Oil Posts First Weekly Gain in a Month on Signs of Supply Easing
Rail wagons for oil, fuel and liquefied gas cargo stand in sidings at Yanichkino railway station, cose to the Gazprom Neft PJSC Moscow refinery in Moscow, Russia. (Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Oil Posts First Weekly Gain in a Month on Signs of Supply Easing

(Bloomberg) -- Crude posted its first weekly gain in a month as global production cuts start to lift physical markets.

Futures in New York rose 17% this week. Oil companies have announced major production closures with Chevron Corp. saying it will shut as much as 400,000 barrels of daily output and Exxon Mobil Corp. reporting it will cut rigs in the Permian Basin by 75% by the end of the year. Concho Resources Inc. said it’s curtailing about 4-5% of its production.

At the same time, OPEC+’s pledge to trim supply by 9.7 million barrels a day has gone into effect. Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab, who holds OPEC’s rotating presidency, called on members of the cartel to implement more than 100% of their agreed production cuts.

The market has rebounded on factors including “the expectation that the OPEC+ production cuts were going to start ramping up, that we continue to see signs that oil producers are going to be cutting their drilling activity, that we are going to see supplies tighten in the coming months,” said Gene McGillian, manager for market research at Tradition Energy.

Oil Posts First Weekly Gain in a Month on Signs of Supply Easing

The price of real crude is reacting to the curbs, with key grades from the Caspian to the North Sea trending higher in recent days. Globally, the number of rigs drilling for oil and gas tumbled almost 20 percent in April, and in the U.S., the oil rig count dropped by 53 to 325, a seventh straight week of declines.

Still, crude came off highs during the session on lingering concerns over a glut of oil and lack of places to store it.

“We are going to be facing a storage capacity situation at Cushing,” said Robert Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA, referring to the key U.S. hub in Oklahoma.

  • West Texas Intermediate for June delivery rose 94 cents to settle at $19.78 a barrel in New York, the highest level in two weeks.
  • Brent for July settlement fell 4 cents to end the session at $26.44 a barrel.

Since crude plunged into negative territory last week, investors have been fleeing the nearest futures contracts, increasing volatility. The United States Oil Fund LP, which came under pressure from regulators last month due to the size of its WTI position, said on Friday that it will halve holdings in the July contract. The fund said it may expand investments to include products beyond the benchmark New York crude grade.

Other oil-market news
  • There are very tentative signs emerging from the physical oil market, where cargoes of crude are bought and sold, that we might just have passed the worst of this historic rout.
  • Exxon Mobil Corp. posted its first loss in at least three decades and Chevron Corp. slashed $2 billion off its spending plan, the latest concrete signs of the financial devastation the coronavirus pandemic will inflict on the oil giants.
  • OPEC’s crude production surged by the most in almost 30 years last month as its biggest members fought to dominate a global market devastated by the coronavirus crisis.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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