Extended Supply Cuts Can End Oil Glut by End-2017

OPEC compliance with cuts appears to be at high levels.OPEC compliance with cuts appears to be at high levels.

Supply and demand in the oil market could fall into balance by the end of this year if OPEC and its partners extend their deal to reduce crude output, a Reuters' survey forecast on Friday.

However, the prospect of rising output from outside OPEC, led by US shale oil producers, could continue to hamper the rebalancing process, analysts said.

The Reuters survey of 35 economists and analysts forecast that Brent crude would average $57.04 a barrel in 2017, compared with last month's forecast of $57.25 and an average so far this year of about $55.

"Growing oil production in the US will remain a deterrent to further extensions to the output cap by OPEC and non-OPEC countries ... and once again reinvigorate debate on defending market share among countries participating in the deal," said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy’s Global Gas Analytics in London.

The agreement between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and some of its rival exporters, including Russia, to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day bpd will expire at the end of June, though most analysts expect it to be extended to the end of the year.

OPEC compliance, as reported by OPEC and secondary sources, appears to be at high levels and is likely to remain so until OPEC’s next meeting in May, when strategy for the second half of the year will be decided, said Giorgos Beleris, analyst at Thomson Reuters' Oil Research and Forecasts.

"Key Middle East producers seem willing to cap crude output for another six months, hoping to see crude prices close or above the $60 a barrel mark."

But higher prices could encourage US shale producers to increase drilling and undermine OPEC's efforts, analysts said.

US shale production in May was set for its biggest monthly increase in more than two years.

"Revival of US production is having a negative impact on crude prices. However, in recent weeks this negative influence has been offset by expectations that more consumption from refiners ahead of the driving season will draw US stocks," Daniela Corsini, an analyst at Turin-based Intesa Sanpaolo banking group said.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints