Oil production freeze: Saudi will not cut output as US stockpiles soar

Billy Bambrough
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Oil sites in the US have been able to cut more costs and secure further funding to try and see out the oil price lows (Source: Getty)

The oil price has has fallen off a cliff on a double whammy of bad news: De facto Opec leader Saudi Arabia has said it will not cut production according to reports, while the US Energy Information Administration has announced inventories of crude swelled in the week to 12 February.

The price per barrel of US benchmark West Texas Intermediate and international Brent crude dropped by over a dollar on the news to $30.52 and $34.52 respectively.

Saudi has been trying to broker a historic deal this week between Opec and non-Opec oil producers to run down a supply glut that is dragging down the oil price.

Russia has tentatively agreed to cap its production at January levels, along with Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE and Venezuela.

However Iran and Iraq, the only two gulf producers to ramp up either output in recent months, have vowed to continue to pump more oil.

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Meanwhile, inventories of US crude rose by 2.1m barrels, though missing forecasts of 3.5m.

The previous week saw a decline of 754,000 barrels.

Stockpiles at key delivery hub Cushing, Oklahoma, climbed 36,000 barrels, though well under forecasts of a 500,000 barrel rise.

US shale oil, more expensive to pump than in Opec countries, has proved more resilient to the 70 per cent oil price slide from over $110 per barrel in the Summer of 2014.

Many analysts have predicted production of shale oil will slacken off in the second half of 2016.

In Europe, the executive director of the International Energy Agency reportedly told a conference in Brussels that the sought after market freeze has made no impact on market.

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