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Oil was heading for a third weekly gain as Opec ministers meeting in Vienna urged a continued commitment to supply cuts they said are making good progress in draining a global glut.
Front-month oil futures were little changed in New York, leaving them 1.3 per cent higher this week. It’s critical for the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries to maintain focus and fully implement their agreed curbs, Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said Friday. The oil market is well on its way to rebalancing and the pace of the drop in inventories in developed economies has accelerated, Kuwait’s Oil Minister Issam Al Marzooq said.
Oil has advanced this month on forecasts for rising crude demand and as US Gulf Coast plants recover from Hurricane Harvey, which halted almost a quarter of the nation’s refining capacity. Nine months into the Opec-led supply agreement, implementation of the pledged production cuts remains high. Nigeria, which is currently exempt from making cuts, reiterated that it would accept a cap once output stabilises around 1.8 million barrels a day.
“Today’s meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee is lending buoyancy,” Commerzbank said in a note. “Although no binding promises to extend or expand the agreement can be expected, Nigeria, which like Libya had not signed up to the production cuts, is at least showing a willingness to come on board.”
West Texas Intermediate for November delivery was at $50.50 (Dh185.34) a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 5 cents, at 12:15pm in London. Total volume traded was about 48 per cent below the 100-day average. Prices advanced 5.1 per cent last week, the biggest weekly gain since July.
Brent for November settlement was at $56.48 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, 5 cents higher. Prices are up 1.6 per cent this week. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.97 to WTI.
Oil inventories in developed economies have dropped by 170 million barrels since January and backwardation in prices shows stockpiles are shrinking and demand rising, Kuwait’s Al Marzooq said. “We are on the right track and there is now more light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “This is not the time to take our foot off the accelerator.”
Saudi Arabia hopes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and its allies will be able to relax production curbs next year and create a permanent framework to stabilise oil marke
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