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The nation’s crude output has climbed to 9.1 million barrels a day, the most since February last year, according to the Energy Information Administration.
The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $2.52 to May WTI.
Producers added more oil rigs to U.S. fields last week, extending a drilling surge into a 10th month, Baker Hughes Inc. said.
Oil declined as an increase in U.S. drilling countered the prospect of OPEC extending an output-reduction deal.
OPEC and its partners should decide in late April or mid-May whether to continue curbs, according to Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.
So a 10 percent slide in the oil price in March won’t have a commensurate impact on activity, he said.
Hedging is how oil companies shield themselves from a potential market collapse.
Break EvenIn the best areas of the Eagle Ford of South Texas, oil prices would have to fall considerably for exploration and production companies to lose money on their drilling.
“We’re in a boom again in Texas, despite what’s happening with prices lately,” said Michael Webber, deputy director of the University of Texas’ Energy Institute in Austin.
At the same time, shale billionaire and Continental Resources Inc. founder Harold Hamm cautioned that unbridled drilling by shale explorers would crush prices and “kill” the oil market.
Oil drops on rising U.S. drilling, steady OPEC supply
REUTERS/Nick OxfordSINGAPORE Oil prices fell on Monday, with already-bloated markets pressured by rising U.S. drilling activity and steady supplies from OPEC countries despite touted production cuts.
“The cuts in OPEC production from the start of 2017 should start to show up between mid-March (now) and mid-April.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 48 cents, or 0.98 percent, to $48.30 a barrel.
As of 0800 GMT, prices for benchmark Brent crude futures were down 34 cents, or 0.66 percent, at $51.42 per barrel.
Sukrit Vijayakar of energy consultancy Trifecta said the rising drilling activity was “reinforcing the expectation of higher U.S. production offsetting (OPEC’s) supply cuts”.