Oil rallies to fresh 3-year high

15 May, 2018, 22:43 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • Oil near Nov. 2014 highs firm as markets tighten amid OPEC cuts, Iran sanctions

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures rose on Monday after a new report showed the tightening market has all but eliminated a global supply overhang which depressed crude prices between late 2014 and early 2017.

Brent crude futures LCOc1, the worldwide benchmark for oil prices, were at $78.21 per barrel at 0639 GMT, virtually unchanged from their last close and not far off a three-and-a-half year high of $78.53 a barrel reached the previous session.

Additionally, data from market intelligence firm Genscape showed that inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for US crude futures, fell more than 400,000 barrels in the week to May 11, according to traders who saw the data. On Friday, prices dropped 66 cents to $70.70.

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OPEC and Saudi Arabia made similar statements a year ago at the beginning of their initiative to curb oil production, and some pundits took this to be a way to avoid any predictions that could prove wrong of higher oil prices resulting from their cutbacks. The previous round of sanctions cut Iran's output in half; it is unclear how much will be cut this time. Looking at trading volumes, the recent move up has been accompanied by lower volumes.

Consequently, the price of Brent and WTI rose from $76.80 to $77.99 and $70.50 to $70.91 respectively in the global market. The contract fell 1.2 per cent on Monday.

USA shale production is expected to hit a record 7.18 million barrels per day (bpd), the Energy Information Administration said.

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"Russian and Chinese firms in particular may still be willing to invest in Iran, but if sanctions result in excess capacity at existing fields, there will be little economic rationale to support new developments". He serves this year as the group's president. The two parties didn't disclose whether the world's biggest crude importer will scale back purchases in light of the renewed sanctions.

Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for United States crude futures, fell about 410,000 barrels between May 8 and May 11, said traders, citing data from market intelligence firm Genscape. March inventories were only 9m barrels above 5 year averages. "Around a million barrels of oil a day is likely to disappear from global oil markets if the US sanctions on Iran bite", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.

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