WTI Crude Oil and Natural Gas Forecast

An oil pump is seen operating in the Permian Basin near Midland Texas US

An oil pump is seen operating in the Permian Basin near Midland Texas US

"It will see the United States account for 70 percent of the rise in global oil production and some 75 percent of the expansion in [liquefied natural gas] trade over the next five years". Market shortages have been exacerbated by U.S. sanctions on oil exports by OPEC members Iran and Venezuela.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $58.54 per barrel, up $0.28 or 0.48%.

According to Reuters, now the Iraqi state oil marketing company is also emboldened to trade the Iraqi crude on its own as the market for sour and heavy crude grades is tightening amid OPEC's cuts and the us sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

Brent crude hit a four-month peak of $68.14 per barrel before falling to $67.19 by 2:23 p.m. EST (1823 GMT), down 36 cents, from Wednesday's close.

Several factors contributed to the idea of a tightening market, including the Energy Information Administration reporting on Wednesday that USA crude inventories fell by 3.9 million barrels last week.

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The production cut agreement by Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and Russia-led OPEC is also contributing to the removal of additional supplies in the market to push prices higher.

Crude inventories dropped by 3.9 million barrels in the last week, to 449.07 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations for an increase of 2.7 million barrels. A recent EIA forecast also showed that the United States would become a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products on a monthly basis in 2019 and on an annual basis in 2020.

EIA expects these trends to continue over the next several years.

Forecasts slowed U.S. production to a record of 13 million barrels per day (bps) until the third quarter of 2020, instead of the second quarter of previous forecasts. United States crude oil demand in 2019 is expected to rise by 360,000 barrels to 20.81 million barrels per day, a former Energy Information Administration (EIA) for an increase of 350,000 barrels per day. It kept its forecast for growth in global oil demand this year unchanged at 1.24 million bpd.

Crude oil production in the country also fell by 106,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 12 million bpd, the data showed. Meanwhile, distillates stockpiles unexpectedly increased by 0.38 million barrels.

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