US to become global leading crude oil producer

US to become global leading crude oil producer

US to become global leading crude oil producer

The U.S. oil rig count remained steady at 863 in the week to July 13, General Electric Co's (GE.N) Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday.

Global benchmark Brent crude fell $5.46 per barrel, or 6.9%, to $73.40/Bbl - its worst performance since February 2016. Total volume traded was about 9% below the 100-day average.

On Wednesday, September WTI crude oil futures settled at $68.86, down $3.70 or -5.37% and September Brent crude oil futures finished the session at $73.40, down $5.46 or -7.44%.

"The headline on Libya was merely the trigger", said John Saucer, a vice president at advisory firm Mobius Risk Group.

Oil prices plunged Wednesday afternoon, dropping on bearish news and posting their worst performance in over a year.

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The declines followed a months-long rally that had increased prices to some of the highest levels in recent years.

The specter of tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese goods sent commodities lower, along with stock markets, as tension between the world's biggest economies intensified.

"The trade concerns have bitten today and the reason is that this is above and beyond what the market was expecting", said Michael McCarthy, chief markets strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

OPEC on Wednesday forecast world demand for its crude will decline next year as growth in consumption slows and rivals pump more, pointing to a market surplus returning despite an OPEC-led pact to restrain supplies.

Reports show that production fell to 527,000 barrels per day (bpd) from a high of 1.28 million bpd in February following the port closures.

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"Libyan relief changes the conversation about spare capacity", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital Management. "Why buy Malaysian crude [linked to Brent] if your [US crude] alternative is dollars cheaper", a sweet crude trader at a trading house said, adding that WTI Midland, Bakken and Eagle Ford were some of the United States grades being offered into Asia.

Us Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that Washington would consider requests from some countries to be exempt from sanctions due to go into effect in November to prevent Iran from exporting Crude Oil.

India is an obvious possibility-its imports and demand are surging, and it may be willing to replace at least part of its Iranian oil imports out of fear that its companies and the sovereign could lose access to the USA financial system should it continue to buy Iran's oil.

Crude inventories fell by 12.6 million barrels in the week to July 6, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 4.5 million barrels.

China has also threatened to tax US crude imports.

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