Minister: Iraq to boost crude oil production by year's end

Pic Reuters

WTI crude oil prices were down by 1 cent to $50.23 per barrel. But the market is losing faith.

Libya's crude production has dropped to about 500,000 bpd, the lowest since September, as exports from the nation's second-largest terminal at Zawiya were disrupted. Iraq's oil production has averaged 4.464 million barrels per day (bpd) so far in March, a reduction of more than 300,000 bpd on levels before OPEC cuts were implemented from January 1, state-oil marketer SOMO said on Thursday. The first quarter was the strongest for rig additions since the middle of 2011. According to a statement from the ministry, Luaibi said the overhauls would allow for an "unprecedented increase of oil production". On the other hand, it should be noted that Saudis hold a different situation among all OPEC members because they pay high production costs and suffered the most damage from at the time of high oil prices.

This latest market update confirms that trend.

Oil futures moved higher Monday as upbeat sentiment about economic prospects in Asia and Europe outweighed concerns a higher USA rig count stoked worries about global oversupply, although a stronger dollar pressured prices. Traders are also waiting for data from the US non-farm payroll report which will be out this coming Friday, before jumping back into the markets. "The reduction in cash from operations for these 44 companies totaled $475m year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2016". "The faster it comes back, the effects in terms of price are less lasting". Maduro added: "We have developed, together with Saudi Arabia, a very intense working relationship for the historic agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC countries". So, the number of active oil rigs and oil production are related. "Financial hedging for producers reduces the effect of a fall in revenue if prices were to decline".

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Earlier Baker Hughes indicated that United States oil drillers added rigs for an 11th consecutive week that created further pressure on the oil prices. However, due to improvement in prices following the deal, the average prices so far this year have been trading above US$50 per barrel.

At the heart of the bloated USA market is rising production.

Schop explains some of the underlying dynamics of the oil market that continues to undermine any significant hike in prices in the near term.

Oil futures came under renewed pressure on Monday (4 April) on news of a rebound in production in war-torn Libya, which countered market chatter in favour of Opec extending its production cut by another six months from June.

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