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Oil Advances as Trump and Saudi King Discuss Market Stability

03 October 2018

Fund managers have raised their net in Brent by 172 million barrels since August 21 compared with an increase of just 5 million in WTI.

Light, sweet crude for November delivery ended seven cents, or 0.09%, lower at $75.23 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, marking the second-highest closing value of the year.

"So $100 a barrel has become more likely, whether we get there or not, it might be a little early to say", he added. The market was expecting a production increase decision from OPEC as the current export levels of Iran were about 35 percent below as compared with its oil export in April.

According to OPEC, the crude oil market is well supplied now and there is not any need for further production increase.

Crude prices on Thursday saw gains as a US official reportedly said there are no plans to release oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, despite some speculation that the government would use the emergency reserve to cap further price gains.

Bijan Zanganeh said in an interview on state television that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries lacked the capacity to produce more oil to make up for the drop in Iranian sales.

Brent crude, against which Nigeria's oil is priced, increased by $1.59 to $84.32 per barrel as of 6:30pm Nigerian time, while US West Texas Intermediate rose by $1.67 to $74.92 per barrel. Still, oil majors like BP Plc and Total SA cautioned that such a rally may not be sustainable as escalating trade tensions between the USA and China may weaken demand.

Managing director at an investment services firm Brian Kessens stated that the group of believers that $100 oil could be hit keeps expanding, with spare capacity concerns continuing to grow. WTI has risen around 18% since mid-August.

Oil prices have historically declined in the last three months of the year as refinery maintenance season feeds concerns over demand for crude, but this fourth-quarter period may prove to be the exception to the norm. "If we are together able to bring an inventory reduction that much quantity will be reduced from our foreign exchange dependence and also to that extent it impacts oil demand". The price differential between WTI and Brent contracts widened and hit 9.47 dollars on Friday. As a result, more US crude oil would be shipped to Asian market.

"We forecast well over 1 million bpd in global surpluses next year. even that may be too small, as emerging market currency collapses may harken a big emerging market growth slowdown next year", said Rapidan Group president Bob McNally.

Oil Advances as Trump and Saudi King Discuss Market Stability