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Brent passes $58 per barrel as traders eye OPEC cuts

Brent passes $58 per barrel as traders eye OPEC cuts

The agreement in Vienna concluded with OPEC nations and independent producers of crude oil agreeing on a combined output cut of almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) beginning this month, in order to control the global supply glut that brought prices to a 15-year low.

Prices have been buoyed by hopes that a deal between OPEC and other big oil exporters to cut production will drain a global supply glut.

Looking forward, oil prices should gradually rise towards $60 a barrel by end-2017, a Reuters survey found, but gains will be capped by a strong dollar, more US oil exports and the possibility that some OPEC members won't meet their agreed cuts.

The phrase 'hell for leather' first appeared in the Rudyard Kipling story, 'The Valley of the Shadow", relating to riding on horseback, and defined as "breakneck speed, or with reckless determination'. OPEC members promised to abide on a voluntary basis by the production ceiling of 32.5 million barrels per day, which was preliminary agreed in Algiers in September.

"Given that higher oil prices have enabled this loosening of the purse strings, we see the 2017 budget as another sign of the Kingdom's commitment to complying with the OPEC output ceiling this year", Croft wrote.

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The Brent benchmark rose from around $57 per barrel to over $58 per barrel in early Tuesday's trading, reaching the highest level since July 2015.

"If 2016 was the year of words, 2017 must be the year of actions", said Tamas Varga, senior oil analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates. Oman's Ministry of Oil and Gas has pledged a production cut of 45,000 bpd.

This followed anticipations anchored on a possible deal between members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members, which could lead to cut in production.

Fund managers accumulated a net long position equivalent to 796 million barrels in the three main futures and options contracts linked to Brent and West Texas Intermediate by December 13. Various investors have also started going bullish on oil as the prices for oil futures depicted a rise in the last few sessions.

The global nature of the oil market means that refiners often source crude depending on prices of individual grades. So, instead of tinkering with production quotas, Bradshaw said, "They (oil producing countries) should also be promoting greater energy efficiency and renewable energy in their domestic economies to preserve their exportable surplus as some will struggle otherwise due to rapidly increasing domestic demand".


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