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US Oil and Gas Rig Count Falls As Brent Breaks $60

28 October 2017

"The case for higher oil prices was predicated on Baghdad and Erbil heading for a lengthy and potentially violent standoff".

Brent, the global benchmark, recently traded up 71 cents, or 1.2%, at $60.01 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. Current OPEC compliance with production cut plans remains above their historical average, and it usually takes between two to three quarters for inventories to normalize after the cuts.

"There is certainly no general consensus on whether this psychological threshold [$60 a barrel], which was last seen in July 2015, will be overcome in the near-term", Stephen Brennock, an analyst at brokerage PVM Oil Associates Ltd., wrote in a note Friday. On February 11, the implied volatility was at 75.2% and oil futures were at their 12-year low.

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The eyes of the world were firmly fixed on Saudi Arabia this week at a major conference focused on investment and development.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers including Russian Federation have pledged to reduce production by around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of March 2018 to drain a global supply glut. The energy minister, Khalid al Falih said he anticipated a rise in global oil demand by 2050 at around 45 percent and said was committed to reduce the current oil supply glut. "We will support anything to stabilise the oil demand and supply", Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman told Reuters on Thursday when asked whether the kingdom would support extending an agreement to cut supplies until the end of 2018.

Meanwhile, analysts and investors are looking ahead to monthly USA supply and demand data, out on Tuesday. We're also seeing record exports at close to 2 million barrels a day, helped by the widening Brent-WTI spread. Analysts had expected a decrease of 2.6 million barrels.

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Gasoline stockpiles dropped by 5.5 million barrels for the week, while distillate stockpiles fell 5.2 million barrels, according to the EIA.

Both Iran and Iraq are members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Crude oil prices standing more or less still in early Thursday trading, with signs pointing to a make-or-break price point for US oil production. Kloza said he anticipates weaker prices in the first half of 2018 and he does not expect to see oil trading in the sixties until 2019. This essential and urgent intent is being welcomed and applauded by all while American production is being watched with caution.

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US Oil and Gas Rig Count Falls As Brent Breaks $60