Iran sells crude oil at $50.93 per barrel in a week

Randolph Lopez
September 13, 2017

Prices received additional support amid reports that Saudi Arabia's oil minister discussed possibly extending a pact to cut global oil supplies beyond March 2018 with his Venezuelan and Kazakh counterparts.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, of which Saudi Arabia is the largest member, and 10 other producers including Russian Federation first agreed late previous year to cut about 2% of global oil production.

Hurricane Irma is expected by Goldman Sachs to have a negative impact on oil demand, but the firm said it sees a larger hit to oil demand from hurricane Harvey, "given the large concentration of energy-intensive petrochemical activity in its path".

US crude futures rose 17 cents, or 0.35%, to $48.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude oil inched higher Tuesday morning, adding to yesterday's gains amid signs that OPEC will further extend its supply quota plan. Spot gold is down 0.8 per cent at $1,335.10 an ounce while USA gold futures for December delivery is down 0.9 per cent at $1,339.40 an ounce.

Power has been cut to 4 million homes in Florida as millions fled the state as Hurricane Irma moved up the coast.

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It comes on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, which struck the USA oil hub of Texas two weeks ago, knocking out a quarter of the nation's refineries, many of which are now restarting operations.

USA crude inventories likely rose last week following the hurricane impact, while refined product stockpiles were forecast to have declined, a preliminary Reuters poll showed. The deal, reached in late 2016, initially called for a six month period, which later was extended with another nine months until the end of March 2018. A separate report showed that US oil production dropped sharply to 8.78 million barrels per day due to hurricane effect.

The deal aims to curb a glut that has weighed on crude prices for more than three years.

Crude inventories rose by 6.2 million barrels in the week to September 8 to 468.8 million, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.2 million barrels.

Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday. Net, we project a larger - in fact record large - crude inventory build but smaller product draws in the coming week than previously.

"It is clear that the rebalancing process is under way", he said.

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