Crude Oil Prices At Fresh 3-Month Lows, Fed Meeting In Focus

Crude Oil Prices At Fresh 3-Month Lows, Fed Meeting In Focus

Crude Oil Prices At Fresh 3-Month Lows, Fed Meeting In Focus

In its previous report, it estimated that U.S. crude oil production will rise in the seven shale regions by 80,000 bpd (barrels per day) to 4,873,000 bpd in March 2017-compared to the previous month.

In the last part of this series, we'll take a look at some crude oil price forecasts.

Oil's fall from grace last week started with hedge funds, and it may only get worse from here.

OPEC and the US continue to fight for dominance in the global oil market.

US shale oil production had been in retreat as oil prices tumbled from above $100 a barrel in 2014 to below $30 in 2015, making costly fracking processes less profitable.

And in 2016, OPEC assembled a coalition of 11 non-OPEC countries, including Russia, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Malaysia, to coordinate OPEC and non-OPEC output cuts. The rout accelerated Friday after Baker Hughes Inc. data showed American shale explorers keep adding rigs.

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On Wall Street, the S&P 500 was little changed at 2,373.5, the Dow slipped 0.1% to 20,881.7 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3% to 5,877.2.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and shale producers have fought each other to a draw over the last two years, with neither able to achieve a decisive victory. OPEC is said to be prepared to extend the deal, and may also increase the cuts, if inventories fail to drop to a specified level, sources from the group told Reuters. That brought the total count to 617, the most since October 2015.

Kuwait is scheduled to host a ministerial meeting on March 26 comprising both OPEC and non-OPEC members to review compliance with the output agreement and to discuss whether cuts would be extended beyond June.

That was the day OPEC announced lower production targets for the first half of 2017, sending crude prices hurtling higher. Recently, both production and exports in the USA have hit record highs of around 9 million barrels a day, respectively.

As output climbs, producers are increasingly seeking protection against a price reversal.

The next commitments of traders reports, published on March 17 and March 20, will reveal how much of the remaining net long position was liquidated between March 8 and March 10, and give some idea of how much more needs to be liquidated before prices steady again. A weaker U.S. Dollar could soften the landing, however.

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