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Oil Heads for Weekly Loss on Signs of Adequate Global Supplies


By Elizabeth Low and Grant Smith

(Bloomberg) Oil headed for a weekly decline as rising U.S. crude inventories and new production elsewhere signaled that global markets will remain comfortably supplied.Futures were little changed below $57 a barrel in New York, bringing the loss this week to 1%. U.S. government data showed stockpiles expanded by 2.22 million barrels last week as production rose to a record, while the International Energy Agency said fresh supplies from America and beyond will continue to “calm” world markets in 2020. OPEC gave further signals it won’t step up efforts to support prices.

OPEC Braces for an Oil Surplus

Oil is down 15% since an April peak as the spat between Beijing and Washington over trade dents demand and global inventories swell. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has indicated it won’t cut output deeper to stave off the impending surplus and predicts worldwide supplies will exceed demand by about 645,000 barrels a day in the first half of next year.

“There is still one fact that continues to cast a bearish shadow over the oil market: non-OPEC supply growth will outstrip the expansion in global oil demand next year,” said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd. in London.

West Texas Intermediate for December delivery slipped 10 cents to $56.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 7:55 a.m. local time. The contract slid 35 cents to $56.77 on Thursday.

Brent for January settlement dropped 34 cents, or 0.6%, to $61.94 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange. The contract is down 0.9% this week. The global benchmark crude traded at a $5.19 premium to WTI for the same month.

U.S. crude output increased by 200,000 barrels a day to 12.8 million a day last week, according to the Energy Information Administration. While nationwide crude inventories rose, stockpiles at the key storage hub of Cushing declined for the first time in six weeks.

Other oil-market news
  • Oil refiners in the world’s top crude-importing region are paying a huge premium for Middle Eastern grades as the startup of new Chinese plants lifts demand.
  • Legendary oil trader Andy Hall is predicting the biggest shift yet in the global crude market: the end of demand growth. Consumption will ease because of technology, electric cars and renewable energy, he said at an industry event in New York.
  • Italy’s Saipem SpA is considering a combination with rival Subsea 7 SA in what could rank as one of the European oil-services industry’s biggest-ever deals, people with knowledge of the matter said.


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