Rising Saudi Oil Production Drives Crude Oil Prices to 4-Month Lows

Crude oil futures dropped to 4-month lows on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. At 11:10 a.m. EST on Tuesday, the oil futures traded as low as $47.09 - the lowest price so far in 2017.

Oil prices dove lower on Tuesday after an OPEC monthly report revealed that Saudi Arabian oil production in February had risen back above 10 million barrels per day. Downside pressure on oil prices increased after Kuwaiti oil minister, Issam Almarzooq, said prices could go as low as $45 due to rising shale oil production, according to a Bloomberg report.

Almarzooq’s comments referred to the Drilling Productivity Report released yesterday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which estimates that U.S. shale output will rise by 109 thousand bpd to 4.962 million barrels per day in April of this year.

Volatility in the oil markets is set to spike again tomorrow, as market participants react to the the release EIA’s crude oil inventories report for the second week of March. The sharp decline in the price of oil this month was triggered on March 8th, when EIA’s inventory report showed a large buildup (8.2 million) of U.S. commercial crude oil inventories for the week ending March 3, 2017.

Since March 8 - including today’s plunge to $47.09 - crude oil futures have dropped by approximately $5.80 (-10.96%).

Oil Pump photo by Paul Lowry