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Oil falls after Opec's plan to raise output, but markets to remain tight

Opec and non-Opec partners including Russia have since 2017 cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to tighten the market and prop up prices

Reuters  |  Singapore 

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oil prices fell over 1.5 per cent on Monday as traders factored in an expected output increase that was agreed at the headquarters of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) in Vienna on Friday.

Despite this, analysts said global oil would likely remain relatively tight this year.

Brent futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $74.27 per barrel at 0402 GMT, down 1.7 per cent from their last close.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $68.41 a barrel, down 0.25 per cent, supported more than Brent by a slight drop in US drilling activity and a Canadian supply outage.

Prices initially jumped after the deal was announced late last week as it was not seen boosting supply by as much as some had expected.

and partners including Russia have since 2017 cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to tighten the market and prop up prices.

Largely because of unplanned disruptions in places like Venezuela and Angola, the group's output has been below the targeted cuts, which it now says will be reversed by supply rises, especially from Opec leader Saudi Arabia. Although analysts warn there is little space capacity for large-scale output increases.

"Saturday's Opec+ press conference provided more clarity on the decision to increase production, with guidance for a full 1 million bpd ramp-up in 2H18," Goldman Sachs said in a note on Sunday.

"This is a larger increase than presented Friday although the goal remains to stabilize inventories, not generate a surplus," the US bank added.

Britain's Barclays bank said Opec's and Russia's commitments would take "the market from a -0.2 million bpd deficit in H2 2018 to a 0.2 million bpd surplus".

consultancy Wood Mackenzie said the agreement "represents a compromise between responding to consumer pressure and the need for oil-producing countries to maintain oil prices and prevent harming their economies".

In the United States, US companies last week cut one oil rig, the first reduction in 12 weeks, lowering the total rig count to 862, Baker Hughes said on Friday.

That put the rig count on track for its smallest monthly gain since declining by two rigs in March, with just three rigs added so far in June. However, the overall level remains just one rig short of the March 2015 high from the previous week.

Goldman Sachs also warned that an "outage at Syncrude Canada's oil sands facility could leave North America short of 360,000 bpd of supply for all of July."

It added that this "will exacerbate the current global deficit, making the increase in all the more required."

First Published: Mon, June 25 2018. 10:53 IST
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