OPEC cuts oil demand estimate in 2019

Jeannie Matthews
October 14, 2018

Both benchmarks were headed for their first weekly drop in five weeks, pressured by a big rise in USA inventories and fading concerns about shrinking global supplies due to looming US sanctions on Iran's oil exports.

BP is reportedly planning on a cycle of oil prices at $60 to $65 per barrel: "We've been through this period of really low prices and they're up again and we can't plan on these high prices right now", Dudley explained. It had planned to import of 9 million tonnes of Iranian oil in the 2018-19 fiscal (April 2018 to March 2019) or 0.75 million tonnes a month.

Oil traders will watch for the weekly US drilling rig count, an indicator of upcoming production, which is due at about 1 p.m. from Baker Hughes.

Beard added that USA infrastructure limitations would limit US crude exports that could otherwise compensate and new refining capacity coming online in 2019 would add further tightness.

The U.S. President Donald Trump has clearly stated that the U.S. sanctions against Iran beginning from November 4, 2018, will block payment routes.

Beyond weather, traders remain focused on Iranian exports which continue to fall.

Money managers cut their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to October 9, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

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In the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, producers have cut daily oil production by roughly 42% due to Hurricane Michael, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said.

"I think the sanctions will be very tough", Beard said.

In an attempt to compel Iran to agree to a new accord, Trump reinstated sanctions that targeted the Iranian government's purchase of United States dollars, Iran's trade in gold and other precious metals, and its automotive sector.

"The projections for 2019 clearly show a possible rebuild of stocks", he said of the supply and demand balance for next year.

Other ports further west were still operating normally.

Oil prices dropped 2 percent on Wednesday as U.S. equity markets broadly fell, even though energy traders anxious about shrinking Iranian supply from U.S. sanctions and kept an eye on Hurricane Michael, which closed some U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil output. Year to date, OPEC's reference basket is up $20.21 (40%) per barrel compared to the first nine months of 2017.

"There will be some Iranian exports but the amount will depend on the price".

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