Oil Prices To Remain In USD40 To USD60 Range In 2018 - Moody's

Above pump jacks on the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota. A surprising result of the bearish energy market in 2017 US shale’s bid to take up market share by boosting production. Robyn Beck  AFP

Russia's crude oil production climbed to a record in 2017 even as it joined forces with the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to clear a global glut and lift prices.

Worldwide benchmark Brent crude futures ended the year with a 17 percent rise, supported by ongoing supply cuts by top producers OPEC and Russian Federation as well as strong demand from China.

WTI prices were supported by data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration late on Thursday showing domestic oil production C-OUT-T-EIA declined last week to 9.75 million barrels per day (bpd) from 9.79 million bpd the previous week.

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The new year's $60-plus crude prices may be as good as it gets for oil traders if Moody's Investors Service has it right.

"Growing unrest in Iran set the table for a bullish start to 2018", the USA -based Schork Report said in a note to clients on Tuesday. Brent crude sold for $66.70 a barrel and WTI cost $60.39 a barrel at 10:10 a.m.in NY trading.

Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, were also down at around $66.67 USA a barrel after hitting a May 2015 high of $67.29 United States earlier in the day.

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Analysts expect USA production to top 10-M BPD in the next few weeks and to keep growing, limiting efforts by other producers to cap global supplies.

"I see no impact on the production and export", one Iranian oil industry source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Middle East-dominated Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other leading oil producers agreed to cut their combined oil production by nearly 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) from the start of 2017 to prop up prices.

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Prices have been supported by an outage on the Forties crude pipeline that was expected to last several weeks. If the deal holds until the end of this year, Russia's oil production growth could stall, considering its commitment to the pact.

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