Crude Oil Price Eyes China Slowdown, IMF Growth Outlook Update

Lease Operator Jon Pearson checks well pressure on a lease owned by Parsley Energy in the Permian Basin near Midland

Sub-US$100 oil prices have reduced returns from New Zealand's oil and gas sector, but crude and petroleum exports still brought in $1.06 billion in the year through November, 36 per cent more than a year earlier, according to Statistics NZ.

In response to the drop in price in the second half of last year, OPEC and non-members plan to cut production by a joint 1.2 million bpd this year.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday as market sentiment was lifted by news that China might roll out further fiscal stimulus measures.

THE price of crude oil has recorded further spike opening the week yesterday at $62.90 per barrel, a 20 cent mark-up on last weekend's closing price of $62.90.

Saudi Arabia slashed its crude shipments to refiners in the 32% to 684,000 bpd in the week ended January 11, after exporting more than 1 MMbpd the previous week, according to preliminary data from the EIA.

The pullback in drilling "is not expected to significantly slow down USA crude production growth", analysts at consultants JBC Energy GmbH in Vienna said in a report.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries issued a list of oil production cuts by its members and other major producers for six months starting on January 1 to boost confidence in its oil supply reduction pact. Strengthening confidence in OPEC and its allies' ability to do whatever it takes to keep the markets balanced, and in a de-escalation of the trade war between China and the United States, rendered support to fuel indexes as well.

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The WTI Crude Oil market has shown a proclivity to go higher during the trading session on Friday, as we press the vital $55 level.

EIA expects US regular retail gasoline prices to follow changes to the cost of crude oil, dipping from an average of $2.73/gallon in 2018 to $2.47/gallon in 2019, before rising to $2.62/gallon in 2020.

In the week to November 30, 2018, the USA exported more crude oil and petroleum products than it imported for the first time in weekly data going back to 1991, the EIA has estimated.

Also, the United States oil output could slowdown in the near future.

The group said the impact of higher oil prices in 2018 was "fading", which should help to offset cooling economic growth over the coming months.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported mid-continent refining utilization capacity averaging around 93 percent in 2018, when US refiners basically profited from the widening WTI/WCS spread.

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