Oil collapses to $45

Oil collapses to $45

Oil prices fell to fresh five-month lows on Friday on concerns about a persistent glut despite assurances from Saudi Arabia that Russian Federation was ready to join OPEC in extending supply cuts.

USA crude fell $2.05 or 4.3 percent to $45.77, by 12:08 p.m. (1608 GMT) Brent was down $2.07, or 4.1 percent to $48.71.

Crude is now back to levels last seen before the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers said they would cut output by nearly 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of the year in a bid to tighten the market.

OPEC and other countries that agreed to cut crude production are converging on the need to extend the pact beyond June to help to clear a supply glut, Saudi Arabia's OPEC governor said on Friday.

A glut of crude oil on the market helped push crude oil prices to historic lows a year ago, but the modest recovery has led to plans of expansion for major oil companies. USA crude output rose to 9.29 million barrels a day last week, the highest level since August 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration. The February exports of US crude oil surged to a record of 1.1 million barrels a day.

Weekly US government data on Wednesday showed crude stocks fell 930,000 barrels, less than half the 2.3 million barrel drop analysts had expected.

LME nickel dropped to a 10-month low after lawmakers in the Philippines rejected the appointment of a new Environment Secretary (who is an activist and wants to limit nickel production).

USA data showed crude stocks USOILC=ECI fell 930,000 barrels in the week to April 28, while analysts had been expecting a drop of 2.3 million barrels.

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The speculator group cut its combined futures and options position in NY and London by 60,882 contracts to 224,058 during the week to May 2, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed.

Other analysts agreed the steep price falls would likely force Opec members to extend production cuts later this month, but they said the prospect of deeper cuts appeared slim.

Goldman is referencing the current and future relationship between near-term and the long-term price of oil.

Some of the struggles of oil and the energy sector this year can be pinned on investors' concerns regarding the ability of major oil-producing nations, including the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), to effectively reduce production.

USA production "could go pretty high", Hamm said in March at the CERAWeek by IHS Markit conference in Houston, one of the largest gatherings of oil executives in the world.

OPEC is due to meet May 25 in Vienna to decide whether to continue with the production cut.

Further dampening sentiment are weaker Chinese purchasing managers' index numbers, and data showing that USA economic growth slowed to an annual rate of just 0.7 per cent in the first quarter - the slowest in three years.

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