Oil steadies as Saudi
sees OPEC 'common position'
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[September 01, 2016]
By Christopher Johnson
LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices steadied
on Thursday after Saudi Arabia said OPEC was moving toward a common
position on oil production that some investors think could support
Brent crude futures for November were down 5 cents at $46.84 a
barrel by 1055 GMT after settling $1.84 lower at Wednesday's close.
U.S. crude futures were unchanged at $44.70 a barrel, after falling
$1.65 in the previous session.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Thursday that OPEC and
non-OPEC oil producers were increasingly moving toward a common
"I think there is a move toward a common position, toward a common
effort," he told an event in Tokyo.
Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are
due to meet in Algeria on the sidelines of the International Energy
Forum (IEF) on Sept. 26-28, and are expected to seek to revive a
global output freeze deal.
Russia is also expected to attend the IEF.
"If you want to have an impact then all of us have to shoulder the
responsibility, and I believe over the past five or six months, I
believe that there has been an increasing realization that this is a
collective effort," Al-Jubeir said.
Crude oil prices rose almost $10 a barrel through early August to a
high above $51 two weeks ago on expectations that the big oil
producers would take some action to prop up oil prices weighed down
by global oversupply.
But many investors doubt OPEC will be able to agree a common
position on production and prices have fallen in recent days. Many
past efforts to restrict production have failed and OPEC is
responsible for only around 40 percent of world output.
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Cars wait to fill with fuel at Sinopec's fuel station in Beijing,
China, February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
"There is still lots of correction potential, given the overhang of speculative
long positions and exaggerated hopes for an output freeze," said Commerzbank oil
analyst Carsten Fritsch.
U.S. oil inventory data also helped weaken prices.
U.S. crude stocks rose 2.3 million barrels to 525.9 million barrels in the week
to Aug. 26, data from the Department of Energy's Energy Information
Administration showed on Wednesday. That compared with forecasts of a
921,000-barrel increase. [EIA/S]
(Additional reporting by Keith Wallis in Singapore; Editing by Adrian Croft)
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