For the first time in five weeks oil futures showed the weekly decline. The market has been breathing in harmony until signs of disagreement in OPEC and arousal of the shale oil production in the U.S. Barrel of crude from Texas ended the week at $53.80, Brent oil found purchasers at $56.70 per barrel.
February newsmaker is Iran. According to the December-2016 deal, Tehran has been allowed to enhance the output, since Iranians intend to rebuild the oil and gas industry after years of sanctions. They expect to reach the level of 4 million barrels per day by mid-April. Meanwhile, in November 2011 Iran produced approximately 3.50 million barrels daily; this value was achieved almost a year ago, in April 2016. The further intensification of the industry reflects efforts to benefit on the growing market, to conquer more purchasers. Moreover, Tehran plans to raise output to 4.7 million barrels during next 5 years, developing new oil fields in Ghali Koh and Lorestan. Iran looks about traditional energy sources, because the most important Iranian customer, China, does not have any trouble with fossil fuel. Unfortunately, another Iranian partner, India, dropped its demand for fuel this January 4.5 % (year-to-year), so Tehran is highly motivated to find more contacts with the EU and Asian business. However, strong economies are searching chances to avoid fossil fuel, thus they will require less petrol from Iran than Tehran would like to offer. Riyadh is watching Tehran with the same attitude, as Orwell’s Big Brother was watching his comrades.
Saudi Arabia proclaimed willingness to transform the oil kingdom into a “solar powerhouse”. In 2016 Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has clarified the principles of new investment policy to decrease oil addiction of the country budget. Thus, the most Machiavellian player of the global oil markets turns from the main source of profits to equities and bonds, making attempts to adjust the kingdom to the modern global world. Riyadh has no intention to feel any effect of the oil market turmoil next decades; Saudis choose the new world of “clean and green” energy. Today only strong and powerful states can afford the “clean and green” industry, and Saudis keep pace with them. The kingdom is tired from the OPEC hassles and gossips, the princes would like to catch the relevant trend before it will become mainstream. Riyadh pretends to go forward, while Iran remains in the past.
Shale oil producers take advantage of the $50+ prices. Baker Hughes Inc. informed of the number of rigs drilling the crude in the U.S. First time since October 2015 the number of rigs comes close to 600: previous week the number reached 597. American crude inventories also increased to the 34 years record height. The Energy Information Administration last time reported about 518.1 million barrels. President Donald Trump approved the construction on the new pipeline from North oil fields to the Gulf ports. The president has not listened to Indian tribes and green activists, preferring new jobs and profit from trading oil. Mr. Donald Trump respects the traditional energy sources, he does not pretend to establish new trends in the industry or economy.
The oil market lacked attention of traders previous week, because all brokers keep their eyes opened on the Wall Street rally. But the commodity is gliding to the volatile zone, although one week of decline does not form the trend, as one sparrow does not make the spring. By the way, the spring will be here in a week!