The previous week began with a slight increase in oil prices against the background of a suspension of production at the largest oil field in Libya. The cost of May futures for the North Sea oil Brent grew by 0.37% to $ 64.61 per barrel. The price of April futures for WTI crude oil rose by 0.36% - to 61.47 dollars per barrel.
The production stopped at the Sharara field on Sunday due to the closure of the pipeline leading from the field to the terminal at an oil refinery in the city of Ez-Zavia. The reasons for the closure of the pipeline and the possible duration of the suspension of production sources have not been named. Chief economist of the state-owned company Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National Corp. Takayuki Nogami noted that oil prices are reacting to the supply situation due to the suspension of production in Libya. It was expected that the geopolitical risks in Libya decreased, but it turned out to be erroneous. Even if production at the Sharara field resumes, the risk of another suspension will remain.

On the same day, an important event began - the annual energy conference CERAWeek in Houston. UAE Minister of Energy Suheil al-Mazrui said that the main goal of the OPEC meeting with the oil shale oil producers will be a comparison of plans and forecasts for the oil market, but there is no question of joining the US "shale producers" in the agreement to reduce OPEC oil production. OPEC and US oil shale oil producers at the meeting last year agreed to continue a dialogue that helped them to establish contact between each other, which is the goal of their new meeting at the CERAWeek conference, rather than discussing oil prices or the participation of US companies in the OPEC deal +, said OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo.

Waiting for comments from the participants of the informal meeting of OPEC with the American producers of shale oil during the CERAWeek conference in Houston was the reason for the continued growth in oil quotations on Tuesday. The price of May futures for the North Sea oil Brent grew by 0.18%, to $ 65.66 per barrel, the price of April futures for WTI crude oil - by 0.19%, to $ 62.69 per barrel. Chief strategist of SIA Wealth Management Inc. Colin Cieszynski told MarketWatch that the US is unlikely to agree to any production restrictions, especially against the backdrop of the tough trade positions of the Trump administration. In addition, traders drew attention to the new annual report of the International Energy Agency (IEA), published on Monday. IEA predicts that the agreement to reduce oil production in OPEC + will continue until the end of 2018, and next year the oil-producing states will gradually withdraw from the deal.

The next day came the news from the CERAWeek conference in Houston that Congo, Chad and Malaysia have applied for membership in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. In addition, the IEA provided a report on the oil market. At the meeting, the head of the IEA Fatih Birol suggested that the growth of supplies outside OPEC will continue to stimulate the market in the next three years. And only one country will be dominant - the next three to five years will pass under the sign of the US in the oil market. IEA predicts an increase in oil demand of about 6.9 million barrels per day by 2023.

At the end of the week, the report by Baker Hughes came out, according to which the number of operating oil wells in the US dropped by four to 796 last week. This is in contrast to the previous trend: so far the number of mines has only increased. At the same time, one can not help but notice that the dynamics of "year-to-year" is still disappointing: if a week earlier, the annual increase in the number of mines was 191, but now it has fallen to 179. Nevertheless, the number of operating gas mines keeps growing: two weeks their number grew by two during the reporting period, and this time it grew by 7 to 188, exceeding last year's value by 37.

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