Oil Prices Caught Between Shale and OPEC Agendas

There are two forces at work in the oil markets today creating a tug of war. On the one hand you have U.S. shale producers on a quest to reach 10 million barrels a day in production amid falling seasonal demand. On the other hand you have the perception that the oil glut that has gripped the world over the last few years is coming to an end because of OPEC restraint and increased demand from improving economies.

These forces are keeping the oil market range bound, with crude oil prices trading between $47 and $54 per barrel.

West Texas Intermediate graph

The reality in my opinion is that while OPEC has stuck to its agreement of 2016 to limit production to 32.5 million barrels a day, oil oversupply continues. It’s true that oversupply is about half of what it was a couple of years ago, according to the Office of Economic Development, but it is still there.

Libya which is not part of the agreement continues to produce more oil than it did a year ago. It recently announced it wants to get back to 1.25 million barrels a day, or about double what it produces today.

via CNBC

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