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United States Oil Fund LP (ETF) Oil Price Positive Despite Libyan Boom

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United States Oil Fund LP (ETF) (NASDAQ: USO) was set to open higher on Friday, despite news that OPEC’s supply cuts weren’t working out as planned. It seems that those invested in the ETF are looking for higher demand to continue to support prices.

According to Reuters, the exports of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries hit an all time high in July. The cartel exported 26.11 million barrels per day in the second quarter of the year.

The rise in production may already be priced into the United States Oil Fund LP (ETF) (NASDAQ: USO) because of seasonality. Demand for fuel can hit highs in the Summer months because more travel is generally taking place. The price of oil rose earlier this week because of record demand for gasoline in the United States.

Libya keeps pumping oil

Despite an ongoing civil war, Libya is ramping up its oil production. Libya and Nigeria, two countries with major internal conflicts, were exempted from the OPEC agreement to restrict oil production. Much of the recent rise in oil supply came from those two countries.

The North African country is now producing around 1 million barrels of crude per day. That’s well below the 1.6 million it was pumping before the overthrow of dictator Muammar Gadaffi in 2011. The country’s increase was partially offset by declines in production in Saudi Arabia.

The oil price is far from all time lows, but with Libya and other increasing production, there’s little sign it’s going to rocket upwards. Analysts are not sure about the future direction of the market, but it seems that demand is growing relatively slowly.

With a plethora of oil projects in the US and Canada ready to open if prices rise, Credit Suisse sees the oil price staying under $60 through 2020.

This is all very important for traders of the United States Oil Fund LP (ETF) (NASDAQ: USO). Hopes that OPEC could keep supply low in order to boost prices have simply not materialized.

United States Oil Fund LP (ETF) is really struggling

The dynamics of the oil price in recent years has made it very difficult for those betting on the United States Oil Fund LP (ETF) (NASDAQ: USO).

The ETF has lost more than 70 percent of its value over the last five years. Despite much talk about oil surging higher, the supply constraints just haven’t materialized. The very negative case, of course, is also receding. EVs and Solar are nowhere near mature enough to reduce overall demand for oil.

Despite that, analysts think that there’s a good case for further falls in the oil price. Barclays said, in a report published this week, that “we expect a downward correction during this quarter.”

There are still some arguing for an upward move in the oil price. Gasoline inventories across the country are falling due to massive demand. Oil price bulls reckon this means that demand is going to outstrip supply going forward.

Skeptics reckon this may be a a much more seasonal occurrence, and prices to fall much lower in the third quarter as the oil price bulls are proven wrong.

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Paul Shea

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