Crude Oil Steady As OPEC Sees Strong Demand


Overnight, crude oil prices settled higher on Monday, as investors weighed the prospect of supply disruptions amid rising Middle East tensions while growing expectations of a ramp up in output capped upside momentum. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $56.62 per barrel, down 14 cents, or 0.25 percent. What's more, there's a slim chance that the cartel will decide that the effect that tensions in the Middle East are having on oil prices will be sufficient to keep prices high without a deal extension.

"This is why, absent any geopolitical premium, we may not have seen a "new normal" for oil prices", the IEA said. Additionally, the market has less supply overhang than it did a year ago, he said. For traders, "it's logical to do the extension", he said.

Tensions in the Middle East have raised the prospect of disruptions, but it was unclear whether a strong quake that hit Iran and Iraq on Sunday had affected the region's oil production.

Unsurprisingly, production fell in Iraq in the past month.

Bahrain said Iran was behind an explosion in its main oil pipeline.

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Crude oil futures inched higher Monday, staying near 2-year highs after OPEC predicted oil demand will surge in 2018.

However, it also pointed out that Saudi output had risen above 10 million barrels per day.

On the other hand, traders expected that the ongoing supply cut, which is led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russian Federation, would likely prevent a very big fall in oil prices.OPEC and Russian Federation have contributed to the reduction in excess supplies.

"If current trends continue, inventories are likely to return to the five-year average at some stage in 2018", it said, adding that strong demand had also helped reduce the glut.

Bloomberg Gadfly's Liam Denning's recent account of the OPEC deal a year into the cuts suggests the current situation is similar to this time last year, with one notable exception.

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Brent crude futures reached $62.94 per barrel. It will also become a net exporter of oil.

Oil-dependent Venezuela's crude output dipped last month below 2 million barrels per day, its lowest level in almost three decades, global producer group Opec said on Monday.

The number of rigs operating in US oil fields rose by nine to a total of 738 rigs this week, oilfield service firm Baker Hughes said in its weekly report on Friday.

The rig count fell in August, September, and October, but last week's rise was the second in three weeks, indicating that the U.S. oil industry was comfortable operating at current prices.

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