Oil’s Bull Market Rally Stalls as Traders Await Inventory Data

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  • U.S. crude stocks seen falling, while Cushing supplies rise
  • Russia’s Novak says officials to discuss output cuts, exports

Oil bounced around near the $50 a barrel mark awaiting reports on U.S. inventories.

Futures traded in a 51 cent-range in New York. U.S. crude stockpiles are seen falling in a Bloomberg survey ahead of the release of weekly inventory data, yet Cushing supplies are seen increasing. Meanwhile, the market reckoned with data showing that output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries increased last month and news that Libyan production is set to recover from a five-month low as the nation’s biggest field restarts.

“It looks our strong rally of the last couple of months seems to be catching its breath,” Gene McGillian, a market research manager at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut, said by telephone. “Looking forward, we’re going to be watching the inventory reports to see if demand levels start to drop off as we go into the last quarter of the year and whether or not the drop-off in inventory levels we’ve seen in the last couple of months basically comes to an end.”

Oil has slid back toward $50 as barrel in New York after entering a bull market last week. OPEC nations pumped slightly more crude in September as Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and other producers boosted output. Officials from oil producing nations will discuss the global market, mechanisms for overseeing oil exports under OPEC’s deal to reduce production at an energy forum this week in Moscow, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

West Texas Intermediate for November delivery fell 15 cents to $50.43 a barrel at 9:45 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Total volume traded was about 41 percent below the 100-day average.

See also: In Oil-Thirsty India, Refiners Lend Unlikely Aid to Natural Gas

Brent for December settlement dropped 6 cents to $56.06 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.28 to December WTI.
U.S. Inventories

U.S. crude inventories probably fell by 500,000 barrels last week, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. At the same time, gasoline supplies are seen rising by 1 million barrels and distillate inventories likely slid by 1.5 million barrels. Cushing, Oklahoma crude stockpiles rose by 1.8 million barrels, according to a forecast compiled by Bloomberg.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly inventory data is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, while the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute will release data on Tuesday.

Oil-market news:

Saudi Arabia is looking at unprecedented deals to acquire oil and gas assets in Russia, deepening ties between the world’s largest energy exporters as the Saudi king prepares to visit Moscow later this week.
Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi ordered state-run North Oil Co. and Nineveh Oilfields Committee to set an urgent plan to rehabilitate and boost output from fields in northern province, according to the ministry.
Libyan output is expected to expand to 1 million barrels a day from 800,000 within two to three days as the Sharara field restarts Tuesday, National Oil Corp. Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said Monday in a televised interview on Libya TV.

— With assistance by Ben Sharples, and Grant Smith

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