Vastly slower U.S. oil growth this year and the prospect of a plateau for the world’s top oil producer have signaled a new and unfamiliar era of self-restraint for the go-go shale industry.
Crude oil prices are likely to hover around $63 a barrel next year, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday, benefiting from deeper production cuts by OPEC and its allies, and hopes that a U.S.-China trade deal could jumpstart economic growth.
On Wednesday crude oil prices fell after industry data showed an unexpected build in crude inventory in the United States and as investors waited for news on whether a fresh round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods would take effect on Sunday.
Surging natural gas demand of China in 2019 will require more efforts to better connect end-users to suppliers as government policies and a recent tax cut will continue to spur consumption of the clean-burning fuel, a senior industry executive said.
U.S. crude oil dropped $2.04, or 4.1 percent, to a low of $47.84, its weakest since September 2017. It recovered to around $49.28, down 60 cents, by 1420 GMT.
On Tuesday Brent crude prices dropped more than $1, falling for a third straight session, as reports of inventory builds and forecasts of record shale output in the US, now the biggest producer of world, stoked worries about oversupply.
Under pressure from high inventories, oil prices steadied on Thursday but buoyed by a drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles and indications that the trade war between the United States and China may be easing.