AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Oil prices stabilized on Monday after one of the most bearish weeks in months, propped up by OPEC comments signaling the possibility of further action to restore market balance in the long term.
Oil production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico started returning to service after Hurricane Nate had forced the shutdown of more than 90 percent of crude output in the area. The prospective restarts kept price gains in check.
“There is a good chance that we will continue to trade a bit sideways in the coming weeks up to the OPEC meeting.”
OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said on Sunday that consultations were under way for an extension of the agreement beyond March 2018 and that more oil-producing nations may join the pact, possibly at the November meeting.
He also said OPEC members and other producers may have to take some “extraordinary measures” to ensure the market is in balance in the long term.
In a speech provided for the Reuters Global Commodities Summit this week, Barkindo said he saw clear evidence the oil market was rebalancing.
Global benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was flat at $55.62 a barrel at 1353 GMT. Earlier in the session it touched a three-week low of $55.06. It ended last week 3.3 percent lower, its biggest weekly loss since June 2016.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures CLc1 were trading at $49.53, up 24 cents. They came close to a four-week low when they fell to $49.13 earlier in the session. WTI’s losses last week came to 4.6 percent.
In further signs that OPEC members are sticking to agreed cuts, Saudi Arabia said it had curtailed crude allocations for November by 560,000 barrels per day and Iraq’s oil minister said the country was fully committed to its OPEC production target.
Money managers raised their bullish bets on U.S. crude futures for the third week in a row, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission reported on Friday.
However, data published by InterContinental Exchange showed investors had slightly reduced their bets on rising Brent prices in the week ending Oct. 3.
Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Dale Hudson
Compiled and Published by GIB KNIGHT
Gib Knight is a private oil and gas investor and consultant, providing clients advanced analytics and building innovative visual business intelligence solutions to visualize the results, across a broad spectrum of regulatory filings and production data in Oklahoma and Texas. He is the founder of OklahomaMinerals.com, an online resource designed for mineral owners in Oklahoma.