*Suncor said planning to resume oil-sands operations next week
*U.S. production drops 11th week to lowest since September 2014
29 May 2016, New York — Oil trimmed its third weekly advance as Canadian energy producers moved to resume operations after wildfires eased.
Futures slipped 0.3 percent in New York. Suncor Energy Inc. is seeking to return most of its workers by next week and begin startup of oil-sands facilities that were shut down by forest fires, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Prices climbed above $50 a barrel on Thursday as declining U.S. crude supplies eroded a global glut.
“Finally supply and demand are coming into balance,” said Mark Watkins, the Park City, Utah-based regional investment manager for The Private Client Group of U.S. Bank, which oversees $128 billion of assets. “There are going to be headwinds as you near the $50-$60 range. Inventories are still high and we have to work them off.”
Oil has surged more than 85 percent in New York since touching a 12-year low in February on signs the worldwide surplus will ease amid declining production in Nigeria, Libya, Canada and the U.S. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is unlikely to reach any agreement to limit output when it meets June 2, as the group sticks with Saudi Arabia’s strategy of squeezing out rivals, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
To find out what to expect at the OPEC meeting next week, click here.
West Texas Intermediate for July delivery dropped 15 cents to close at $49.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Front-month WTI climbed 3.3 percent this week. Futures touched $50.21 Thursday, the highest since Oct. 9. Total volume traded was 43 percent below the 100-day average at 2:45 p.m.
Brent for July settlement decreased 27 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $49.32 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Futures rose 1.2 percent this week. The contract reached $50.51 during trading Thursday, the highest since Nov. 4. The global benchmark closed at a 1-cent discount to WTI.
The dollar strengthened and commodities retreated after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the improvement in the U.S. economy would warrant another interest rate increase “in the coming months,” stopping short of giving an explicit hint that the central bank would act in June.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index added 0.5 percent, after touching the highest level since March earlier this week. A stronger greenback reduces the appeal of dollar-denominated commodities as an investment.
“After reaching the important $50 level, the buying dried up,” said Gene McGillian, a senior analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “Suncor is sending people back and preparing to bring back production next week. The 1 million barrels a day of Canadian production that was lost due to the fires will be coming back soon.”
Midwest and Rocky Mountain pipeline operators have cut the cost of transporting oil, as they vie for a shrunken supply of crude in the aftermath of Canada’s wildfires. The blaze that began in early May shut about 1.2 million barrels a day of production, according to company statements and data published in Alberta’s Spring Oil Sands Quarterly.