OPEC predicts a decrease in oil supplies from non-OPEC countries

Brittany Sowacke  Bloomberg News

The news raised doubts about the efficacy of planned production cuts that are set to begin at the start of the new year. As a result, Azeri oil supply will decline by 0.02 mb/d to average 0.78 mb/d next year.

US crude inventories fell by 1.2 million barrels in the week to December 7, compared with expectations for a decrease of 3 million barrels.

Oil prices rose on Wednesday, supported by a report showing a drop in us crude inventories, a cut in Libyan exports and an OPEC-led deal to trim output. So far this year, U.S.net imports have averaged 3.1 million barrels a day.

Russia, a major oil producer but not a member of OPEC, will meet with the producer cartel on Friday to discuss production levels, and it is widely expected that a supply cut will be agreed. As oil-product exports from the United States jumped to a fresh record, refineries operated at 95.6% of capacity in the week ended November 23, the highest ever for this time of year.

Russian oil output has hit a record 11.42 million bpd this month, an industry source familiar with the data told Reuters.

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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other big producers, including Russian Federation, said last week they would try to trim surplus supply, agreeing to cut production by a total of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd). OPEC is slated to curb production by 800,000 barrels a day, while Russian Federation and nine allied producers will shoulder the remainder of the cuts.

The oil price has fallen by almost a third so far this quarter to around $61 a barrel, from a four-year peak close to $87 in early October. The oil official has also joined Twitter, striving, he says, for more transparency even though the social media service is officially banned in Iran.

This adds to the concerns of several market watchers that the decision led by the group to cut production might not be enough to override a glut or push prices higher. One energy expert said the production cuts would likely be "insufficient to mop up the inventories in the targeted three-month period till the end of the first quarter of 2019". Distillate inventories were up the same week by 712,000 barrels, compared to an expected build of 1.801 million barrels.

The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that domestic crude supplies fell by 1.2 million barrels for the week ended December 7. US oil production is expected to grow 11 percent in 2019, and OPEC+ will need to continue to meter supply to prevent a price collapse. In case EIA reports a draw in inventories up to -8M, crude oil may cross above $52.30 to target $52.85 and $53.20 today.

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