Oil prices rise on hopes of output cuts plan

Maxine SotoJan 11, 2017

Iraq's crude exports from the country's southern ports inched up last month to 3.510 million barrels per day for the first time, the oil minister said Monday, lauding his ministry's plans and the work of a handful of worldwide companies developing Iraq's prized southern fields. West Texas Intermediate futures were trading at $52.99/bbl, down $1, or 1.9%, compared with a session low of $52.85.

The last EIA report found USA shale oil was more resilient to lower crude oil prices than initially expected.

For past few weeks, the oil and gas rigs have increased consistently since the OPEC & Non-OPEC member's decision. He also said that Russian Federation plans to reduce oil output by 200,000 bpd in the first quarter and reach the cuts of 300,000 bpd thereafter, as agreed with OPEC last month.

Oil futures sank further on Tuesday (10 January) on news of war-torn Libya's crude production rising to a three-year high, throwing into doubt a strategy adopted by selected Opec and non-Opec producers of reducing output to support the oil price.

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Iran's oil exports, which reached close to 3 million barrels per day in 2011, fell to a little more than 1 million bpd after tougher sanctions were imposed in 2012 targeting its nuclear program.

Mr Al Falih and other officials from Opec member states have been careful to make only reassuring comments since their deal at the end of November to restrain production - but they are under increasing pressure to make clear how that deal, as well as a complementary one by some non-Opec producers, will be policed to ensure credibility.

US shale production could also pivot higher in the future as data shows the number of rigs digging for oil in the USA have increased for ten straight weeks.

The 4 percent decline was also driven by Iraq, OPEC's second-biggest producer, posting record-high December oil exports of 3.51 million bpd.

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Crude oil prices started 2017 at an 18-month high, but have since failed to sustain that rally.

Crude oil prices lost major ground in Monday trading following a report on December exploration and production activity from oilfield services company Baker Hughes. During this period, United States crude oil active futures contracts rose 17.8%.

Dominick Chirichella, an analyst from the New York-based Energy Management Institute, said the elevated rig count was starting to alarm some observers and was a probable effect of the recent oil-price rally. "With oil market sensitivity in the first quarter of 2017 still a dominant theme, severe weakness in oil prices should be expected if obstacles emerge from the proposed cut deal".

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