Saudi urges to cut oil production to 1 million barrels per day

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Brent crude futures were up 70 cents at $70.88 a barrel by 11:05 a.m. EST (1605 GMT), following four sessions of losses.

Falih said Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil supplier, will cut its production by 500,000 bpd as of next month to help stabilize the market.

Washington has granted 180-day waivers to Iran's eight biggest buyers, who imported over 80 percent of Iran's oil exports previous year. That confounded a market that was anticipating a stricter enforcement.

The Saudis are taking the lead in an attempt to counter a price slide of about 20% since early October, which reflected United States waivers that tempered the impact of sanctions on Iran, as well as signs of an emerging glut in America.

His comments come shortly after top exporters at the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting in Abu Dhabi said they would not shy away from another round of production cuts.

The outlook for oil, a key source of revenue for Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, is adding a fresh twist for a market already obsessed with Federal Reserve tightening and the U.S. Brent also traded lower in post-settlement activity, dropping $1.13 to $69.05 a barrel. And Trump isn't expected to impose drastic penalties over the Khashoggi killing, saying earlier this month that he did not feel "betrayed" by the plot and reiterating his desire to avoid consequences that could harm the US economy.

Sixty-two per cent of GIQ Survey respondents agreed that the USA shale production levels will force Gulf Arab countries into stepping up their own investment in shale oil exploration. USA crude rose 60 cents to $60.79 a barrel, the first increase after the longest stretch of daily declines since 1984.

"The balances for 2019 do show, especially in the first half of the year, that there will be significant global oversupply", Petromatrix analyst Olivier Jakob said. The 15 members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which include Saudi Arabia, alone pump over a third of global crude supply. OPEC and the IEA (International Energy Agency) are releasing their updates to the oil market this week and the outlook for 2019 was already on the weak side. At first, the USA had insisted that it would put pressure to have all of Iran's oil exports cut off.

Momentum seems to be growing among major oil producers to reduce output in an effort to end a slump in prices. Earlier in the day, he blamed a drop in the USA stock market on the looming threat of investigations into his administration by Democrats, who last week won control of the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, investors' sentiment is clouded by uncertainty over how oil demand would develop, as some industry insiders predicted deteriorating demand.

Nigel Rendell, a London-based senior analyst at Medley Global Advisors: "It creates a double whammy for many EM policy makers - even more of a weaker local currency is now required to buy what has become a higher dollar oil price".

CaptureU.S. oil rig count, data by YCharts.

Thus, midstream companies such as Plains All American could be a safer bet on the US oil boom.