OPEC: Oil Price Recovery Not Backed by Fundamentals

2015-0318 OPEC Oil Price Recovery Not Backed by Fundamentals

Vienna: A recovery in oil prices which began last month is not justified by fundamentals as there remains a supply glut in the market, OPEC said Monday in its monthly report.

Crude prices rallied about 20 percent in February, ending a losing streak lasting about eight months during which prices collapsed by 60 percent.

But the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) warned that prices picked up even though there was still an oversupply of almost one million barrels a day on the market.

“ICE Brent and Nymex WTI crude oil futures defied fundamentals and moved up sharply, posting their first gains since June 2014 after seven months of a declining streak that ended with values down by almost 60 percent,” said the organization in its report.

This is “despite the fact that global supply continued to exceed demand,” OPEC said, as it left its demand forecast unchanged at 92.4 million barrels a day for 2015.

The 12-nation OPEC also commented on major oil producer Russia, which is not a member of the cartel. It noted the “big challenge” Russia is facing from slumping oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine, which could see it lose $135 billion this year.

Russia “faces a big challenge due to sanctions, devaluation of the ruble and an oil price drop in 2015… if the oil price stays at the current $55 per barrel for a year, Russia will earn around $135 billion less in 2015 than in 2014 assuming $100/b for that year — equivalent to around 10 percent of its gross domestic product.”

OPEC’s assessment of the global oil market came after the International Energy Agency issued a similar reading on Friday.

The IEA’s warning that the rebound in oil prices is built on flimsy foundations sent crude prices sliding.

Oil prices extended their losses on Monday, with the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for April delivery dipping as low as $43.57 a barrel before recovering slightly to stand at $44.26, while Brent North Sea crude for April fell 79 cents to $53.38 a barrel in midday London trade.

(Source: ArabNews.com)

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