Oil slips further below US$80/barrel on talk Opec may lift output

Posted May 27, 2018

Higher oil prices are doubly helpful for Canadian producers, because they are priced in US dollars, while Canadian companies book most of their expenses in Canadian dollars.

"This discussion about possible OPEC supply increases after the June meeting has put a brake on the oil price for the time being, so $80 is a big hurdle to overcome", Commerzbank strategist Carsten Fritsch said.

Global benchmark Brent futures were down 27 cents, or 0.34 percent, at $79.53 per barrel at 0300 GMT. The price of a barrel of Brent crude was down by more than 1.6 per cent to $78.22 at one point yesterday.

Crude oil exports fell last week and refinery utilization rose ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

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Brent prices have topped $80 per barrel for the first time since 2014 and the outages in Venezuela, Angola, Nigeria and potentially Iran are sending jitters throughout the oil market.

Schumer and other democrats have sent a letter to Rick Perry, Trump's energy secretary, urging him to raise the issue when OPEC meets in Vienna on June 22. Traders also pointed to deals on the U.S. swap data repository as indicative of an heightened consumer activity.

Petrol and diesel have surged on the back of rallying worldwide markets for crude oil, amid ongoing production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The API reported a build in gasoline inventories for week ending May 18 in the amount of 980,000 barrels-in contrast to the 1.388-million-barrel draw that analysts had expected. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell US$1.13 to settle at US$70.71 a barrel, a 1.57 per cent loss. Output in the South American nation fell to just 1.43 million barrels per day in April, down almost 700,000 bpd from 2016 levels.

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In the meantime, Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia could potentially ease their own oil production caps in an effort to keep prices under control. Crude oil futures as far as five years forward have been surging in price in recent weeks.

"With the higher fuel price, we would expect some people to trim back fourth-quarter capacity and we'll be looking to do the same", Willie Walsh, the CEO of British Airways owner IAG SA, said on the company's 4 May earnings call.

Saudi Arabia and other major OPEC producers could in theory add more supply, but have yet to do so.

Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts had forecast a 1.7 million-barrel drop in crude oil stockpiles and a 620,000 barrel decline in gasoline stockpiles.

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