Crude moves lower, as OPEC expects prices to remain under $100 till 2025

Shutterstock photo - -- Crude futures inched down on Monday continuing its retreat from five-month highs reached last week, ahead of Tuesday's latest strategy report from OPEC.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for June delivery fell 0.15 or 0.25% to 59.24 a barrel. Texas Light Sweet futures traded in a tight range from 58.75 on the low end to 59.85 at its peak on the first day of trading this week. Last Wednesday, WTI crude rose above $62 a barrel for the first time since mid-December amid easing concerns of oversupply.

On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), brent crude for June delivery dipped 0.50 or 0.70% to 64.93 a barrel. The spread between the international and U.S. domestic benchmarks of crude stood at 5.69, below Friday's level of $6.04.

OPEC, meanwhile, reportedly indicated that it cannot envision a scenario where crude prices will rise over $100 a barrel in the next decade, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. In its latest monthly report scheduled to be released on Tuesday, OPEC predicts that crude will be priced at $76 in 2025 under its most optimistic forecast. Reporters from the Wall Street Journal reviewed portions of the draft of the report.

On November 27, crude prices plummeted by more than $6 on the session to a four-year low after Saudi Arabia overruled a proposal from OPEC's smaller nations to cut production levels. Crude prices continued to plunge from $67 following the announcement to near $45 a barrel in late-January, as OPEC rolled over its daily production ceiling to 30 million barrels per day. A strategy from OPEC aimed at curbing U.S. shale production, however, has been largely ineffective, as U.S. output remains high.

While crude production on U.S. shale fields declined over a period of two consecutive weeks last month, figures released by the Energy Information Administration on May 1 indicated that crude was still being pumped at a level of 9.369 million barrels per day. The level dipped only slightly from crude output on March 20, when production reached a record 9.422 million bpd. The Saudi strategy, in effect, attempted to increase its market share by squeezing U.S. shale production at the lower price.

On Sunday, government officials in Riyadh announced that Saudi King Salman will skip a regional summit hosted by U.S. president Barack Obama later this week at Camp David. The snub could underscore a widening rift between the nations over a nuclear deal with Iran.

Last week, oil services firm Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) said in its weekly report that the number of oil rigs in the U.S. fell by 11 to 668 marking the 22nd consecutive week of declines. The number of domestic oil rigs in the U.S. remained at its lowest level since September, 2010.

The pace of decline, however, continues to slow. In April, the figure fell by roughly 33 rigs per week after dipping by more than 80 on consecutive weeks in February. Last October, The rig count peaked above 1,600, after reaching 1,528 at this point last year. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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