India asks Saudi Arabia for 'reasonable' oil pricing

Solutions oil refinery is seen at sunset in front of the Philadelphia skyline

The US will overtake Russian Federation as the world´s biggest oil producer by 2019 at the latest, the International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol said on Tuesday.

Oil output in Venezuela, one of OPEC's larger producers, has dropped to its lowest in more than 20 years as the country grapples with an economic crisis, in turn helping curtail OPEC's supply beyond the group's agreed 1.2-million bpd commitment.

"The recent rise in global benchmark prices has not been matched by higher prices for Western Canadian producers". And U.S. oil production continues to soar and this is upending oil markets around the world.

However, an increase of 2 million barrels was still a conservative estimate, Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said, as he expected imports to have corrected, re-balancing last week's record low imports. According to a recent study by the EIA, under certain scenarios, total U.S. crude oil production could surpass 14M b/d by 2050.

Consider this: in January 2017, US crude oil production mounted to 8.82 million barrels per day.

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He told Bloomberg television on Monday that oil demand will remain strong through at least 2020, pushing spot costs for crude above futures pricing.

Prices were supported by Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, who said on Saturday the country's January-March crude production would be well below output caps, with exports averaging less than 7 million barrels per day.

Demand in Europe may also be getting some help.

The 2018 federal budget, released February 27, did not have good news for the oil sector, with a forecast for lower oil prices.

"Our view is demand will be strong enough, but we don't see a big breakout", said Natixis oil analyst Joel Hancock, adding he expected a price in the range of US$60 to US$70 this year.

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"The standoff "shale versus sheikh" continues to frame the oil market, with the former again gaining the upper hand", said Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity research at Julius Baer.

WTI light sweet oil was down 11 cents at USD62.87 a barrel, having traded between USD60 and USD66 for the past month.

That doesn't mean US crude exports will necessarily fall back to the old levels before past year, below 1 mb/d, for example. Plus, surging upstream production doesn't hurt.

Oil has risen more than 5% this year, following a second annual gain, as a drain in US stockpiles and growing demand are reassuring investors that production cuts led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are working.

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