Oil prices remain stable over balanced supply and demand


Oil markets have remained steady as global oversupplies from increased US production and OPEC surpluses were balanced by demand. 

Benchmark Brent crude and the US light crude oil were trading 10 cents lower at $48.32 and $45.92 a barrel respectively, reported Reuters.

Freight Investor Services fuel broker Matt Stanley was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We're stuck in a range that, I think, will be tough to break out of without some kind of political factor coming into play.”

Strong demand from refineries in China increased crude throughput last month. 

"We're stuck in a range that will be tough to break out of without some kind of political factor coming into play."

However, most oil markets remain well-supplied and crude oil for immediate delivery was reported to be trading at heavy discounts. 

The deal between the oil group and other key oil producers, including Russia, to reduce oil supplies by nearly 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) up to March 2018 has been largely ineffective to revive oil prices.

OPEC countries exempt from the deal, Nigeria and Libya have increased crude oil output that put additional pressure on price levels. 

South American nation Ecuador also stated that it will not be able to reduce its production by 26,000bpd as agreed due to the country's fiscal deficit.

Currently, Ecuador is producing 545,000bpd after reducing output by 60%.