Oil rises on United Kingdom pipeline outage but U.S. supply caps gains

20 December, 2017, 01:31 | Author: Barbara Daniel

Oil markets edged up on Tuesday as the Forties pipeline outage in the North Sea and voluntary production restraint led by OPEC supported prices, although soaring output in the United States put a cap on gains. Shale production will rise to a record in January, according to a government forecast published on Monday, as higher prices encourage companies to pump more.

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The 450,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) link that provides some of the physical crude underpinning Brent has been shut since December 11, forcing Ineos to declare force majeure on all oil and gas shipments from it last week.

Brent crude LCOc1, the global benchmark, was up 13 cents or 0.2 percent to $63.54 a barrel at 11:45 a.m. (1645 GMT) U.S. crude CLc1 gained 25 cents or 0.4 percent to $57.41.

Oil prices settled higher Tuesday as investors awaited official data on USA crude stockpiles.

"This should ensure buying pressures remain at the fore of the Brent structure until the turn of the year at the very least", said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

This has undermined market-balancing efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and a group of non-OPEC producers, including Russian Federation, to withhold production. "With OPEC's decision to extend cuts, we expect that OECD inventories will reach the 5-year trailing average (2.83 billion barrels) by 3Q18 and long-term average (2.7 billion barrels) by year-end 2018", Bernstein added.

The cuts have trimmed global oil inventories, and the latest weekly supply reports are expected to show a further reduction. USA production has soared 16 percent since mid-2016 to 9.8 million bpd, approaching the output of top producers Saudi Arabia's 10 million bpd and Russia's 11 million bpd. USA shale output in January is forecast to increase by 94,000 barrels per day to 6.41 million bpd, according to the EIA's monthly drilling productivity report published Monday.



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