Oil prices start October with a flop

Posted October 07, 2017

"Finally, the market is recognizing that these draws in inventories of products and crude oil combined are for real and they're going to last through the end of the year". Oil's loss also comes as "we've seem some decent dollar strength".

Futures fell as much as 3.1 percent in NY to the lowest level in more than a week. "That's all feeding in here to generating some downward pressure", John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund, said by telephone.

Iraq announced its exports rose slightly in September while OPEC overall boosted output, a Reuters survey showed.

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Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down $1.22 or 2.15 percent at $55.56 a barrel at 11:20 a.m. EDT (1630 GMT).

The price of oil has been moving higher in recent weeks on confidence the global oversupply glut was being run down, in a large part thanks to strict discipline among OPEC members sticking to the output cut agreement.

However, as RBC Capital Markets points out, Russia's increasing involvement in Iraqi energy affairs may cause Turkey's President Erdogan to pause.

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Oil returned to a bull market last week on signs that rising demand and production cuts by OPEC and its allies are finally clearing a global crude surplus.

Energy analysts Kpler estimate that, at the end of last week, the amount of oil kept on ships in the North Sea rose by almost 3 million barrels to just over 5.4 million barrels in the space of a week, in line with Reuters calculations. "The price remains in an uptrend above its 200-day average", wrote Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in a Tuesday research note. Its crude oil production rose 1.2% to 3.82 MMbpd in September 2017-compared to the previous month.

The possibility of Russian Federation extending a loan facility to the troubled oil producer - again - has kept oil price movements in check, but as geopolitics emerges again as the primary driver of oil price fluctuations, October has a lot of moving parts.

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Fitch said the land rig count in the USA lower 48 has risen around 45% since the end of 2016, contributing to a rebound in US crude production to over 9.5 million barrels a day (mmbbl/d) from a trough of about 8.4 mmbbl/d in July 2016.