Global oil prices snapped a three-day winning streak Thursday after President Donald Trump criticized OPEC member states for pushing for higher prices as investors reacted to a sharp decline in U.S. crude stocks and re-set expectations for a worldwide supply ahead of a key meeting of OPEC ministers later this week in Algeria.
Brent crude contracts for November delivery, the global benchmark, were seen 51 cents lower than their Wednesday close in New York and changing hands at just over $78.89 a barrel, while WTI contracts for the same, which are more tightly linked to U.S. gas prices, were marked 12 cents higher at $70.65 per barrel.
We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2018
Prices had been supported earlier in the session by comments from an energy sector conference in Houston Wednesday, during which China's deputy administrator for the National Energy Administration, Li Fanrong, insisted the co-operation and investment between the world's two biggest economies could continue despite the escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing.
The Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that domestic crude stocks fell by 2.1 million barrels to a three-and-a-half year low of 394.1 million barrels in the week ending September 14. U.S. production, however, has started to climb back to its summer peak of 11 million a barrel as producers prepare to add supply to the market as looming sanctions on the sale of Iranian crude, which kick in on November 4, continue to push prices higher.
OPEC members are set to address this impact, which has trimmed global output by around 580,000 barrels as customers reject Iranian sales in favor or delivery from other national and commercial producers, when they meet Sunday in Algeria.
Russia's oil minister, Alexander Novak, will attend the meeting and told Reuters earlier this week that all options for the cartel, including increasing output quotas, were up for discussion. Other reports, however, have suggested that Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest producer, is content to see oil trading in-and-around the $80 mark and doesn't wish to disrupt the global supply/demand balance until after the November elections in the United States.
China demand, as well, remains a key driver for global prices, and suggestions earlier this summer that the escalating trade war was triggering a second-half slowdown in the world's biggest energy consumer held prices down in the early summer months.
Charts getting interesting in Oil and Energy markets again this morning, Brent especially... DM me to take a look or check out— Clive Lambert �� (@FuturesTechs) September 20, 2018
https://t.co/QKXmXzGzqb#energy #oil #gas #carbon #technicalanalysis #euets #energymarkets #eua #oott #ongt #natgas https://t.co/f28qsmF4Mb
U.S. producers sell around 300,000 barrels of oil a day to China, according to Energy Department estimates, but have significantly increased the pace of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) shipments over the past two years as shale oil production continues to expand.
That said, U.S. oil majors, as well as their peer, have failed to keep pace with the rise in global prices. WTI crude, for example, has risen nearly 20% since the start of the year, while the n the S&P 500 Energy Index has only gained 3.61%, compared to an 8.61% advance for the main S&P 500 benchmark.