Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

OPEC could agree in June to start easing oil output cuts

OPEC could agree in June to start easing oil output cuts

Zanganeh also told the WSJ in an interview that Iran wanted OPEC to work to keep oil prices around $60 a barrel to contain USA shale oil production.

WTI settled down 68 cents to $61.36 per barrel while Brent fell 50 cents to $64.99 per barrel.

Brent sweet crude traded at $65.70 per barrel on Monday, an increase of 21 cents or 0.3 percent from its previous close.

Traders attributed the recent increase to a drop in the number of USA drilling rigs for production and the reported job increase in the United States which is expected to push fuel demand higher.

Williams also pointed out that based on the figures, US shale plays this year will "add enough to USA production to match all the oil Venezuela now produces". The OPEC deal is under threat, ING commodities strategist said, because us crude supplies are displacing OPEC's.

On Friday, Baker Hughes said the U.S. rig count dropped for the first time in seven weeks. "They continue to give market share away to the U.S". A stronger dollar would likely dent oil prices. At stake is OPEC's production limits, which are among factors helping the oil market's monthslong recovery.

CNBC noted that hedge funds and money managers have pared their bullish wagers on WTI, with long positions falling last week for the first time in three weeks; meanwhile, gross short positions (bets that prices will fall) on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed to their highest level in almost a month.

According to Baker Hughes energy services firm, USA energy companies cut oil rigs for the first time in nearly two months, with drillers cutting back four rigs, to 796.

Still, the United States is now the world's no. 2 crude oil producer, ahead of top exporter Saudi Arabia.

Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock-the benchmark gasoline contract-fell 0.6% to $1.89 a gallon.

April natural gas bucked the downtrend among its energy peers, settling up 1.7% at $2.778 per million British thermal units, with forecasts for more cold weather in the eastern USA boosting expectations for heating demand.

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