Wednesday, 17 February, 2016

Oil price rises after Russia says open to OPEC meeting

S A worker grabs a nozzle at a petrol station in Tehran Iran S A worker grabs a nozzle at a petrol station in Tehran Iran
Dillon Hess | 15 February, 2016, 09:23

The talk of cooperation has not bolstered oil prices or global stocks this week like it did last week, however.

Prices hit record lows just ten days ago. Both continued to hold out the possibility of joint consultations between OPEC and non-OPEC countries in the near future, the Energy Ministry said.

Goldman Sachs said it was "highly unlikely" the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would co-operate with Russian Federation to cut output, saying such a move would also be self-defeating as stronger prices would bring previously shelved production back to the market.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said if there is the consensus among the OPEC and non-OPEC members to meet, then they will meet.

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said late Tuesday that the US crude stockpiles grew by 3.8 million barrels last week, which is less than the gains in the previous week.

United States benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in March was down 50 cents, or 1.58 percent, at $31.12 and Brent crude for April dipped 45 cents, or 1.31 percent, to $33.79 a barrel by 0320 GMT. USA crude (New York Mercantile Exchange: @CL.1) futures rose 81 cents to $30.71, off a session low of $29.40.

Will Russia and Saudi Arabia Cut back Oil Production?

Indeed, there are reports that the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are being called upon to provide financial support to Nigeria, Angola and Azerbaijan.

Iran's role in any potential deal to rein in production is critical, as it appears determined to boost production and gain market share after the lifting of sanctions. "And if they don't, there's little likelihood the Saudis would agree to one".

BP chief executive Bob Dudley said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Tuesday that he expected supply and demand to tighten in the second half of the year leading to higher prices.

"Non-OPEC marginal barrel production in the next six months will be sensitive to sustained low oil prices, whereby its break-even point would not be able to tolerate the price conditions at that time", it said.

Crude gained some support from a weaker dollar, which fell further on speculation the Federal Reserve might not raise interest rates this year.

The Energy Information Administration said crude inventories rose by 7.8 million barrels in the last week, topping analysts' expectations for a rise of 4.8 million barrels, as imports jumped and refiners trimmed throughput.

Russia open to meeting with major oil-producing countries
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down nearly 0.9 percent, while Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.6 percent. The median price was taken from estimates provided this year by 17 analysts who gave forecasts for both oil grades.