The International Energy Agency indulged in a little trolling on Wednesday.
Reformulated blendstock gasoline futures dropped 3.4 percent to $1.449 a gallon as of 10:59 a.m. EDT (1459 GMT).
"'Whatever it takes" might be the mantra, but the current form of "whatever' is not having as quick an impact as expected".
Sick burn and all that.
OPEC and other exporters such as Russian Federation have agreed to keep production nearly 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) below the levels pumped at the end of a year ago and not to increase output until the end of the first quarter of 2018.
The market's weakness can be seen in technical activity surrounding Brent crude, where the 50-day moving average fell through the 200-day moving average on Monday, an indicator of a near-term weakening trend also known as a "death cross".
So what's not to like? For one, higher-than-expected shale oil production in the USA partly offset Opec and non-Opec production cuts at the beginning of this year.
OPEC stated, "The rebalancing of the market is under way, but at a slower pace, given the changes in fundamentals since December, especially the shift in US supply from an expected contraction to positive growth".
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According tneighboursncy's latest report, there have yet to be supply disruptions, but exporters of Qatar's crude, condensate and liquefied natural gas have already faced some logistical troubles.
In its monthly assessment of the market, the agency said global crude inventories were 292m barrels higher than the five-year average. Yet this may understate the scale of what's required. Another 10 companies increased their hedging positions by 91 million barrels; two others did not hedge at all. That's below 60, which is good. Demand will surpass 100 million barrels a day for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Total world proven crude oil reserves stood at 1,492 billion barrels, bn b, at the end of 2016, increasing slightly by 0.3 percent from the previous year's level of 1,488 bn b, indicated the report, noting that the largest additions came from Iraq, Venezuela and Norway.
"The problem is that there is too much oil on the market".
Year to date, gasoline prices have traded between a low of $2.26 and a high of about $2.42 a gallon, said Kloza, but he believes "both extremes will give way". U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down $1.75, or 3.8 percent, at $44.71 per barrel.
The upshot is that Saudi Arabia will have to drag out its odd romance with Russian Federation as long as it possibly can in its mission to drain the tanks.