Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

United States crude slips 57 cents, retreating from mid-2015 highs

United States crude slips 57 cents, retreating from mid-2015 highs

The global benchmark traded at $67.92 a barrel, up 14 cents, or 0.2 percent, at 9:20 London, after earlier gaining as much as 51 cents.

"You're so long this market at this point, you could certainly get more interest at these levels", said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

A senior OPEC source from a major Middle Eastern oil producer said on Monday that OPEC was monitoring unrest in Iran as well as Venezuela's economic crisis, but will boost output only if there are significant and sustained production disruptions from those countries.

"This is a little more confirmation of what speculators have been looking for and after tomorrow's (U.S. government inventory) report, we'll see if they look to do some profit taking".

Crude oil prices fell Friday, dropping from highs last seen in 2015, as soaring US production undermined a 10% rally from December lows that were driven by tightening supply and political tensions in OPEC member Iran, Reuters reported. A weekly decline in the number of USA drilling rigs led both contracts to a higher close on Monday (

The report also noted that the North Sea Brent barrel stands at $64 per barrel, which is the highest it has been since November 2014, the start of the oil price crisis.

"We expect oil demand growth to outpace non-OPEC supply growth in both 2018 and 2019", Standard Chartered analysts said in a note. Baker Hughes on Friday said the U.S. rig count dropped by five in the last week of the year.

In its Short-Term Energy Outlook, released Tuesday, the agency said it expects US production to break above 11 million barrels per day in November 2019.

USA oil and gas production will continue to increase in 2019 as well, to the chagrin of OPEC and Russia-major exporters looking to curb production and reduce competition from American shippers.

Traders said political tensions in Iran, the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, had pushed prices higher.

The EIA forecast that US crude oil production will average 10.3 million barrels per day in 2018 and 10.8 million barrels per day in 2019, breaking historical records for annual average production.

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