Finance

Crude Oil Supply-Demand Balance in Sight: IEA

Crude Oil Supply-Demand Balance in Sight: IEA”

Light, sweet crude for May delivery recently was up 31 cents, or 0.5%, to $67.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest level since 2014.

Stock levels are now 207 million barrels below their level in February 2017, with crude stocks in a surplus of 55 million barrels and product stocks in a deficit of 12 million.

The data, provided by OPEC's monthly report and based on secondary sources, show major declines in Angola, Venezuela, Algeria and Saudi Arabia were partially offset by higher production in the UAE.

Oil prices rose on Friday and were headed for their largest weekly gain since July, amid support from concerns over the prospect of Western military action in Syria and reports of dwindling global oil stocks.

A market report from the IEA said the impact of USA oil production is limited by pipeline constraints, while "more than a second Saudi Arabia" has been added to the OPEC-led effort since it began, making the markets tighter in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Meanwhile, the forecast for global oil demand was increased by 30,000 bpd to 1.63 million bpd.

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As Venezuela's unravelling economy hits its oil production, unplanned losses among the alliance exceed the cut pledged by Opec's biggest member, Saudi Arabia.

"OPEC is within rapid reach of its first announced goals and will have to come up with a new metric for the June meeting if it wants the agreement to last into the second half of the year", Petromatrix's Olivier Jakob said in a note Friday. Stockpiles of refined products already have fallen below the five-year average.

"It is not for us to declare on behalf of the Vienna agreement countries that it is 'mission accomplished, ' but if our outlook is accurate, it certainly looks very much like it", the IEA said.

Despite this, supplies remain ample and analysts said this would weigh on prices eventually.

Thomas Pugh, a commodities economist at consultancy Capital Economics, said a global trade war ignited by USA and Chinese tariffs would hit global economic growth and be negative for oil demand.

"Looking forward, a healthy global economic forecast for 2018, positive vehicle sales data in recent months, stronger 2018 yea-on-year United States product consumption in January and potentially tighter global product markets are expected to boost gasoline and distillates demand.", OPEC said.



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