* February expiry Brent volumes worth $39 bln traded on Wed
* Those volumes equal to 8 times global daily crude demand
* Brent volumes surge past U.S. crude trading
By Roslan Khasawneh
SINGAPORE, Dec 1 Trading volumes of Brent crude
oil futures pulverised records on Thursday after some of the
world's top producers on Wednesday struck a deal to cut output
for the first time since 2008, seeking to bolster prices stuck
at historically modest levels.
The scale of the planned cut by OPEC and Russia - 1.5
million barrels per day in total - was at the top of
expectations, sending Brent crude futures for the
second-front month delivery, which on Wednesday meant February,
surging to more than 780,000 lots of 1,000 barrels each.
The lots were equal to a combined $39 billion in value -
more than eight times the whole world's daily consumption of
crude oil - and volumes easily beat a previous record of just
over 600,000 reached in September when OPEC first suggested an
"I don't think (the market) had priced in how committed OPEC
turned out to be at the very last minute to getting something
over the line which I think caused a surge in trading volumes,"
said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage
The deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC) and Russia, pushed Brent prices back above $50
per barrel, to $52.13 per barrel at 0804 GMT.
Traders taking profits against call options bought earlier
in the week also lifted volumes, Halley said. March expiry Brent
traded 288,640 lots of 1,000 barrels each, compared with
a previous record of 228,700 lots done in July 2014 just as
crude oil began to collapse from above $100 a barrel.
Halley added that the surge in crude oil prices on Wednesday
provided producers of U.S. shale oil the opportunity to hedge
their future output.
"With the financing changes that (U.S. shale producers) have
to undergo now, they have to hedge quite a proportion of their
future production in order to get the financing they need,"
The soaring Brent volumes also meant that the international
crude futures benchmark challenged volumes of U.S. crude
trading, historically much higher.
The equivalent contracts for U.S. West Texas Intermediate
(WTI) crude futures had records of 796,240 lots of 1,000
barrels, reached in April this year, and of 288,460 lots
completed in February 2011, respectively.
While the OPEC output cut has had an immediate effect on
prompt crude oil futures, the biggest price impact will be in
contracts for delivery in early 2017, especially the February
contract, rather than in the spot market.
(Reporting by Roslan Khasawneh; Editing by Henning Gloystein
and Kenneth Maxwell)