Oil steady, tempered by caution over rising USA output

Crude oil is extracted from the Monterey Shale formation near Bakersfield California

But the oil market isn't tightening as quickly as once anticipated, the IEA said in its monthly oil-market report.

A more widespread use of electric cars will not be enough to consign oil to the past, said the energy agency's executive director, Fatih Birol.

Investors increasingly opted not to bet on higher oil prices, following a report from the International Energy Agency showing it expects rising U.S. shale oil and gas production to at least be among the biggest gains in the history of the industry.

Under the IEA's New Policies Scenario, based on existing legislation and announced policy intentions relative to emissions and climate change, the oil price should continue to rise toward $83 a barrel by the mid-2020s.

Traders said they were cautious about betting on further price rises.

"While other major companies continue to maintain a presence in oil sands operations, it remains an open question whether the exit of these companies will impact prospects for oil sands development over the longer term", the IEA said.

With the USA eating into Canada's prospective market share, the IEA believes Canada's liquefied natural gas export will likely not come to fruition until the 2030s - a decade longer than expected - even as LNG will usher in a "new global gas order".

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"Electric vehicles are in the fast lane as a result of government support and declining battery costs, but it is far too early to write the obituary of oil as growth for trucks, aviation, petrochemicals, shipping, and aviation keep pushing demand higher".

Global demand is forecast to be 30 percent higher by 2040, but still half as much as it would be without efficiency improvements.

"Next year's demand growth will struggle to match this", the IEA said.

The less-than-bullish forecast for Canadian oil and gas, means the IEA has cut the country's investment spend in the country to US$1.08 trillion in 2040 (from US$1.68 trillion in its forecast last year) - part of a global cut in investment projections.

This sentiment comes in part on the back of rising USA oil output, which has grown by more than 14 percent since mid-2016 to a record 9.62 million barrels per day (bpd).

Fitch Ratings said in its 2018 oil outlook that it assumed 2018 "average oil prices will be broadly unchanged year-on-year and that the recent price recovery with Brent exceeding $60 per barrel may not be sustained".

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