Goldman Sachs Slashes Oil Price Outlook Amid OPEC Turmoil (USO)

Posted July 04, 2017

US government data on drilling activity for new oil production in the United States fell for the first time since January, dropping by two rigs, while monthly government data showed crude output fell in April for the first time this year.

Brent crude futures were up 26 cents on the day at $49.03 a barrel by 1300 GMT, off a session low of $48.54. West Texas Intermediate, the USA benchmark for the price of oil, was up 0.93 percent to $45.53 per barrel.

Data from Baker Hughes released on Friday showed that the number of active USA rigs drilling for oil declined by two to 756 rigs this week. There are signs of a slowdown in the USA, but Libya is adding more oil to the market as it restarts fields that are exempt from OPEC's production curbs.

A marginal cut in United States drilling for new production was met by a rise in output from OPEC in June, up by 280,000 barrels per day (bpd) to an estimated 2017 high of 32.72 million bpd.

"Oil prices received momentum from Wednesday's USA data and the market rejected the lows that we saw".

Libya'a oil output has rebounded from only 690,000 barrels a day at the start of the year, with Sharara, the country's largest oil field, resuming production last month.

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Furthermore, in a trading statement released last week, Tullow raised its profit guidance for the first six months of the year - which is a positive development.

WTI posted was priced $1 (2.41 percent) higher Friday to $42.50 a barrel. Decreased domestic production in 2016 led the U.S.to import more from OPEC in 2016, but at 40 percent, OPEC's share of US crude oil imports is the second-lowest on record.

"It looks like oil has bottomed", Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst for the PRICE Futures Group in Chicago, said in a daily emailed newsletter. Gartman said US technology will expand to Russia, Mexico, China the Middle East and Africa. This would increase the potential for a floor in oil prices which helped underpin sentiment and oil prices pushed higher with WTI moving above the $46.00 p/b level. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), domestic crude volumes have declined thrice in the last 8 weeks. Furthermore, Kpler expected that the figure was supposed to be even lower in June.

"Al-Luaibi, who was asked if the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries needed to deliver a more aggressive cut than the 1.8 million barrels per day it has agreed with 11 of its partners, was speaking at an event in London".

Experts also believe that there is a clear risk that inventory normalization will not take place until the end of March next year when the OPEC cut will come into force.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts cut their forecasts on Friday, saying the rise in output from Libya, Nigeria and US shale fields coupled with weaker demand growth, meant the market would be more oversupplied than previously expected.