Oil Prices Settle Flat, Steady After A Week Of Losses

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Having cut costs during a three-year market slump, USA shale companies are able to deliver even more oil as recovering prices fund new drilling, it said. It seems clear that their position is that US shale oil production can indeed interfere with OPEC's plans, which begs the question of how long private energy companies like those in Russian Federation can sit back and watch their bottom lines drop.

He noted that the US shale oil won't be a "huge distorter" for the oil market as stronger demand and compliance with oil cuts have buoyed prices.

A second wave of USA shale oil production, now a major exporter, means trade patterns are shifting to, not from, the Middle East, the IEA said. This, however, is not necessarily the case: "oil price rises have come to a halt and gone into reverse, and, according to our supply/demand balance, so might the decline in oil stocks, at least in the early part of this year".

The steady decline of the US dollar has helped drive up crude prices for weeks, but that came to an abrupt halt last week. It now predicts production from outside the group will climb by 1.4 million barrels a day this year.

On the demand side, OPEC economists said general improvements in the global economy suggest net gains from the United States are less than the total expected world appetite.

More data provided by OPEC through the direct sources showed that in 2016, Nigeria produced 1.427 million barrels per day, while in the first quarter, 2017, it produced 1.510 mbd. American weekly crude output topped 10 million bpd for the first time on record, and the USA government forecasts it will balloon to 11 million later this year. "By the end of this year, it might also overtake Russian Federation to become the global leader".

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Brent crude, the global benchmark of crude oil, traded at $62; a safe place for Nigeria, whose Bonny Light oil is priced the same as Brent crude.

The IEA was widely criticized for their pronouncement that shale oil production would explode, which of course is a little too hyperbolic for a major agency to say.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $59.60 a barrel at 0759 GMT.

For example, a condensate shipment recently sailed from the United States to the United Arab Emirates.

"People are seeing this seasonal weakness in the U.S.as an expectation that perhaps demand growth will be slower", he said, adding that the rally in the second half of 2017 and start of 2018 has been fuelled by expectations for robust demand.

"If so, most producers will be happy, but if not, history might be repeating itself", the IEA said.

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