Saudi Arabia Calls for Oil Producers to Extend Cooperation


World oil prices fell on Friday on the data on the growth of oil production and gasoline reserves in the U.S.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), in its monthly report, said that global oil stocks have tightened substantially, aided by OPEC cuts, demand growth and Venezuelan production hitting near 30-year lows.

Brent crude for March, the global oil benchmark, gave up 70 cents, or 1%, to $68.61 a barrel on London's ICE Futures exchange.

Kuwait's oil minister Bakheet al-Rashidi said any discussion among producers on the future of the agreement on supply cuts would not occur on Sunday, but was expected to happen at a meeting in June.

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This, energy analysts, believed would see prices rise further in 2018 but the low costs have also been a boost for USA crude oil producers. Some did fold or put production on hold but recent highs mean that shale companies are going back online. With the extension of the OPEC production cuts until the end of this year, the market anticipates a further rise in the USA output in the coming months.

The new forecast by the IEA, which advises large industrialized nations on energy policy, has significantly slashed the time it would take for Saudi to be replaced by a major competitor as the world's largest oil producer.

It's too early in 2018 to discuss stabilization for oil prices, which are down 2 percent from their peak, but up 3.5 percent so far, a Russian official said.

Referring to the December report, analysts of the organization reviewed up the global oil demand of 2017 with nearly 50 thousand barrels a day more. Production of the fuel averaged 9.7 million bpd last week, up from 9.5 million bpd in the week to January 5. The "probability is growing" that the accord may conclude before the end of the year, said Harry Tchilinguirian, BNP Paribas SA's head of commodity strategy.

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Increases in USA oil output are likely to form 80 percent of production worldwide by 2025, which will be equivalent to a boost in demand. With Brent, the increase is 25% to 69.35 United States dollars per barrel. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged about 9.1 million barrels per day, up by 6.2% from the same period a year ago.

Total output rose by 42,000 bpd to 32.42 million bpd, led by a gain in Nigeria which along with Libya was exempted from the supply cut because unrest had curbed their production.

The decline in Opec production and resultant price recovery is a boon for the shale oil producers.

Commercial stockpiles in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries declined for the fourth consecutive month in November, by 17.9 million barrels. "Production was steady on a year ago as non-OPEC gains of almost 1 mb/d offset declines in OPEC".

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