The price of OPEC basket of thirteen crudes stood at $45.36 a barrel on Wednesday, compared with $45.64 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.
The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Minas (Indonesia), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).
Meanwhile, MarketWatch reports that crude oil futures fell for six straight sessions in early Asia trade day Thursday, dragged by a somewhat disappointing U.S. oil data and looming risk of Britain’s departure from the European Union.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in JulyCLN6, -1.46% traded at $47.55 a barrel, down $0.46, or nearly 1%, in the Globex electronic session. August Brent crude LCOQ6, -1.51% on London’s ICE Futures exchange fell $0.38, or 0.8%, to $48.61 a barrel.
Global oil prices have been on a downward streak for days, first pushed down by the prospect that the decline in U.S. shale production since April last year could be reversing as rig counts rise.
In the week ended June 10, U.S. crude stockpiles shrank less than expected, decreasing 933,000 barrels. Stockpiles also grew by 525,000 barrels at the key crude delivery hub of Cushing, Okla.
However, production fell by 29,000 barrels to 8.72 million barrels a day.
“While the outlook for global oil fundamentals remains constructive, with slight global crude and product draws expected in the second half of this year, the current mood in the oil markets is risk averse, and the US weekly report did not do anything to change that,” say analysts at Société Générale.
The apprehension among investors is that as prices climb, more U.S. producers will be lured to drill new wells or complete the ones that were half-way developed before the price plunge.
Apache Corp. APA, -0.42% , for example, based its budget this year on U.S. oil prices of $35 a barrel, so it is “not unreasonable” to think the company could add five rigs in the Permian basin with oil now near $50, analysts at energy-focused investment bank Simmons & Co. International, part of Piper Jaffray Cos., said in a note Wednesday.
Prices have also been stunted by nervousness regarding the June 23 British referendum on leaving the EU which has buoyed the greenback, making it less profitable for oil traders using foreign currencies as oil is pegged to the dollar.
“Risk aversion continues to stay on the table, even as the Federal Open Market Committee votes to leave interest rates unchanged at 0.5%,” said Barnabas Gan, an economist at Singapore bank OCBC.
Some analysts say that while keeping interest rates flat may provide some support to commodities prices, the dovish action can also be interpreted as a sign that the Fed is becoming more cautious about U.S. economic growth.
Oil investors will be keeping a close eye on the U.S. rig count report by Baker Hughes Inc. BHI, 0.83% tomorrow. Data by the industry group has showed an uptick in U.S. oil drilling activity for the last two weeks.
“For now, the fundamentals of the oil market will remain as the primary price movers. The fact is the world still has too much oil,” said Gao Jian, an energy analyst at SCI International.
Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for July RBN6, -0.79% — the benchmark gasoline contract — fell 51 points to $1.4963 a gallon, while July diesel traded at $1.4691, 87 points lower.
ICE gasoil for July changed hands at $435.00 a metric ton, down $6.00 from Wednesday’s settlement.