Singapore — Crude oil futures were mixed during mid-morning trade in Asia Friday, reacting to comments by Saudi Arabia on OPEC production and Norway restarting the Knarr oil Field.
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At 10:20 am Singapore time (0220 GMT), ICE September Brent crude futures were down 4 cents/b (0.06%) from Thursday's settle at $72.54/b, while the NYMEX August light sweet crude contract was 13 cents/b (0.19%) higher at $68.59/b.
Saudi Arabia's oil exports will be little changed in July and will fall in August, the country's OPEC governor said Thursday.
Saudi crude exports in July will be largely stable from June, but will decline by about 100,000 b/d in August, Saudi's OPEC governor Adeeb al-Aama said in a statement.
"Saudi Arabia only exports barrels that are earmarked to match confirmed lifting requests by end users and does not try to push oil into the market beyond its customers' needs," he said in the statement.
"Just as Saudi Arabia would not like to see unmet customer demand, an oversupplied market repels potential investment in the oil industry, curtailing future supply and contributing to volatility," he added.
ANZ analysts said in a note: "Investors did find some solace in comments from Saudi Arabia that it would not oversupply the market indiscriminately."
In a separate note, OCBC Commodity economist Barnabas Gan said: "Market expectations over oil supplies appear to dominate price movements for now."
In Norway, offshore workers have agreed to call off a 10-day strike after reaching a pay deal with employers, the Norwegian Shipowners' Association said Thursday, ending the threat of a production plunge.
More than 600 offshore workers across nine facilities went on strike July 10, shutting in the Shell-operated Knarr field, which produced 23,000 b/d of liquids over the first four months of the year.
With the US Energy Information Administration reporting a build of 100,000 b/d in US crude output to 11 million b/d for the week ended June 13, market participants will be looking for further indications on US production levels from Baker Hughes, which is slated to release weekly US rig count data later Friday.
As of 0220 GMT, the US Dollar Index was down 0.02$ at 94.99
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--Edited by Wendy Wells, email@example.com