Oil Set for Worst Month in 2 Yrs.

Saturday, 03 Nov, 2018

Oil prices fell on Tuesday, depressed by concerns that the U.S. USA light crude CLc1 was 60 cents lower at $66.44.

"Given these (output) numbers, with Russian Federation pumping hard and the United States and OPEC as well, and we are not really seeing a pickup in demand for another month ... it could indicate we're back to the good old $70-80 range that persisted through April and August", Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said.

Strong demand from overseas paired with higher production has brought crude exports to their second-lowest deficit in the past five years. USA refineries produced about 10.4 million barrels of gasoline a day last week, up by around 400,000 barrels compared with the prior week.

On Wednesday, U.S. oil prices rebounded 0.59 percent on fall of gasoline and diesel stockpiles in the previous week in the United States.

The WTI is likely to stay bearish below $67.25 to target $66.

U.S. commercial crude oil stockpiles in the week ending October 19 rose 6.3 million barrels week on week while total petroleum inventories dropped as much as 8 million barrels, according to data issued by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.

The nation's crude oil inventories have increased six consecutive weeks, EIA reported.

Still, Goldman Sachs on Thursday reiterated a year-end forecast for Brent prices of $80 barrel. Analysts believed that such moves increased uncertainty for the global oil market.

Brent crude futures had gained 36 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $76.27 a barrel after it fell 1.8 percent on Tuesday, at one point touching their lowest since August 24 at$75.09 a barrel.

Refinery crude runs rose by 149,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed.

However, the effects of the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May, the resumption of Iran sanctions and the potential response from other countries pose significant uncertainty to the forecast.

But oil prices have continued to drop even as stocks record gains.

Oil has been caught in the global financial market slump this month, with equities under pressure from the trade conflict between the world's two largest economies.

However, she added that "If the Trump administration wants to cut off Iran's revenue to the point where the Iranian government can not afford to fund military and terrorist activity overseas, it will have to keep up the pressure on Iran's customers; exemptions will need to be re-evaluated monthly, with accurate data on Iran's crude oil and condensates exports". The global benchmark crude traded at $9.33 premium to WTI for the same month.

U.S. sanctions on Iran's crude oil exports take effect November 4 and have been part of a bullish argument for crude prices as they would further tighten supply.

It took 23 years for Iran to restore 4 million bpd in 2003, with a post-revolutionary peak last year just short of 5 million bpd of crude and condensate combined.

The isolation caused by poor relations with the United States and, in recent years, Tehran's efforts to develop a nuclear capability have prevented Iran building output capacity.

"It is doubtful whether Iranian oil exports will fall much further from their current level, however", a report by Commerzbank AG said.

On the other hand, media reports are suggesting that eight countries will be granted waivers for Iran oil imports, which implies the potential for upside oil supply in the market versus expectations, Alan Gelder of Wood Mackenzie separately told CNBC.

"Crude has been hit hard by the broader macro sell-off and concerns about trade wars and strong dollar hurting emerging market (EM) demand".