Crude oil futures fall on weak overseas cues
Crude oil fell on Monday in quiet trading after the three-day Easter break on signs the United States is continuing to add output, undermining OPEC efforts to support prices, and as the market digested North Korea's failed missile launch on Sunday.
The incessant rise of rigs has led the Energy Information Administration to upgrade its USA oil production forecast for 2018 from 9.73 million barrels per day (bpd) in its March report to 9.9 million bpd in its latest report. However, the API also reported a counter-seasonal build of 2.254 million barrels in gasoline inventories, which weighed on market sentiment, especially given that analysts had projected a draw of 2 million barrels.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 9 cents at $52.32 a barrel.
While compliance has been strong among OPEC countries, production cuts have lagged among others that have agreed to act to curb oil prices, including Russian Federation.
The expansion in US drilling is damping optimism that had lifted prices above $53 a barrel after some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries expressed support for prolonging production cuts with other nations beyond June.
In December 2016, OPEC and non-OPEC producers reached their first deal since 2001 to curtail oil output jointly and ease a global glut after more than two years of low prices.
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Brent crude futures dipped 18 cents at $54.71 a barrel as of 15:16 GMT, while United States crude futures lost 19 cents to $52.22 a barrel. While U.S. crude supplies fell from a record, OPEC said Wednesday in a report that rivals in the American shale patch are growing stronger.
US oil prices fell almost 4 percent Wednesday, reaching a session low of $50.28 per barrel and marking their biggest daily percentage decline since early March, as inventories posted a less-than-expected decline for the week.
"Rising U.S. production levels are offsetting more than a third of the six-month agreement of the 1.8 million barrel-per-day cut", McGillian said.
OPEC and non-OPEC producers said after talks in Kuwait last month that they were looking into extending the output cuts, as compliance with the agreement has increased. "We're also back into a price area that may attract more shale oil production".
OPEC will meet on May 25 to assess markets and to decide whether to extend the deal or not. "The performance of the US oil industry will act as the topside barrier to oil markets this year and will balance against any short-term spikes related to concerns about geopolitics".
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