Oil halts longest winning streak this year as OPEC supply rises

LONDON • Oil snapped its longest run of gains this year as OPEC output rose amid a boost from members exempt from supply cuts.

Futures slid 0.3% in New York yesterday after advancing almost 11% the previous eight sessions. OPEC production in June climbed to the highest level this year as Libya and Nigeria ramped up output, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In the US, crude inventories probably fell by 2.5 million barrels last week, a Bloomberg survey showed before a government report last Thursday.

While prices have surged in the past week, oil in New York and London posted a monthly loss in June after tumbling into a bear market on concerns that rising global supply will counter curbs from OPEC and its partners. US crude inventories remain more than 100 million barrels above the five-year average.

“Given the run of gains and the highest OPEC production in 2017, there might be some closing of positions that temporarily puts pressure on prices,” said Jan Edelmann, an analyst at HSH Nordbank AG in Frankfurt. Nonetheless, the higher supplies from Libya and Nigeria probably aren’t sustainable “given the ongoing political tension in this region”, he said.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for August delivery was at US$46.95 (RM201.88) a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 12 cents, at 7:36am local time yesterday. Total volume traded was about 39% below the 100-day average. The contract gained US$1.03 to US$47.07 on Monday.

Brent for September settlement was down 13 cents at US$49.55 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of US$2.38 to September WTI.

OPEC output rose by 260,000 barrels a day to 32.55 million a day in June, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data. Half of the increase came from Libya and Nigeria, which aren’t bound by the group’s accord to cut, while Saudi Arabia boosted production by 90,000 barrels a day.

There’s potential for oil prices to rise in the second-half, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in Moscow. Iranian output in the month started on May 22 reached 3.9 million barrels a day for the first time since the easing of sanctions, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. — Bloomberg