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Oil Trades Near Six-Year Low With US Supply Highest Since 1982

Thursday, 29 January 2015 09:07 AM

Oil traded near the lowest price in almost six years in New York after U.S. crude stockpiles climbed to the highest level since at least 1982.

West Texas Intermediate futures were little changed following Wednesday’s 3.9 percent drop. Crude inventories in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer, expanded by 8.87 million barrels to 406.7 million last week, the Energy Information Administration reported. Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it will cut $15 billion of spending over the next three years.

“The huge build in U.S. crude-oil stocks reported by the EIA yesterday brought stockpiles to an all-time high and weighed on prices,” Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management Ltd. in Middelfart, Denmark, said by e-mail. The attitude among U.S. producers remains “all hands on deck, and pump away.”

West Texas Intermediate for March delivery was at $44.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 10 cents, at 1:24 p.m. London time. The contract dropped $1.78 to $44.45 on Wednesday, the lowest close since March 2009. The volume of all futures traded was about 24 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.

Brent for March settlement was 50 cents higher at $48.97 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It slid $1.13 to $48.47 on Wednesday. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $4.37 to WTI.

OPEC Strategy

Oil has collapsed about 40 percent since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to maintain its output target on Nov. 27, challenging non-OPEC producers to curb their supplies first to alleviate a global surplus. U.S. production rose to the highest since at least 1983 last week, Energy Department data showed, signaling that non-OPEC output hasn’t yet faltered.

Shell, the world’s largest oil company to report earnings since the post-Nov. 27 slump in crude, will review spending on about 40 projects worldwide, Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said in an interview.

Crude inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for New York futures and the nation’s biggest oil-storage hub, climbed to 38.9 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 23, according to the EIA. Stockpiles gained for an eighth week to the highest level since January 2014.

U.S. crude production accelerated by 27,000 barrels a day to 9.21 million, the most in weekly estimates from the Energy Department’s statistical arm dating back to January 1983.

Oil may recover as early as the first half of this year as production declines, said Harold Hamm, chief executive officer of Continental Resources Inc. As the largest leaseholder and producer in the Bakken shale play of North Dakota and Montana, Continental can weather low crude prices “forever” as it idles wells, Hamm said in an interview Wednesday in Houston.

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Oil traded near the lowest price in almost six years in New York after U.S. crude stockpiles climbed to the highest level since at least 1982.
oil, crude, supply, price
Thursday, 29 January 2015 09:07 AM
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