Oil prices edge down following rising Opec exports and strong US output

Lucy White
Several states are due to meet next week to discuss compliance with oil production cuts (Source: Getty)

Oil prices look set to make weekly losses, as prices have edged down today amid strong output from the US and rising exports from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).

Brent crude futures sank to $51.51 approaching midday, though were hovering around the previous close of $52.01 at the time of writing.

Opec members have agreed, along with some other nations such as Russia, to make cuts of 1.8m barrels per day (bpd) in order to minimise the global oil glut. Yet according to a report by Thomson Reuters Oil Research, the organisation's exports rose to a record high in July.

"Increasing Opec production and increasing Opec exports are the reason the market has been trading lower," said PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga.

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Last month's exports of 26.11m bpd were a rise of 370,000 bpd, with most coming from Nigeria which is exempt along with Libya from the cuts deal.

Russia's output was also high, as the country's major oil company Rosneft revealed in results this morning that its crude output had grown by 11.1 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter.

And with President Trump's renewed focus on the oil industry in the US, oil production across the pond has hit 9.43m bpd – the highest since August 2015 and up 12 per cent from its most recent low in June last year.

Analysts at Barclays said they expected a downward price correction in this quarter, but forecasted Brent prices to reach an average of $54 per barrel during the final quarter.

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This week had started out looking a little more positive for oil prices. The price of Brent crude rose to a two-month high on Monday as the market reacted to news of a meeting between producers, scheduled for next week in Abu Dhabi, and talk of US sanctions against Venezuela's oil sector.

In Abu Dhabi, various states are expected to discuss how to increase compliance with the deal to cut oil production.

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