Oil prices turned down on Tuesday against fears of rising U.S. production

Saxo Bank's Hansen on Oil Prices U.S. Shale

Saxo Bank's Hansen on Oil Prices U.S. Shale

"The market did attempt a late day rally but because it's the end of the month, a lot of hedge funds chose to try and take some profits", said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group.

The API report also reported that gasoline supplies rose by 1.91 million barrels, a fourth straight increase if EIA data confirms it.

For the record, al-Falih foresees a monitoring mechanism not too far removed from the one that now governs the OPEC cuts: "What we want is an evergreen framework that brings producers from OPEC and non-OPEC (countries) together in a market monitoring fashion that allows us to take quick decisions".

USA exports, however, really began to pick up previous year.

"We've got a lot more oil to produce and we'll be through that 11 million barrel-per-day threshold much sooner than expected", said Streible. As a effect, Brent and WTI gained around 7% over two weeks.

"The recent rise in global benchmark prices has not been matched by higher prices for Western Canadian producers".

"We're not so much anxious about inventories, but trying to see how USA domestic production and rig count numbers are coming to week by week", David Lennox, a commodities analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, said by phone. USA inventories have fallen almost a quarter over the last 12 months, or about 100 million barrels - the lowest in three years. Not only does LOOP mean that more volume can be moved, but using larger but fewer tankers could also cut transit costs, adding to the appeal of American crude.

Crude rose for a second week as USA supplies drain and a key Libya oil field was shut.

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Oil prices strengthened after Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih said over the weekend that the country's oil production in January-March would be well below output caps, with exports averaging below 7 million barrels per day (bpd).

Mazrouei warned, however, that with the balance returning to the oil market and demand picking up, the energy sector would require hefty investment in the near future - not only by the oil-rich Gulf states, but also worldwide oil companies.

The prices of oil remained sturdy for three consecutive weeks in Saudi Arabia.

NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Oil fell on Tuesday as a firmer dollar encouraged investors to take profits from a two-week rally ahead of weekly data that analysts have forecast will show a build in USA crude inventories. "For one thing, less crude oil is being transported from Canada to Cushing due to the restricted capacity of the Keystone pipeline".

"The standoff "shale versus sheikh" continues to frame the oil market, with the former again gaining the upper hand", said Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity research at Julius Baer.

Prices for front-month contracts between Brent and WTI has shrunk to less than $4 per barrel, and the spread between spot prices recently dipped below $3 per barrel, the lowest since Hurricane Harvey. It is a sort of self-limiting phenomenon: the wide price differential led to a surge in exports, which helped eliminate the huge price difference, which in turn could put a ceiling on exports.

Most of the drawdown has come from the liquidation of bullish long positions rather than the establishment of new bearish short ones and it has been proportionately greater in fuels rather than crude.

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