Economy

Crude Oil Price Analysis for March 13, 2018

Crude Oil Price Analysis for March 13, 2018

Brent crude, the benchmark for more than half the world's oil, traded at $65.07 a barrel at 10:11 a.m.in London on Monday, compared with about $45 in June.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.91 a barrel at 0755 GMT, down 13 cents, or 0.2 per cent.

US stocks, though, were little changed on Monday, with the S&P 500 .SPX up 0.1 points, or 0.00 percent, to 2,786.67. Gross short positions on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed to their highest level in almost a month.

Oil held gains above $62 a barrel after USA crude explorers curtailed activity for the first time since January.

"The big take away is the implied annual rate of change", James Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics, told MarketWatch. In February, even Saudi Arabia's state oil company considered participating in these flows via a USA unit, before determining it wasn't economically viable at the time.

Meanwhile in Libya, the Marsa el-Brega refinery was hit by an explosion and fire Saturday following a gas leak at its methanol plant, state-owned National Oil Corp. said.

Still, fears over increasing USA production continue to weigh on producers and investors.

On Friday, Baker Hughes said the U.S. rig count dropped for the first time in seven weeks.

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Energy investors weighed increased US supply against the likelihood that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will maintain supply cuts that have been in effect more than a year.

However, if predictions from Warren Patterson, a commodities strategist at ING Groep NV, prove accurate, Iran has nothing to worry about: because US activity is angering OPEC allies to the degree they will soon abandon the cartel's production cutback deal, pump all out, and drive prices back down again. That split is driven by differing views over whether $70 a barrel sends US shale companies into a production frenzy that could cause prices to crash.

NEW YORK, March 12 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday as investors grappled with ongoing concerns over rising USA output and tight OPEC supply, while last week's data showing speculators cut bets on oil suggested more selling could be seen. It was the first such decline in seven weeks.

Hedge funds and money managers have pared their bullish wagers on US crude oil, with long positions falling last week for the first time in three weeks.

U.S. Stocks closed mixed, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average ending in the red, while the Nasdaq Composite added about 28 points.

April WTI oil lost 68 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at USD61.36/bbl.

While the U.S.is now pumping more than 10 million barrels a day, surpassing a record set in 1970, that boom is being accompanied by a surge in overseas shipments, helping drain stockpiles at the nation's largest storage hub.