Crude Oil Prices Make Energy ETFs Interesting Long-Term Buys

Oil and gas investment is expected to rebound modestly by 3% in 2017

Oil Steadies Outlook Bearish

Crude oil prices got a life Tuesday following a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that said U.S. crude oil production for the year should average 9.3 million barrels per day in 2017 and 9.9 million barrels per day next year.

The producer group's total output jumped by about 393,500 barrels a day to a total of 32.6 million barrels a day last month, according to independent assessments cited by OPEC in a monthly report, CNBC reported. This figure, however, contradicts the latest claims that Libya's crude output has climbed above 1 million barrels per day, which has become the latest concern for OPEC in its struggle to bring balance to the global oil market.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may have extended a cut in oil production, but the June data show an increase in production compared to May. The restrictions had been introduced in 1975, two years after OPEC banned oil sales to the USA, a move that sent gas prices skyrocketing. But production elsewhere has risen as OPEC has held back.

"In the years ahead, these developments position the potentially be one of the 10 largest exporters of crude oil in the world", wrote analyst Jenna Delaney. Led by Libya and Nigeria, which are not in the list of oil output cut deal.

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Benchmark Brent futures were up 35 cents at $47.87 a barrel by 2.44pm GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude was up 57c, or 1.3%, at $45.61 per barrel.

US crude imports fell last week by 282,000 bbl/d, while exports rose to 918,000 bbl/d from 768,000 bbl/d.

"Saudi Arabia is keen to see an improvement in the oil market and accelerate the balancing process, and expects other producers to do the same", the Saudi source said, adding that there are signs of improvement in market fundamentals.

Libya and Nigeria may attend a joint meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC this month, Russia's energy minister said on Monday as oil producers look for ways to cap rising production to help support oil prices.

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Gasoline futures gained 0.25 cent, or 0.2%, to $1.5208 a gallon, the 10th gain in 12 sessions.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.6 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for a 1.1-million-barrel gain. Last month, it forecast a 680,000 bpd year-over-year increase.

"There is no (supply) cut" even for heavier grades such as Arab Medium and Heavy crude, one of the sources said.

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