Oil extends nosedive as U.S. supplies surge, Iran fears subside

Crude Oil

Crude Oil

Brent has fallen by over 12 percent since the beginning of October, while WTI has lost more than 13 percent in value.

China's imports of Iranian crude tumbled 41.6 percent in September from a year earlier to 458,000 bpd, according to oil flow data on Refinitiv Eikon. EIA forecasts that USA crude oil production will increase by 1.0 million b/d in 2019.

"Oil prices look to remain under pressure, as fears of global oversupply have returned with a vengeance", said Ashley Kelty, oil and gas research analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald Europe.

Total gasoline inventories decreased by 3.2 million barrels during the week ending October 26, and USA crude oil inventories rose by 3.2 million barrels, according to the EIA's weekly report. Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have said they will pump enough to meet demand once USA sanctions are imposed.

All this is happening a few days before Iran is expected to cease oil exports.

"We still expect that the global oil market will be in deficit in 4Q18", the USA bank said. Namely, US production levels. EIA also forecast that total global liquid fuels inventories to decrease by 200,000 barrels per day in 2018, followed by an increase of 280,000 barrels per day in 2019.

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New data released on Wednesday from the US Energy Information Administration showed a drop in USA fuel stockpiles, as crude oil inventories rose.

Crude oil futures fell Rs 87 to Rs 4,805 per barrel on Thursday as speculators offloaded bets amid a weak trend overseas. Continuing trade tensions between the US and China are raising concerns slower economic growth will slow the demand for oil. Natural gas volumes decreased four percent "largely due to a continuing near-term shift in USA unconventional development from dry gas to liquids", ExxonMobil said. "The second one is global economic growth momentum slowing down", IEA chief Fatih Birol told an energy conference in Singapore. WTI picked up 0.26 dollar to settle at 67.59 dollars a barrel.

A Reuters survey on Wednesday showed the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries raised oil production last month to its highest since 2016, led with gains by the United Arab Emirates and Libya.

There's little doubt that much of the oil market's problems this month are tied to the broader sell-off in equities, which has seen investors shed risk assets like crude futures.

Monthly crude oil production in several USA states reached a record high.

There are also signs of a slowdown in global trade, with container and bulk freight rates dropping after rising for most of 2018, according to reports.

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