Crude oil prices test recent lows at start of holiday-shortened week


Firmer supply than anticipated due to waivers granted on Iranian oil exports, as well as concerns about demand, have weighed on prices, and uncertainty about the response of OPEC+ (the cartel and certain non-members including Russia) lingers.

Brent crude in London fell by $0.46 and the price of WTI in NY fell $0,29.

How likely is an OPEC+ production cut? While trade tensions between China and America weaken the outlook for demand, Saudi Arabia's oil policies aim to preserve market stability, the nation's king said during his first major public speech since the murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

He added that details would be discussed at OPEC's December 6 meeting in Vienna.

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USA crude production has soared nearly 25 per cent this year, to a record 11.7 million barrels per day (bpd).

In turn, the price of oil WTI for January delivery in electronic trading on the NY Mercantile exchange (NYMEX) fell $0.29 to (0,51%) - to $from 56.91 per barrel. The contract lost $3.73 last week.

On the demand-side, Japan's October crude oil imports - which are the world's fourth biggest, but which are in structural decline because of a falling population and improving energy efficiency - fell by 7.7 per cent from the same month a year ago, to 2.77 million barrels per day (bpd), the Ministry of Finance said on Monday.

Brent crude dropped $4, or 6 percent, to $62.79 a barrel by 1:10 p.m. ET.

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In other news, US energy firms added two oil rigs in the week to November 16, bringing the total count to 888, the highest level since March 2015, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes. Since this statement by Russian Federation, oil prices are off 1% as the lack of cooperation from Russian Federation dents sentiment in the energy complex, suggesting that the market is not buying the current plan by OPEC. USA crude production has been rising, hitting a record in the week ended November 9, according to government data. "Oil market had a lot of noise thrown at it overnight, IEA notwithstanding, but still bounced back, suggesting details of December 6 meeting should provide a stable platform for prices over the near term".

Despite today's sharp downward trend, some analysts think that prices are set to regain ground over the next month, based on the trends from past such oil price slumps.

While Saudi Arabia has said producers may have to cut output by 1 million barrels a day, Novak wants them to "make a balanced decision, and so far there are no criteria for it".

Other oil-market news: A group of oil companies including Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell Plc pledged more than $100 million to support private investment in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico as the region struggles with the effects of a boom in production.

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