For its part, OPEC remains concerned about the level of production by U.S. shale producers and the cartel is urging its U.S. rivals to pare output to support prices. According to the Energy Information Administration, crude oil product could hit 9.9 million barrels per day in 2018, which surpasses the prior high reached in 1970 of 9.6 million barrels per day.
Hedge funds and other professional speculators recently boosted their long exposure to oil and other energy commodities.
“Net long positions in WTI dropped by 6 million barrels to 455 million barrels in the week to January 2–down from a record 461 million barrels the week before. Money managers boosted their net longs in heating oil and diesel fuel to records, as middle distillates in the U.S. are below the seasonal average, and the extreme cold in the eastern U.S. is further expected to tighten middle distillate supplies,” according to OilPrice.com.
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