Oil Climbs as OPEC Tightening Dovetails With US Supply Drop

(Bloomberg) -- Crude rose as lower OPEC production and signs of shrinking U.S. oil inventories bolstered expectations for an end to the global surplus.

Futures gained 0.3 percent Tuesday in New York. Output by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries last month slid to the lowest in half a year, evidence the cartel is succeeding in reducing a glut. Oil stockpiles in the U.S. probably declined for a third week, according to a survey of analysts before the release of government data on Wednesday.

OPEC members “continue to abide by their cuts,” Gene McGillian, a market research manager at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut, said by telephone. “Signs that U.S. inventory levels continue to come down and demand stays strong will probably get the market to restart its rally.”

Oil has advanced the last three months as OPEC and allied producers curbed output and last week pledged to extend supply limits through all of 2018 to whittle down global inventory levels. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecasts oil prices will retain strength at least through next year. Bank of America Merrill Lynch sees Brent crude rising to $70 a barrel by the middle of 2018.

“Our forecast is that, as expected, if you extend the production-cut agreement through the end of 2018, that surplus will basically erode away, which will be a good thing for oil prices in the long-term,” Rob Thummel, managing director at Tortoise Capital Advisors LLC, which handles $16 billion in energy-related assets, said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

West Texas Intermediate for January delivery increased 15 cents to settle at $57.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Total volume traded was about 31 percent below the 100-day average.

Brent for February settlement added 41 cents to end the session at $62.86 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.19 to February WTI.

Goldman increased its 2018 Brent estimate to $62 a barrel, from $58, and its WTI forecast to $57.50, from $55.

U.S. crude stockpiles probably declined by 2.5 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before an Energy Information Administration report on Wednesday. Inventories at the key pipeline hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, probably slid by 2.4 million barrels, a separate forecast compiled by Bloomberg showed.

The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute’s report is scheduled to release its stockpile data on Tuesday.

Market news:

Saudi Arabia raised pricing for January sales of all crude grades to Asia, days after OPEC members agreed to extend production cuts through 2018. Libya plans to keep crude production stable at about 1 million barrels a day, in line with the OPEC-led accord, according to a person familiar who asked not to be identified because information isn’t public. U.S. crude exports rose to a record 1.73 million barrels a day in October, according to Bloomberg calculations from the U.S. Census Bureau data. Venezuela is planning to load 1.34 million barrels a day of crude this month, according to a preliminary loading program obtained by Bloomberg.

With assistance from Ben Sharples and Grant Smith.To contact the reporter on this story: Jessica Summers in New York at jsummers24@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net Carlos Caminada, Stephen Cunningham.


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