Oil up on strong demand, Saudi comments

Reuters: Oil hits nearly three-week high as Saudi Arabia to keep output well below cap

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'That its oil market is dominated by a large number of uncoordinated, private-sector firms, many of whom benefit from lower production costs than producers elsewhere, means the USA will remain a major player for the foreseeable future'.

Analysts said oil prices.

There is little OPEC can do about rising US-produced overseas crude oil sales without turning open the taps again.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 78 cents to settle at $63.55 a barrel, trading between $62.33 and $63.73.

"The recent rise in global benchmark prices has not been matched by higher prices for Western Canadian producers".

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It seems that only a stronger dollar, which could reduce demand and a surprise jump in USA production could derail the rally at this time, especially since recent data shows hedge funds returning to the long side of the market.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russian Federation have been cutting output to support oil prices.

Oil gained as Libya's crude exports from a key terminal were disrupted and Saudi Arabia pledged that global producers will ease their output curbs without shocking the market.

Oil prices strengthened after Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih said over the weekend that the country's oil production in January-March would be well below output caps, with exports averaging below 7 million barrels per day (bpd). The second quarter oil market is preparing for the driving season.

The spread, however, shrank in recent years after the broader oil market meltdown in 2014, combined with the inauguration of USA crude exports at the end of 2015 and into 2016.

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"It's a mixed market with both bearish and bullish signals", said Hong Sung Ki, a commodity trader at NH Investment & Securities Co.in Seoul.

Just a few years ago, hardly anyone expected that that the US would be competing with the world's top oil producers for the number 1 spot.

OPEC and its allies, including Russian Federation, have been withholding crude output by 1.8 million barrels a day since the start of 2017.

Market participants were expecting a build in USA oil stocks of around 2.1 million barrels, according to an S&P Global Platts preview of the EIA oil stocks data. According to a recent study by the EIA, under certain scenarios, total USA crude oil production could surpass 14M b/d by 2050.

Futures in NY slid as much as 0.4% after closing at a three-week high on Monday as an advance in equities revived optimism about economic growth and Libya's crude exports from a key terminal were impeded.

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