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Crude Oil WTI Apr '13 (CLJ13)

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cmdty Insider - Crude Oil WTI Market Commentary

Dec WTI crude oil (CLZ18) on Friday closed unchanged and Jan Brent crude (CBF19) closed up +$0.46 (+0.69%). Dec RBOB gasoline (RBZ18) closed up +2.04 cents a gallon (+1.31%). A slide in the dollar index Friday to a 1-week low was a positive factor for the energy complex. Also, confidence that OPEC+ will cut production to avert a global oil glut next year led to pre-weekend short covering after this week's rout took crude prices down to a 1-year low. Finally, geopolitical risks are on the rise after the U.S. on Thursday imposed sanctions against 17 Saudi officials over the death of U.S.-based journalist Khashoggi. Dec WTI crude oil prices gave up its gains and settled unchanged Friday after data from Baker Hughes showed active U.S. oil rigs rose by +2 rigs in the week ended Friday to a 3-1/2 year high of 888 rigs. Crude prices are still being undercut by Thursday's weekly EIA report, which showed that U.S. crude oil inventories surged by +10.27 million bbl to an 11-month high and that U.S. crude production in the week of Nov 9 rose +0.9% w/w to a new all-time high of 11.7 million bpd. U.S. crude oil inventories are currently 5.1% above the 5-year seasonal average, the highest such level since February.Big Picture Crude Oil Market Factors: Bullish factors include (1) the reinstatement of full U.S. sanctions on Iran as of Nov 5, although the U.S. gave waivers to 8 countries for up to 1.25 mln bpd of Iranian exports, (2) reduced global oil inventories due to the OPEC+ agreement that began in Jan 2017 to cut production by 1.8 million bpd (1.2 million for OPEC members), and (3) the 50% drop in Venezuelan production seen since 2016. Bearish factors include (1) the OPEC+ move on June 22 to boost production by up to 1 mln bpd to address over-compliance with its production cut agreement, (2) doubts about whether OPEC+ will adopt a large enough production cut agreement for 2019 to offset the expected global oil surplus, and (3) the surge in U.S. oil production to a record high of 11.7 million bpd.
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