Supply discipline and demand to prop up oil prices in 2018

Supply discipline and demand to prop up oil prices in 2018

The U.S. expects production to top 10 million barrels a day in the coming year.

To further support their argument they also cited total crude oil imports to China recently rebounding to the second-highest level on record in November at 9.01 million barrels per day (bpd). Most of the increase was in the Gulf of Mexico, where production was 290,000 barrels a day higher than in October.

WTI prices were supported by data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration late on Thursday showing domestic oil production C-OUT-T-EIA declined last week to 9.75 million barrels per day (bpd) from 9.79 million bpd the previous week.

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The price increase also follows a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to extend its agreement on production limits through 2018.

At the same time, speculation is rising that American drillers will put more rigs to work next year as oil strengthens.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures ended the year with a 17 percent rise, supported by ongoing supply cuts by top producers OPEC and Russian Federation as well as strong demand from China.

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WTI for February delivery settled at $60.42 a barrel, up 58 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

On the economic front, the number of rigs operating in USA oil fields remained unchanged at 747 rigs this week, while gas rigs are down 2 rigs at 182, according to oilfield service firm Baker Hughes' weekly report released Friday. The futures on USA light crude oil with delivery in February reported an increase of 0.69% to 60.25 United States dollars per barrel. Inventories are down by nearly 20 percent from historic highs last March, and well below this time a year ago or in 2015. A survey by the Wall Street Journal showed expectations for a decline of 3.7 million barrels for the week. "Like we've seen this year, geopolitical risks will be the key factor going forward for oil to breach $60". It ranks first in oil futures trade. "June will be a real turning point because that's when we'll hear about unwinding the deal, and if Opec doesn't handle it delicately, then there will be concern that the market will be flooded with oil again".

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