From the Field
Oil down on pessimistic OPEC report
LONDON, August 13, 2018 – Oil prices traded lower on Monday, with U.S. crude posting losses, as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) forecast lower demand for next year.
New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 32 cents, or 0.47%, to $67.31 a barrel by 10:48 AM ET (14:48 GMT).
Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., slipped 4 cents, or 0.05%, to $72.77.
In its monthly report, OPEC lowered its outlook for global oil demand growth for 2019 by 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.43 million bpd at the same time it lifted its forecast for non-OPEC oil supply next year by 30,000 bpd to 2.13 million bpd.
The report also mentioned that the leading OPEC exporter Saudi Arabia had cut production in order to head off a return of the supply glut.
Concerns of escalating output have been weighing on prices even as U.S. shale producers ramp up output.
Baker Hughes’ data released last Friday showed that the U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose by 10 to 869 last week, the highest level since March 2015.
Despite these worries, the market will likely draw support from the introduction of U.S. sanctions against Iran, which from November will include oil exports.
The sanctions are being reinstated after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal earlier this year.
In other energy trading, gasoline futures lost 0.66% to $2.0260 a gallon by 10:51 AM ET (14:51 GMT), while heating oil inched up 0.09% to $2.1417 a gallon.
Lastly, natural gas futures traded down 0.17% to $2.939 per million British thermal units.
- From the field