Oil prices drop further despite OPEC cuts and Iran sanctions

Oil prices drop further despite OPEC cuts and Iran sanctions

OPEC revised its oil demand growth estimate by 25,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the April 2018 report to 1.65 million bpd. The nation now produces 3.8 million bpd.

Asia's demand is at record highs and with rising prices its crude could cost $1-trillion this year, about twice what it paid during the market lull of 2015-16.

There are several ways to play higher oils prices. According to Goldman, global oil demand growth in the first quarter of 2018 is likely to have seen the strongest yearly growth since the fourth quarter of 2010. "The price is pretty good and we're not seeing any growth outside the USA", said the investor.

World oil prices have risen more than 70 per cent over the past year because of the sharp increase in demand as well as production cuts by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) led by Saudi Arabia with other major producers, including Russian Federation.

This was the case with Drill, Baby, Drill the slogan, which proved to be popular and gained further prominence after it was used by Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin in her debate with Joe Biden in the 2008 US Presidential elections. Non-OPEC output will grow by 1.87 mb/d in 2018, a slightly higher rate than seen in last month's Report.

Mihir Kapadia, CEO and founder of Sun Global Investments, agrees that geopolitical tensions are driving energy prices higher, with unrest is building in Venezuela ahead of this weekend's presidential elections. But even with the extraordinary shale increase of 1.5 Mbd this year, there is still a projected supply shortfall, setting the stage for more price gains.

USA crude stockpiles slipped for a second week as the summer driving season approaches, government data showed yesterday.

"Barring a move by the OPEC/non-OPEC coalition, it is hard to argue how prices could weaken on a sustained basis, with price action in fact still pointing to more gains to come."

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The general public has starting feeling the pinch in their wallet as the oil prices have now climbed to five-years high and are unlikely to go down anytime soon. It's important to remember how and why the market got to its current situation.

Markets are treading carefully around uncertainty over Iran's supply, however, and signs of ample supply kept a lid on price rises Wednesday.

Still, the cartel's leader Saudi Arabia and some analysts believe oil prices can rise higher still before they start hurting production. Other OPEC officials, meanwhile, have expressed complacency.

Markets have been reacting to the prospect of a sharp drop in Iranian oil exports after the U.S. decision on the deal.

A surge to triple digits is not guaranteed, of course.

This was to spur U.S. domestic oil production, particularly shale resources, and anything else that can "wean" the United States from foreign oil imports.

These ruminations may presumably cause those keenly attuned to the cycles of a free market to wonder what the fuss is about: if the IEA's prediction of supply growth comes true, it would be the antidote to the high crude prices it is anxious about; and if a sudden tightening of supplies comes true and prices spike even higher, then OPEC and other countries seem ready to bring more product to the market.

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