Bearish and bullish drivers of oil prices in 2019

Lease Operator Jon Pearson checks well pressure on a lease owned by Parsley Energy in the Permian Basin near Midland

Oil price TUMBLES: Crude falls as concern grows over weakening US demand

In 2020, EIA expects oil production to increase by 1.7 million b/d because of production growth in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Russian Federation, while overall OPEC crude oil production is expected to remain flat.

A separate report from China's National Bureau of Statistics showed crude oil refinery throughput in 2018 climbed to a record 12.1 million barrels per day, up 6.8 percent from the previous year.

Meanwhile, US production rose considerably more than expected last year, adding further to supplies, while concerns about demand emerged as the US-China trade spat deepened in the second half of last year.

Thanks to the booming domestic production, the imports of crude oil and petroleum products have been diminishing in recent years.

Futures were on track for a third straight week of gains, with Brent crude up $1.41 to $62.59 a barrel, or 2.3 percent, at 1:19 p.m. EST (1819) GMT.

The International Energy Agency said that United States oil production growth combined with a slowing global economy would put oil prices under pressure.

The U.S. rig count last week was "the lowest level seen since May 2018", said Warren Patterson, Head of Commodities Strategy at ING.

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Trump has supporters either in this country or maybe overseas that have a motivation to harm", Davis added . He said that Cohen had been "proven to be a liar".

Since the EIA report is positively correlated with API, the market will be trading crude oil with a bullish sentiment.

"While the other two giants voluntarily cut output, the United States, already the biggest liquids supplier, will reinforce its leadership as the world's number one crude producer", the agency said in its monthly report on global oil markets.

EIA's January Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts that world benchmark Brent crude oil will average $61 per barrel (b) in 2019 and $65/b in 2020, an increase from the end of 2018, but overall it will remain lower than the 2018 average of $71/b.

With the rig count stalling, last year's growth rate is unlikely to be repeated in 2019, although most analysts expect annual production to average well over 12 million bpd, making the United States the world's biggest oil producer ahead of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

"The global outlook remains murky, despite emerging positives from a dovish Fed (now boosting US mortgage applications), faster China easing (China credit growth stabilizing) and a more durable US-China truce", US bank J.P. Morgan said in a note.

Earlier in the week, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said he's confident the cuts will have a "strong impact" on the market.

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