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Editorial Dept

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Geopolitical Risk Looms Over Oil Markets

Friday March 2, 2018

In the latest edition of the Numbers Report, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting figures put out this week in the energy sector. Each week we’ll dig into some data and provide a bit of explanation on what drives the numbers.

Let’s take a look.

1. Oil outages have declined

(Click to enlarge)

- The volume of unplanned oil production outages has significantly declined in recent years, although much of the restored output has come from Iran, which boosted output following the removal of sanctions in 2016.
- Libya also added capacity back to the market, lowering the overall volume of disrupted supply.
- At the start of 2018, just over 2 million barrels per day (mb/d) of global supply was offline, a figure that is up by nearly 1 mb/d due to outages in Venezuela and Iraq.
- Still, disrupted capacity is relatively low.
- The flip side is that OPEC’s spare capacity – idled capacity that can be ramped up quickly – is also dwindling. When OPEC lets its production limits expire and it ramps up production again, that will add new barrels to the market, but it will also narrow spare capacity further.
- The EIA predicts that global spare capacity will fall to 1.24 mb/d by the third quarter of 2019, a historically low level.

2. Hedge funds shrink bullish bets

(Click to enarge)

- Hedge funds and other money managers have cut their bullish bets…




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