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Forecast Calls for Continued Low Oil, Fuel Prices

13 July 2017

Oil prices climbed more than 1 percent on Tuesday along with rising heating oil futures on reports showing forecast cuts in us oil production and a decline in European product stockpiles.

OPEC exported 25.92 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, 450,000 bpd more than in May and 1.9 million bpd more than a year earlier, as per Reuters.

OPEC members led by Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC countries led by Russian Federation took action and capped their oil production to support oil market prices.

OPEC's production climbed by 393,500 bpd to 32.6 million in June as Libya and Nigeria - both exempt from the agreement to cut - restored output lost to political unrest and conflict, according to external sources compiled by the organization.

WTI Crude oil prices posted sixth weekly loss in the past seven weeks amid concerns over supply glut, which is neutralising the impact of OPEC's output cut extension and strong global demand. Global oil demand is poised to increase to 99.2 mln bps by 2021, the EIA said, and to 109.4 mln bpd by 2040.

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"There's been speculation of how long USA production would continue to be able to rise considering the selloff we've seen in recent months".

"OPEC news remains mixed, with Saudi Arabia raising production while reducing exports to meet increased domestic demand", Ole Hanson, the head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, told UPI. Brent crude rose to $48.30/bbl in London, whilst United States oil rose to $45.72/bbl in the futures market.

Crude prices rallied after the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, estimated that US crude supplies dried up by 8.1 million barrels, with gasoline stockpiles also down.

The EIA maintained the forecast for oil production in the U.S.in 2017 at 9.33 million barrels per day.

The U.S. Energy Department reported a decrease in U.S. oil reserves (excluding the strategic reserve) for the week ended on June 30 by 6.3 million barrels, or 1.2 percent - to 502.9 million barrels. The previous record was set in 1970 at 9.6 million b/d. "Iran is taking aim at 4 million barrels per day, which would be above its production cap".

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But on Tuesday, EIA cut its 2018 USA crude output forecast by 1% to 9.90 million BPD.

Non-OPEC production continues to rise, and OPEC sees no signs of it stopping.

Against these doldrums, news of diminished US output led to an oil rally in late June.

The industry was hit hard by a dramatic collapse in oil prices in 2014.

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Forecast Calls for Continued Low Oil, Fuel Prices