Oil Unchanged After Compliance Doubts Remain on OPEC Deal

Oil prices were little changed on Monday, with little news to influence a market waiting to see whether U.S. production from shale fields will grow enough to offset planned output cuts by OPEC, Russia and other producers next year.

Brent futures for February delivery were down 24 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $54.97 a barrel by 11:43 a.m. EST (1643 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for January rose 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $51.96 per barrel on its last day as the front-month.



“Implied U.S. output increases… will offset a significant portion of the planned OPEC production cuts especially since we don’t anticipate sustained strong compliance,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Chicago-based energy advisory firm Ritterbusch & Associates, said in a note.

“While adherence to (OPEC) cutbacks could be quite high initially, we will be surprised by compliance much above 60 percent by the end of the first quarter as (U.S.) shale responds to a higher price environment,” Ritterbusch said.

U.S. oil output is expected to increase as energy companies last week continued to add oil rigs, extending a seven-month drilling recovery.

“Since its trough on May 27, producers have added 194 oil rigs (+61 percent) in the U.S.,” U.S. bank Goldman Sachs said.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza