Oil prices rose Monday morning as market participants await developments out of the meeting between OPEC and US shale producers. Additionally, a reported shutdown on the Libyan oil field of Sharara, combined with the declared force majeure on the “Elephant” field a week ago, have helped crude prices creep up. By 08.51 AM GMT Brent crude was trading at $65.02/bbl, 1.01% up from last week’s settle, while at the same time WTI had gained 1.09% to stand at $61.92/bbl.
Seaborne crude oil exports from Libya remained near January levels last month, in spite of the reported disruptions. Shipments stood at 830,000 bpd, 10,000 bpd up m-o-m. Europe took 630,000 bpd of the exports, while 170,000 bpd sailed to Asia.
Overall, OPEC seaborne crude oil exports were seen relatively flat at 24.29 million bpd for February. Steep gains from Iran and the UAE offset declines in Kuwait, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. Asian lifting of OPEC crude was seen up by a cumulative 410,000 bpd to 16.05 million bpd, largely propelled by China and India, with the latter hitting a new record of monthly lifting at 3.9 million bpd, aggregated on departure date basis.
In the US, money managers mounted bets on rising oil prices, with net long positions rising by 21.46 million bbls w-o-w to 465.83 million bbls. Most of the increase came from outright long positions as shorts remained almost unchanged at just below 295 million bpd. Longs rose to 495.3 million bbls.
Producers saw their net position decline by 13 million bbls as shorts outpaced longs. Short positions were trimmed by 21.13 million bbls w-o-w, while longs increased by 8.1 million bbls.
The Oil Research Team
Supply Chain & Commodities Research