by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies. While the Saudi comments at talks with oil producers in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Monday helped lift prices, the same meeting agreed to let Nigeria and Libya continue boosting production, slowing the market rebalancing.

“Yesterday’s Saudi decision to cut exports still lingers in the market,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief analyst for commodities at SEB Markets. The headlines that the U.S. shale oil boom is easing are also driving futures higher, he said.

West Texas Intermediate for September delivery gained 93 cents to $47.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 8:41 a.m. local time. Total volume traded was about 5 percent above the 100-day average. Prices rose 57 cents to $46.34 on Monday.

Brent for September settlement climbed as much as 99 cents, or 2 percent, to $49.59 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices rose 54 cents to $48.60 on Monday. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $2.28 to WTI.

Saudi Arabia won’t act alone to balance the market and other nations should improve their implementation of supply cuts, Al-Falih said Monday. When OPEC holds its next full ministerial meeting in November, it may need to discuss extending the supply cuts for longer, United Arab Emirates Minister of Energy Suhail Al Mazrouei said in a Bloomberg television interview.

Oil-market news:

Hedge funds are still holding large bearish bets against oil and OPEC, yet out in the real world traders and refiners buying and selling actual barrels say it’s starting to look somewhat more bullish. French President Emmanuel Macron is meeting with the head of Libya’s United Nations-backed government and the North African oil producer’s powerful eastern-based military commander in the latest attempt to seek a solution to their standoff. Barclays Plc sold the last part of its oil book to an unidentified buyer, triggering a surge in trading of exotic options written in the era of higher crude prices, according to people familiar with the matter. U.S. crude stockpiles probably dropped by 3.1 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before an Energy Information Administration report Wednesday. Oil may rise $5 to $7 a barrel on Venezuela supply disruption, Barclays warns.

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