Sharjah today

Oil price rally likely short-lived as OPEC deal not enough to reduce glut

  • Thursday 01, December 2016 in 5:09 PM
  • An employee of Cosmo Energy Holdings' Cosmo Oil service station checks its nozzles at a branch in Tokyo
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: The oil price rally sparked by an OPEC-Russia deal to cut output is likely to be short-lived, say traders in Asia, because the agreement may only draw more supplies from storage tanks and more crude shipments from the United States.
And even without increased supplies from elsewhere, if the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia do reduce production by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) as pledged, the cuts would not be deep enough to shrink a glut that began to build in mid-2014, traders said.
 
"The cut by OPEC will be largely offset by increases in U.S. production where the rig count has already increased," said India Oil Corp's Director of Finance A K Sharma.
 
"So surplus (oil) will stay in the market. If there is any impact, it will be short term."
 
Higher oil prices and lower production costs are encouraging U.S. shale operators to increase output, while Kazakhstan started production at the Kashagan field in October. 
 
Traders said the extent of the impact of the output deal will also depend on how it affects exports from Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members.
 
Cuts in export supply from producers could come from changes in operational tolerance, a contractual clause that allows either the buyer or seller to increase or reduce volumes by up to 10 percent, trade sources said.
 
The OPEC deal "will provide some price momentum but it cannot be compared with the cut seen back in 2008," a Singapore-based trader said, referring to the last OPEC production cut at 4.2 million bpd.
 
Production cuts early in the year are also a normal response to a low-demand season in February and March when Asian refiners typically shut for maintenance, he said.