While the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies have agreed to cut back on production, U.S. shale oil production will continue to offset the cuts abroad and continue to keep pressure on crude oil prices and related exchange traded funds.
Year-to-date, the United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, declined 18.5% and the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO), which tracks Brent crude oil futures, decreased 12.4%. Meanwhile, WTI crude oil futures are now trading around $46.9 per barrel and Brent crude was hovering near $56.3 per barrel.
U.S. oil production was 11.6 million barrels per day for the most recent week, or just shy of its all-time record of 11.7 million barrels per day, Reuters reports. U.S. production last year pushed passed the output record of 10 million barrels per day set back in 1970.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, if production expands at the current rate, U.S. shale will effectively offset any OPEC cuts by the end of 2019.
OPEC and Russia
OPEC and its allies including Russia have agreed to collectively reduce production by 1.2 million barrels per day in December, with non-OPEC allies contributing 400,000 barrels per day of the total.
“I think this [production cut]is not a once-and-for-all resolution,” Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of IHSMarkit, told Reuters. “This is going to be an ongoing process of a global market coming to terms with continuing growth out of the United States. The global oil market is firmly in the shale era.”