Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Oil Prices Tumble to Five-Year Low as OPEC Gathers in Vienna

Oil

Oil Prices Collapses to Lowest Level in Five Years


As OPEC leaders meet in Vienna to set the prices for the year ahead, oil prices have collapsed to the lowest level in five years. After the US stockpiles flowed in November, Brent crude for January delivery dropped by 3.7% to $42.77 per barrel in London. US Energy Information Administration shocked the market, which had hoped the level of oil to drop during winter, by reporting that the glut of oil in America had increased by 1.2m barrels till November 27 to reach 489.4m barrels thus approached its highest level on record.

In the meanwhile, weak inflation report from Eurozone raised the possibility of the European Central Bank launching a new round of motivation sending the dollar to its highest level over 12 years. Besides this it also weighed on the oil price as the greenback is utilised to price the product.

The oversupply of crude oil due to its strong production from the U.S. together with some of the OPEC members, has been keeping the prices over 45% less than their highs from last June. Several of the investors as well as the analysts are of the belief that the global oil surplus would shrink in the coming months as demand increases and U.S. production falls in reaction to spending cuts.

Output Level Crossed its Quota of 30M Barrel/Day


In the meanwhile, market watchers are of the opinion that world-wide crude output tends to continue exceeding the consumption. The July delivery of light sweet oil, recently feel by $1.64 to $58 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The global benchmark Brent fell $1.77 to $62.03 per barrel on ICE Future Europe.

 In its last meeting, OPEC which had opted against reducing production inspite of plunging oil prices is expected to stick to that policy. The group’s output level had already crossed it quota of 30 million barrels per day. According to government reports, the output is near multi-decade in Iraq, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Additional Iranian crude would probably enter the market this year, if on-going negotiations with Iran would result in a lifting of sanctions.

Senior market strategist at Chicago brokerage iiTrader, Bill Baruch has stated that `Russia’s picking up production, the U.S. is picking up and there seems to be no reason why OPEC would hold back from picking up production. We could see prices below $50 by the end of this month’.

Shale-Oil Production to Rise in the Coming Years


The Chief Executive of ConocoPhillips, Ryan Lance had mentioned in a conference ahead of the OPEC meeting that U.S. shale-oil production would rise in the forthcoming years as drilling would get cheaper and more efficient. He stated that the industry had already cut the price wherein it could profitably produce shale oil by 15% on an average and by 2020; shale oil production could become 15%-20% more efficient.

In the U.S., some of the shale-oil producers state that if prices tend to stabilize above $60 a barrel, they could increase the production. Several times recently, the U.S. benchmark had traded above $60 a barrel though had not held above it. John Saucer, vice president of research and analysis at Mobius Risk Group in Houston, had stated that the `OPEC was successful in shaking out high cost inefficient guys who did not make any cash at $100 and those left were certainly leaner, meaner and more efficient’.

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