Oil market in 2016 under risk of growing imbalance

Oil&Gas Materials 13 January 2016 17:48 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 13

By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

Analysts of the US JP Morgan bank see the growing imbalance risks for the global oil market in 2016.

"Oil markets remain heavily oversupplied, with recent warm weather and resilient production from non-OPEC suppliers pressuring markets in recent weeks," analysts said in a report, obtained by Trend.

The prospect of further uncertainty over the speed of Chinese currency adjustment adds to concerns over growth and, hence, the risk of a growing imbalance in oil markets in 2016, analysts believe.

The escalation in Middle East tensions appears unlikely to postpone the lifting of sanctions against Iran materially, indicating another bearish element to market balances in the first half of 2016, according to the analysts.

"Hence, the prospects of further stock builds are expected to continue to depress prices," they said.

Analysts expect Iran's oil production to hit 3.2 million barrels per day by mid-year from 2.7 million barrels per day reported in December.

Saudi Arabia is expected by the analysts to defend exports at close to 7.3 million barrels per day on average, with output adjustment largely driven by domestic refining and power crude burn requirements.

"4Q2105 saw heavy maintenance in Saudi Arabia, but although we expect heavier-than-normal turnarounds in the region in 1Q2016, much of this is concentrated in Iran and the UAE, suggesting strong Saudi Arabian crude runs and hence production in coming months," analysts said.

US WTI crude and Brent crude futures tumbled to the 12-year low on Monday amid global overproduction and new concerns over Chinese stock market.

Brent crude futures dropped by 6.41 percent to $31.75 a barrel, its lowest since April 2004. WTI crude sank by 6.21 percent to $31.10 per barrel, the lowest since December 2003.

Earlier this week Nigeria's oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said on Jan. 12 that a "couple" of members of the OPEC had requested an emergency meeting, adding that current market conditions support the need to hold such a gathering.

Any meeting that would take place would be to review OPEC's position to see if there was any need to change its strategy, Kachikwu said, adding that the meeting could take place in February or March.