Oil prices slump 1% as OPEC’s output hits 8-month high

*Crude oil prices.

*Crude oil prices.

13 October 2016, Lagos – Oil prices fell about one per cent wednesday after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported its September oil output at eight-year highs in its monthly Oil Market Report (OMR), thus eroding optimism over the carte’s pledge to bring a global crude oil glut under control.

This is coming as energy ministers from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Venezuela and Russia yesterday began informal closed-door talks with the Secretary General of OPEC, Mr. Mohammed Barkindo, in Istanbul, Turkey, as part of the coordinated efforts to rebalance the oil market.

Also, concerns that the American Petroleum Institute (API) could report the first built in United States crude oil stocks in six weeks in preliminary inventory numbers have fueled possibility of worsening the glut in the market as Reuters reported that analysts expected the US government to report that crude oil stockpiles rose 300,000 barrels last week.

Global benchmark crude oil Brent crude fell 52 cents, or one per cent, to $51.89 a barrel while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude slipped 68 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $50.11.

However, despite the drop, Brent is still up nearly 13 per cent since OPEC announced on September 27 that the group and other major crude oil producers would agree on a sizeable output cut or freeze to reduce a global glut by November 30 when OPEC meets in Vienna.

OPEC’s latest monthly report, issued yesterday, showed an increase in its oil production in September to the highest in at least eight years and a rise in the forecast for 2017 non-OPEC supply growth.

In its monthly market report, OPEC said expected total world oil demand for 2016 was revised upward from its previous report by 10,000 bpd to 1.24 million bpd.
Next year, world oil demand is expected to increase by 1.15 million bpd, a level unchanged from OPEC’s previous report.

The group produced 33.39 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, up 220,000 bpd from August, and as much as 890,000 bpd above the new supply target.

In a related development, energy ministers from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Venezuela and Russia began informal closed-door talks with Barkindo in Istanbul as they try to coordinate efforts to rebalance the oil market.

OPEC officials are holding a flurry of meetings in coming weeks to nail down an agreement reached in Algiers last month on modest output cuts, the first such deal since 2008, for which they are seeking cooperation from non-OPEC producers.

The ministers were meeting on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress in Istanbul but no decision is expected from yesterday’s talks.

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