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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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Strong Draw In Crude Inventories Boosts Oil Prices

The Energy Information Administration once again helped to lift oil market spirits this week by reporting another hefty decline in U.S. commercial crude oil inventories for the week ending July 21.

A day after the American Petroleum Institute estimated inventories had declined by a generous 10.23 million barrels—the largest draw of the year according to the API—the EIA said crude oil inventories diminished by 7.2 million barrels, to 483.4 million barrels. The authority reported hefty inventory draws in the last three weeks as well.

Gasoline inventories were also down last week, by 1 million barrels. This compares with a 4.4-million-barrel draw a week earlier. Gasoline production averaged 10.4 million barrels daily, up from 10.1 million bpd the week before, when refineries ran at 17.1 million bpd. Last week, runs averaged 17.3 million barrels daily.

The week so far has been quite good for oil prices. On Monday, at the energy ministers’ meeting in St. Petersburg, Saudi Arabia pledged to cut its crude oil exports to 6.6 million barrels daily starting from next month, and Nigeria said it was willing to cap its output at 1.8 million bpd.

At the same time, Halliburton said that the rate of rig additions in the U.S. shale patch is slowing down as sub-US$50 oil prices weigh on many energy companies. In evidence of what Halliburton said, Anadarko became the first shale player to announce a cut in its 2017 capex program of US$300 million because of the stubbornly low prices. Related: Nigeria Ups Oil Output Despite Rampant Oil Theft

The combination of these factors pushed Brent crude back up above US$50 for the first time in two months, with WTI trading above US$48 a barrel. Headwinds, however, remain—chief among them the likelihood that some OPEC members will slack off in their compliance with the cut deal, after Ecuador last week announced it was quitting it altogether.

Iraq, for example, said it plans to boost production to 5 million bpd by the end of the year, which is certainly incompatible with adhering to its quota. Libya is also ramping up its production.

Meanwhile, oil in floating storage in the North Sea hit another 2017 high this week, at 12 million barrels, according to energy data provider Kpler – one more sign that there is still quote a lot to do before the glut goes away.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Phil on July 26 2017 said:
    Yes, Anadarko is a company that is drilling in the shale plays, however, they only spent $234 million of their $1.059 billion (not including the $151 million WES investment) in the Delaware basin this past quarter. They are more diverse than a lot of other shale players. Yes, they stated $300 million in cuts, but they didn't say where. These cuts will bring them down to $4.4 - 4.2 billion on the year with ~25% in the Permian. The cuts could be from the Gulf of Mexico. They have announced that they are dropping one of their offshore rigs, which is going to be a significant portion of this $300 million.

    Pioneer for example has a capex of over $2.4 billion this year in the Permian alone of their $2.8 billion total capex.

    If Pioneer makes some cuts, then I might start getting a little more worried about the shale plays as most of their eggs are in the one shale basket.

    This is all public information, so I'm not sure if you are trying to use fear to interest readers, but I wish you wouldn't and tried another approach.

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