Breitling Oil and Gas Morning Podcast #71 May 18th, 2012

Crude-oil futures extended losses for a sixth straight session this week, as investors anticipate that the latest U.S. inventory data will show a build amid increasing OPEC output.

The U.S. and European crude benchmarks have fallen by more than 6% since the start of the month, mainly due to renewed fears of a deepening euro-zone debt crisis. Greece’s failure to form a new government could mean the country won’t be able to implement budget cuts and reforms it must take in order to secure bailout funds.

The slide in crude prices continued on Wednesday following data from the U.S. EIA showing that output from members of the OPEC rose to 31.26 million barrels a day in April, topping a revised March production figure of 30.85 million barrels a day.

The data came after Saudi Oil Minister said the group may discuss raising output targets at a meeting next month. OPEC members are concerned that high prices could dramatically hit demand, especially given euro-zone debt worries.

The EIA data also showed OPEC’s spare capacity in April at 2.3 million barrels a day, down from 2.4 million in March.

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