Recap: Oil futures rose along with confidence that OPEC cuts would eat away at the global supply surplus. April WTI rose to a high of $54.61 for a gain of 62 cents before paring gains, to settle at $54.05, up 6 cents, or 0.11%. The soon to expire, April Brent reached a high of $56.77, up 78 cents prior to a settlement of $55.93, down 6 cents, or 0.11%.
After February's attempt to move higher, oil prices have settled back within the sideways trading pattern that began at the onset of the new year. Based upon a daily spot continuation chart, the front month futures contract for WTI has managed to remain above the 10 and 30-day moving averages, while moving oscillators are trending sideways in neutral territory. Short term technical indicators are calling for a higher move, setting up the possibility for a run at last week's high of $55.03. Support rests at $53.85 and below that at $53.10.
March RBOB gained 1.6 cents, or 1.1%, to $1.531 a gallon, while March heating oil settled at $1.647 a gallon, up nearly a penny, or 0.4%.
Fundamental News: Genscape reported that crude oil stocks held in Cushing, Oklahoma increased more than 800,000 barrels of crude on the week.
OPEC's Secretary General, Mohammed Barkindo, said OPEC-led output cuts have been well supported by all participating countries despite some challenges for non-OPEC producers to monitor production caps. He said Nigeria, Iran and Libya continue to be exempt from production limits.
Iran's Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said OPEC's level of compliance with production cuts in January has been acceptable, expressing hope for further cooperation from non-OPEC members in the near future. Iran's Oil Minister said OPEC's level of compliance with a production cut deal in January was acceptable.
UAE OPEC Governor, Ahmed Al Kaaba, said oil markets were stable as oil producers are committed to a deal to cut output that will ensure market stability.
Russia's Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, said Russia may cut oil production as part of the global agreement faster than it previously expected. Russia said it would cut oil production by 200,000 bpd by the end of the first quarter compared with October's levels, and by a further 300,000 bpd in April as part of the global deal to cut output in order to support weak prices. Russia's output in February was lower than in January. It deepened its 117,000 bpd cut it achieved in January. Separately, Russia has been in talks with Iran to buy crude oil from the country.
Royal Dutch Shell reported a potential leak of an unknown amount of crude from a mainline between Collinga and Castene in Fresno County, California. Shell reported that the line has been shut down and isolated while an investigation is underway.
Bloomberg reported that US gasoline imports from Europe increased from a seven week low. Nine tankers carrying 2.59 million barrels or 370,284 bpd of gasoline from Europe arrived in the US between February 17th and 23rd.
Phillips 66 said its pipeline ,which was shut after a fire at its Paradis Pipeline station in Louisiana earlier this month, was restarted over the weekend. An explosion and fire at the pipeline station occurred on February 9th during routine maintenance.
According to Bloomberg, total US waterborne LPG exports from Houston, Port Arthur, Philadelphia and Seattle increased by 0.7% to 1.03 million bpd in the week ending February 23rd. It is up from 1.02 million bpd in the previous week.
Early Market Call - as of 9:15 AM EDT
WTI - Apr $56.15 down 58 cents
RBOB - Mar $1.5039 down 2.88 cents
HO - Mar $1.6148 down 2.51 cents
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