Opec Likely to Extend Supply Cuts to Rebalance Market

Speaking yesterday at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition Conference (ADIPEC), al-Mazroui said his prediction was that OPEC would continue to do what it would take to rebalance the market. The largest Arab oil producer outside of Opec expects crude to stay above US$60 a barrel and sees stable prices next year, Al Rumhy said in an interview.

OPEC forecast higher demand for its oil in 2018 and said its production-cutting deal with rival producers was reducing excess oil in storage, pointing to an even tighter global market next year.

On whether Oman will continue to be a member of compliance committee to oversee output cuts, H E Rumhi said, "The agreement that we signed will end in November but was recently extended till March 2018".

The cartel is said to be leaning toward a nine-month extension of the cuts to the end of 2018, and the market is already pricing this in to some extent, but in recent weeks there has been speculation as to whether the cartel and its allies will decide and communicate a firm decision for extension at the meeting at the end of this month.

The level of inventories held by industrialized above the five-year average "has fallen by more than 50 per cent in 2017, with inventories now at around 160 million barrels", consultancy Timera Energy said.

Some non-OPEC members allied with OPEC in the oil production cuts could become official members of the cartel in the future, the UAE's Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said on Tuesday.

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Opec raised estimates for the amount of crude it will need to pump to meet demand next year by 400,000 barrels a day to 33.4 million a day, according to a monthly report yesterday from the group.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for December delivery fell 0.05% to $56.73 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, edged up 0.03% to $63.16 a barrel.

Additionally, traders said it was unclear whether a strong natural disaster that hit Iran and Iraq on Sunday had affected the region's oil production.

Oil prices held steady in a tight range Monday after briefly testing lower, with support from Middle East tensions and record long bets by fund managers balanced by rising USA production.

Bahrain said Iran was behind an explosion in its main oil pipeline. Stockpiles have declined by more than 180 million barrels this year alone, Barkindo said.

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