Oil prices edged up early on Tuesday, 13th June 2017 lifted by statements that OPEC-leader Saudi Arabia was making significant supply cuts to customers, although rising U.S. output meant that markets remain well supplied.
Brent crude futures were at $48.42 per barrel at 0044 GMT, up 13 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.21 per barrel, also up 13 cents, or 0.3 percent.
During the first half of the year, there were doubts over OPEC’s compliance with its own pledges, as supplies, especially to Asia, remained high. Saudi officials now say they are making real cuts, including 300,000 bpd to Asia for July, although several Asian refiners said they were still receiving their full allocations.
“Crude oil prices rose on the back of further supportive talk from Saudi Arabia. Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that inventories are declining and reductions will accelerate in the next three week,” ANZ bank said.
Overall, oil markets remain well supplied. A sign of ample supplies is the Brent forward curve , which is in a shape known as contango, in which crude for delivery in half a year’s time is around $1.50 per barrel more expensive than that for immediate dispatch, making it profitable to charter tankers and store fuel instead of selling it for direct use.