IEA warns global oil demand may suffer as crude nears $80

Source U.S. Energy Information Administration Short Term Energy Outlook May 2018

Brent, the global benchmark, rose as much as 1% at $79.47 per barrel around 8:30 a.m. ET.

WTI futures for July traded just above $71 a barrel Tuesday in NY, while Dubai oil swaps were at over $74, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Oil inventories in the world's richest nations, the most transparent and easy to track, have now fallen 1 million barrels below the five-year average, the level targeted by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners, as the group restrains crude output for a second year.

"We expect the EIA report to display bearish results amidst higher rig counts and production levels in the USA", said Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures.

After the plans for the U.S. to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal became known, oil prices surged over the uncertainty of what would happen to Iran's oil industry if the USA reimposed sanctions, limiting Iran's production.

"For now, the rapidly changing geopolitical landscape will move the attention away from stocks as producers and consumers consider how to limit volatility in the oil market", the IEA said.

Source U.S. Energy Information Administration Short Term Energy Outlook May 2018
Source U.S. Energy Information Administration Short Term Energy Outlook May 2018

Oil prices fell on Wednesday, weighed down by ample supplies despite ongoing output cuts by producer cartel OPEC and looming USA sanctions against major crude exporter Iran.

Refinery runs in March also jumped to a record as import quotas for the small independent refiners-the so-called "teapots"-were increased and refinery margins stayed healthy".

In April, Chinese crude oil imports set a new record-at 9.6 million bpd they beat the previous daily record of 9.57 million bpd from January this year.

The United States has announced it will impose sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, raising fears that markets will face shortages later this year when trade restrictions take effect. If demand growth continues to be strong-as now expected-an already tight oil market could become even tighter amid geopolitical concerns, driving oil prices further up.

The decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iran deal "has switched the focus of oil market analysis from the fundamentals to geopolitics", the International Energy Agency wrote in its regular monthly report.

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