Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Money | By Charlene Sutton

Will US shale producers contribute to OPEC's production cuts?

Will US shale producers contribute to OPEC's production cuts?

With West Texas Intermediate, the USA benchmark for the price of oil, trading at a significant discount to most other rival grades, industry analysts said it's likely that more, not less, US crude oil will wind up on the global market.

Bloomberg recently reported that Aramco would cut 560,000 barrels a day in its allocations to customers next month, quoting the Saudi Energy Ministry in a statement.

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In a monthly report, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said the market could find support in winter from low distillate fuel stocks and forecasts of colder weather, which would boost distillates demand for heating.

Federal U.S. data show total domestic crude oil production for the week ending September 29 at 9.5 million barrels per day, up more than 1 million barrels per day from the same period past year. It said that Aramco planned to supply 7.15 million barrels a day, "despite a very strong demand", which exceeds 7.7 million barrels a day. The deal is working, keeping oil prices within "a reasonable range", the RIA news agency cited Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as saying. Long term, U.S. oil output could be set for a last spike in 2018 before growth flattens for a number of years as rising costs make a big chunk of production uneconomic, the head of top oil trader Vitol, Ian Taylor, told Reuters. Over the past five months, OECD commercial stocks have dropped by 130 million barrels, OPEC's Barkindo said in his speech, but noted that there was still a 171-million-barrel overhang in August.

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"I think the market is able to absorb that 2 million bpd of US exports easily", Glencore's head of oil trading Alex Beard told the Reuters Global Commodities Summit. The U.S. Department of Energy reports official data on Thursday. United States crude inventories probably fell for a third straight week, while refined product stockpiles also likely declined, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Tuesday. Some analysts have been concerned that a price recovery could tempt producers to open the taps again.

Increasing demand for oil will be matched by added supplies, but Opec's forecasts for the balance of supply and demand foresee a greater reliance on the cartel's output.

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