Trend Press / Agencies
Oil prices have stabilized slightly below a three-year high hit last week, supported by a slight decline in the number of US drilling platforms.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures contract was $ 61.50 a barrel, up six cents from the previous settlement price. Crude hit $ 62.21 a barrel last week, its highest level since May 2015.
Brent crude was $ 67.66 a barrel, up 4 cents from the closing price. Brent hit $ 68.27 a barrel last week, the highest since May 2015.
Goldman Sachs expects the crude oil market to recover by mid-2018, suggesting a gradual exit from current production cuts and resumption of production increases in OPEC and Russia in the late second half of the year, he said.
In its latest report, the World Bank has forecast a limited increase in oil inventories in the first quarter of 2018 due to seasonal demand weakness, but it will be lower than the same period in previous years, confirming that inventories will fall again by the second quarter of this year.
In the same context, the report of the "Energy Energy", the international inventory dwindling significantly at the end of last year, where the surplus fell to just over 100 million barrels over the average of the five years from October last year, which is less than Thirds compared to the beginning of 2017, pointing out that the rapid withdrawal of stocks coincided with a sharp rise in prices.
OPEC's commitment to production cuts was the highest in November, which is expected to continue to put pressure on oil stocks in the next few months.
The report predicted that OPEC at its next meeting in June will be close to the completion of its mission in the light of the possibility of strong continued high crude oil prices and eliminate surplus stocks, pointing out that the justification for reducing the production of OPEC will lose its urgency and will tend to members to indulge in Apply reduction.
The report said that high crude oil prices pose a real threat to OPEC quotas in the market - according to his assessment - justified by the fact that it leads to a sweeping reaction from the American drilling activities and the huge expansion in the production of rock oil, wondering whether producers want to continue prices To go up indefinitely ?, referring to Emmanuel Ebie Kashiko, Nigerian Minister of Oil for the US media that this is not fair to make a surge in investments and drilling activities of America.
The report said that the biggest challenge facing OPEC in the next phase is to carry out a difficult balance in the market through which prices are supported to the level that satisfies the aspirations and aspirations of the market and meets the needs of OPEC members, and avoid excessive rises and stabilization of prices as much At appropriate levels, to avoid causing new investments in the shale oil sector.
OPEC and its independent partners have continued their efforts to curb production and raise compliance with cuts as concerns over the impact of the Iranian crisis on the market, which sparked prices over the past week, have subsided.
Over the course of last week, oil prices rose by 2.5 per cent, the fourth weekly gain in a row, amid optimism about the decline of crude stocks in the major industrial countries and near market equilibrium.
In the United States, Baker Hughes oil services on Friday announced a decline of five drilling platforms in the United States, the first decline in three weeks, bringing the total platforms operating 742 platforms, the lowest level since the week ending on November 17 ) the past.