Oil Bear Markets Could Lead to Oil Cuts Once Again


Oil's slide accelerated on Tuesday, with USA futures suffering their steepest one-day loss in more than three years due to ongoing worries about weakening global demand and oversupply.

The International Energy Agency has repeatedly called for OPEC to open the taps to ensure global demand for crude is met. IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol has spoken of the market entering " a red zone" if output losses from Venezuela and exports from Iran are not offset.

"Today's meeting is a clear signal producer countries are anxious about prices slipping further in the face of rising supply and weaker demand", said Jason Bordoff, a Columbia University professor and former energy official during the Obama administration.

"December nominations are 500,000 barrels a day less than November", Al-Falih said, referring to the amount of crude that its refining clients request in a given month-in the industry's jargon, "nominations"-to decide its production for the period".

Saudi Arabia has earlier chose to request the United States to end its aerial refuelling for the Saudi operations, and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis responded that the Pentagon backs this decision.

The Trump administration's decision to allow eight countries, including Iran's two biggest customers of China and India, to continue importing Iranian crude despite USA sanctions on Iran has also eased concerns about supply shortages.

Those factors are now forcing Opec, Russia and several other exporting nations to consider a fresh round of supply cuts.

In the span of five weeks, a roaring bull market for oil has given way to a sharp downturn. Forecasts of a 2019 supply surplus and slowing demand have also dented the market.

Oil prices dropped again after the fourth-week loss.

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Falih said Saudi Arabia was not preparing for a breakup of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and believed the group would long remain the global central bank for oil.

Under a deal set to expire at the end of the year, OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed to curb output by around 1.8 million bpd.

"We are going to do everything we can to keep inventories and supply-demand fundamentals within a reasonably narrow band around balance", he said.

"There is a general discussion about this (cut)".

"No one expected the waivers". The administration had been counting on Saudi Arabia to assure oil supply to prevent a run-up in prices. There's also the risk of antagonizing Trump, who has repeatedly accused the group of inflating prices.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, said on Sunday it would cut its shipments by half a million barrels per day in December due to seasonal lower demand.

Trump and Russian Federation think the prospective cuts are a bad idea for the market. "We will only cut if we see a persistent supply glut emerging, quite frankly".

Global benchmark Brent crude oil futures were at $69.47 a barrel, down 65c, or 0.9%, from their last close. As my colleague Matthew DiLallo noted back in September, a second Plains All American pipeline will start up in the third quarter of 2019, followed quickly by as many as four more new pipelines over the following 12 months.