Oil retreats from 2014 highs but set for fourth week of gains

WTI Crude Oil

Weekly March WTI Crude Oil

Following the crude oil prices' upward movement at the beginning of the year up until the trading session this week until Thursday's trading, oil prices are now below a three-year high following the incredibly bullish move of the commodity in the past trading session.

Williams added: "Looking at the global oil picture it seems as if the glut of oil stocks is disappearing due to the production cuts imposed by OPEC along with non-member Russian Federation as the United States' crude oil inventories have fallen for eight weeks in a row".

Rising geopolitical fears coupled with the ongoing OPEC output cap, means the price of Brent crude oil is moving closer to the $70 per barrel level.

While prices fell, the reaction was somewhat muted, which analysts said is a sign that oil's rally isn't yet over.

"In view of sharply falling US crude oil stocks and record-high compliance with the production cuts by OPEC, market participants are convinced that the market is continuing to tighten".

The RAC signalled pump costs were likely to reflect the march of Brent crude - damaging the economy at a time drivers and businesses could ill afford it.

Fatih Birol, head of the Paris-based International Energy Agency, said oil prices at $65 to $70 risked encouraging more oversupply from USA shale drillers. In December 2016 was a meeting of oil producers outside the OPEC.

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A separate report from the Labor Department unexpectedly showed a modest decrease in producer prices in the month of December. On the other hand, airline stocks moved substantially higher, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index climbing by 1.7 percent.

USA crude oil rose to its highest level in more than three years on Tuesday, supported by OPEC-led production cuts and expectations US crude inventories fell for an eighth week.

US crude oil production increased in 2017 by more than 384,000 barrels per day (b/d) to 9.2 million b/d, based on data through September and estimates from the December Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) for the remainder of 2017. That's the highest level for the USA oil benchmark since late 2014. Oil prices opened sharply lower today, dropping more than Rs 50 in early minutes of the trade.

Worldwide crude demand is 96 million barrels a day and the country imports around 4.2 million barrels daily or 1,568 million barrels per annum, making it the third-largest consumer globally. US crude oil production is expected to continue increasing in 2019 to an average of 10.8 million b/d.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Energy Minister and OPEC President Suhail al-Mazrouei said he expects the market to balance in 2018 and that the producer group is committed to its supply-reduction pact until the end of this year.

USA commercial crude stocks fell to 419.5 million barrels in the week to January 5, right near the five-year average, the target for OPEC and others cutting output.

For more information on crude oil, visit the S&P Global Platts website.

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