OPEC lifts oil production, Saudis cut

Saudi Arabia reins in oil production as demand forecasts waver

Not a single tanker has loaded crude oil from the United States bound for China since the start of August, Thomson Reuters Eikon ship tracking data showed, compared with about 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June and July.

OPEC on Monday forecast lower demand for its crude next year as rivals pump more and said top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, eager to avoid a return of oversupply, had cut production.

OPEC production averaged 32.32 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, 40,700 higher than June, according to the group's monthly oil market report, based on secondary source figures. Russian state-owned oil producer Rosneft has already earned more profit in the first quarter of this year than in all of 2017, which recently made it the most valuable company in the country. Increased production in Kuwait, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates more than offset the drop elsewhere.

Despite the slight reduction in forecasts, Opec indicated the robust growth in demand is driving global oil markets into deficit. The cartel's projected demand growth for 2019 is now 1.43 million barrels a day, down by 20,000 since last month's report.

Moreover, OPEC expects world oil demand to grow by 1.43 million bpd, 20,000 bpd less than forecast last month and a slowdown from 1.64 million bpd in 2018 - yet another factor that may keep a lid on any crude price rises.




Oil futures fell more than $2 a barrel on Wednesday after data showed US crude stockpiles jumped last week, compounding worries about a weaker global economic growth outlook. Crude inventories C-STK-T-EIA increased by 6.8 million barrels, representing the largest weekly rise since March a year ago.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down $1.96 a barrel at $70.50 a barrel by 11:07 a.m. EDT [1507 GMT]. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma USOICC=ECI, delivery hub for US crude futures rose 1.6 million barrels.

Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate rose by 28 cents, or 0.42 percent, to Dollars 67.48, while Brent crude gained 22 cents, or 0.30 percent, to USD 72.83 per barrel.

The drop in demand for OPEC crude means there will be less strain on other producers in making up for supply losses in Venezuela and Libya, and potentially in Iran as renewed USA sanctions kick in.

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