Is the Oil Rally on the Rise?


OPEC should beware as USA shale producers are set to steal a bigger slice of the market in Asia, which consumes more oil than any other region, according to industry consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd.

Oil markets climbed on Monday, March 12, on the back of a drop in the number of United States rigs drilling for more production and as the USA economy continued to create jobs, which industry hopes will drive higher fuel demand, NAN reports.

The reduction came as gross short positions on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed to their highest level in almost a month.

May WTI Crude Oil settled at $61.33, down $0.59 or -0.95% and June Brent Crude Oil finished the session at $64.79, down $0.48 or -0.74%.

For the record, the Islamic republic is allowed to pump up to 3.8 million barrels per day (bpd) under the cutback deal, and Zanganeh said his country could produce about 100,000 bpd more.

Both WTI and Brent as recently as Thursday had marked their lowest settlements since mid-February.

U.S. Shale production is expected to rise above 11 million bpd by late 2018, taking the top spot from Russian Federation, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The EIA is due to publish its latest weekly US production data on Wednesday.

LONDON-Oil prices edged up Tuesday morning, even as fresh signs of rising USA shale production appeared to put a cap on prices.

The news is expected to be light on Monday so most traders expect the price action to be driven by the U.S. Dollar and appetite for risk. Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of the oil cartel, would like prices at $70 a barrel or higher, while Iran would like them closer to $60 a barrel.

On Friday, Baker Hughes (BHGE) said that the number of active USA rigs drilling for oil ( fell by four to 796 this week. Some of the pressure is coming from a recovery in the U.S. Dollar, which could affect foreign demand. "Rising production and inventory in the United States has been reducing fund sentiment since it peaked at the end of January", ING said in a note.

April natural gas bucked the downtrend among its energy peers, settling up 1.7% at $2.778 per million British thermal units, with forecasts for more cold weather in the eastern USA boosting expectations for heating demand.