Hints to an increase in Saudi oil output outweigh Opec's recent upward revision to global demand outlook.
New York/USA — According to Reuters, U.S. crude fell to its lowest level since Nov. 29, the day before the Saudi kingdom led the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to cut supplies. The news agency reported that Brent settled down 43 cents (€ 0,40) , or 0.8 %, at $ 50.92 (€ 47.91) — its lowest since Nov. 30.
Reuters quotes secondary sources as saying that Saudi output fell in February to 9.797 million barrels per day (bpd), but Riyadh told Opec it rose to 10.011 million bpd. The Saudi energy ministry commented that "difference between what the market observes as production, and the actual supply levels in any given month, is due to operational factors that are influenced by storage adjustments and other month to month variables."
Opec's monthly report said oil stocks in industrialized nations rose in January to 278 million barrels above the five-year average, with U.S. shale and other non-Opec supply gaining. This week's data is expected to show another rise in U.S. inventories after last week's bigger-than-expected increase. U.S. drilling has gained momentum because oil producers intend to expand the production crude oil in North Dakota, Oklahoma and other shale regions. The Permian, America's largest oilfield, has seen output jump.