Oil prices dip as supplies remain ample despite production cuts

Crude markets in equilibrium- and under pressure

Oil prices fell on Thursday on signs that the market remained well supplied with crude despite efforts by OPEC and other big exporters to curb production and support prices.Signs of a deepening political crisis in Washington accelerated the decline in prices with investors becoming increasingly cautious following the latest reports of links between Russian Federation and the team in the White House.Brent crude fell $1.10 a barrel to a low of $51.11 but recovered most its losses to trade around $52.00, down 21 cents, by 1415 GMT.

"Algeria supports the idea to extend the agreement for nine months, until the end of March 2018", Boutarfa said.

The downward correction partly reversed gains from the previous session when prices rose on the back of a drawdown in USA crude inventories and a slight dip in American production. "The overall outlook for the non-OPEC countries, 11 of which are voluntarily cutting production to support OPEC, shows growth in 2017 of almost 600,000 b/d, an increase on the 490,000 b/d seen in last month's report". Even after OPEC relented and cut its own production to balance the market this year, resurgent American output has helped push global crude stockpiles to historic highs.

MINDING BUDGETS Saudi Arabia is concerned about its finances. This is a perennial problem for the Saudi royal family, which relies on oil money to buy public support. Low crude prices could make their fundraising even more hard.

Though the deal proposed a cut of 1.8 million barrels, commodity analysts are of the view that this number could be increased. Nigeria and Libya were exempt from the cuts.

The supply cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day were initially agreed to run during the first half of 2017.

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"The vulnerability of OPEC's. rhetoric was starkly revealed. with both Brent and WTI falling.as the U.S. API crude inventories showed an unexpected increase", said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

Elsewhere Tuesday, official figures showed that British inflation had risen to 2.7 percent - its highest level since September 2013 - but failed to boost the pound as investors bet against an immediate rise in interest rates to curb prices. It also lowered its demand outlook for OPEC crude in 2017 to 31.92 million barrels per day, down 300,000 barrels from its estimate in April.

The 11 non-members joining OPEC's effort have only implemented about two-thirds of their promised reduction so far, according to the International Energy Agency.

US crude imports rose 577 Mbbl/d last week, while exports rose 400 Mbbl/d.

Many OPEC members hope to curtail output by bringing more non-OPEC producers into the deal. West African producer Equatorial Guinea is seeking to join the cartel.

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