Nigerian oil steady despite emerging market woes, dim demand outlook

Saudi Arabia reins in oil production as demand forecasts waver

Saudi Arabia reins in oil production as demand forecasts waver

Iran is OPEC's third-largest oil producer - behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq - and now pumps around 3.65 million barrels per day, according to Reuters data.

Thus, Kuwait has increased production by 78,500 to 2.8 million barrels per day, Nigeria - by 70,500, to 1.67 million barrels per day, the UAE - by 69,200, to 2.96 million barrels per day. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 1.6 million barrels, the API said.

Chinese oil importers now appear to be shying away from buying US crude oil as they fear Beijing may decide to add the commodity to its tariff list.

However, any market tightness will ease in 2019, according to OPEC forecasts, as growth in non-OPEC supplies will outpace the projected increase in global demand, bringing demand for OPEC crude back down to 32.05 million b/d for the year.

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Official U.S. fuel inventory data is due to be published later on Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration. "They're about 21 million barrels compared to numbers that are closer to 55 or 65 million barrels in the last couple of years, so you could have a squeeze between now and when the September WTI contract expires".

"Our view is that by November 4, we will have lost between 1.3 and 1.4 million barrels (of output) a day". Meanwhile, OPEC raised production in July and stockpiles at the key Cushing, Oklahoma supply hub in the USA are seen rising. Midwest cracking margins for Bakken have topped $16.00/b so far in August. This is the second consecutive week that crude oil prices have declined.

"If you look at pure economic figures, the impact of the tariff disputes is still quite small, perhaps 0.5 percent of GDP growth".

United States crude exports also rose, up 707,000 b/d to 1.85 million b/d the week ending August 3. The global benchmark crude traded at a US$5.78 premium to WTI for the same month.

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China has not been importing US crude lately because of the US-China trade war.

In the latest round of levies, China said it would impose additional tariffs of 25 per cent on $16 billion worth of US imports.

While the US oil industry is experiencing a boom with the expansion of hydraulic fracturing techniques, energy drillers and fracking-related ETFs may slow down ahead with rising costs eating away at profits.

Northwest European refining margins are strong, and United States crudes are competitive. Despite the USA rig count being at a high for this year, the "production level has stalled and that raises questions on whether or not there's capacity for the increase production further, which is why we're seeing firmer markets".

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