Oil Futures Mostly Higher Monday

Oil Futures Mostly Higher Monday

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange spot-month oil futures stabilized after Friday's profit-taking led losses, with the futures complex mixed with an upside bias this morning following supportive news from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

OPEC issued a statement this morning following a weekend meeting in Russia of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee that ended today, saying that Nigeria has agreed to join a production agreement and would limit its output to 1.8 million bpd once reached.

In its Monthly Oil Market Report for July, OPEC said Nigeria self-reported producing 1.66 million bpd of crude oil in June, up 168,000 bpd from May, while secondary sources reported Nigerian production at 1.733 million bpd.

The OPEC statement today also reported compliance with nearly 1.8 million bpd in ongoing production cuts by OPEC and 10 non-OPEC producers at 98% in June. The production agreement is for an 18-month term that ends in March 2018.

The committee's finding of a 98% compliance rate contrasts with recent reports however, including from the International Energy Agency that earlier this month reported climbing OPEC crude production and a decline in compliance in June. IEA reported OPEC compliance at 78% in June, down from 95% for May.

On Friday, Reuters reported on a Petro-Logistics survey that showed OPEC output would show a month-over-month increase of 145,000 bpd in July.

Saudi Arabian oil minister Khalid al-Falih this morning said the kingdom would limit its crude exports in August to almost 1.0 million bpd below a year ago level, reports said. While saying there was no talk of deepening the output cuts, al-Falih suggested there is the possibility of extending the timeframe of the agreement beyond March 2018, Reuters reported.

In early trade, the September NYMEX WTI futures contract rose 52cts lower to $46.29 bbl, while September Brent crude futures advanced 56cts to $48.62 bbl. Brent traded at a $2.33 premium to WTI.

The August ULSD futures contract edged 0.65cts higher to $1.5217 gallon while the August RBOB futures contract was little changed at $1.5627 gallon. The August RBOB contract traded at 2.46cts premium to the September contract, with backwardation reflecting seasonal demand in the short term.