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The Oil Markets Are At A Confusing Crossroads

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OPEC Reference Basket Oil Price Drops By $1.33 In One Day

OPEC

The price of the OPEC basket of 14 crude varieties of its members dropped to US$49.37 a barrel on Friday from US$50.70 the previous day, OPEC said on Monday, citing OPEC Secretariat calculations.

The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Zafiro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE), and Merey (Venezuela).

The ORB averaged US$49.20 per barrel in May, dropping by more than 4 percent over April, to its lowest level for 2017, as the market was range-bound and bearish for most of May despite OPEC/non-OPEC’s cuts extension, the cartel said in its Monthly Oil Market Report in June with data for May.

But then in June, oil entered a bear market, and the ORB price dropped to US$45.21 a barrel, down by 8.1 percent compared to May, to its lowest value for the year, OPEC’s oil market report with June data showed.

“The oil market witnessed a sell-off amid significant bearish sentiment ignited by excess oil supply and still-high oil inventories, despite ongoing high conformity by OPEC and non-OPEC participating producers. Oil continued to be weighed down by the slow pace of inventory drawdown globally amid a rebound in global oil supplies,” OPEC said in its report for June in July.  

This month’s report, published last week with data for July, showed that the ORB recovered in July to US$46.93 per barrel, up by 3.8 percent, “on bullish market fundamentals after two consecutive months of sharp declines. The oil complex rebounded on receding fears of oversupply as solid seasonal demand soaked up some of what is seen as a glut on the market.”

Related: Tesla Successfully Raises Funds As Cash Bleed Continues

The WTI price averaged US$46.67 in July, compared to US$45.17 in June, while Dated Brent averaged US$48.51 last month, up from US$46.42 the previous month, OPEC’s latest report showed.

(Click to enlarge)

At 10:23am on Monday, WTI was trading at US$48.84. You can find more charts and prices on our Oil Price Charts page. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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