Rumour Causes Oil Prices to Drop as Analyst Complains of "Forecasting Nightmare"

A pump jack stands at dusk in the Permian Basin area in Texas U.S. Bloomberg  Angus Mordant

International Brent crude oil futures were at $71.01 per barrel at 0042 GMT, up 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.

Oil prices rose 1 percent on Friday as involuntary supply cuts from Venezuela and Iran plus conflict in Libya supported perceptions of a tightening crude market, while upbeat Chinese economic data eased concerns about waning crude demand.

Oil prices doubled on three occasions thanks to the cuts led by OPEC countries, United States sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and the renewal of fighting in Libya.

The monthly oil market report for April said that the reality is different according to direct communication, with Angola producing 50,000 fewer bpd to 1.373 million bpd in March.

The IEA maintained its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2019.

OPEC revised demand growth down in 2019 to 1.21 million bpd due to "slower-than-expected economic activity".

Brent and WTI have risen by around 30 and 40 percent respectively since the start of the year.


OPEC and its allies meet in June to decide whether to continue withholding supply.

OPEC, Russia and other producers, an alliance known as OPEC+, are reducing output by 1.2 million bpd from January 1 for six months.

On the demand side, Chinese data showed exports rebounded last month, driving US and euro zone bond yields to three-week highs and helping offset weaker imports and reports of another cut in German growth forecasts.

Russian Federation and OPEC may decide to boost production to fight for market share with the United States but this would push oil prices as low as $40 per barrel, TASS news agency сited Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as saying on Saturday. Conflict between the USA and Iran could have also helped boost oil prices considering the risk of President Trump extending Iranian restrictions.

The rig count fell for the past four months as independent exploration and production companies cut spending on new drilling to focus on earnings growth instead of increased output.

Non-OPEC supply, meanwhile, increased by 210,000 b/d in March to average 63.5 million b/d, according to the IEA.

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