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Oil price tops $60 for first time in more than two years

29 October, 2017, 03:59 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • A view of Mexico's national oil company Pemex's refinery in Salamanca

"If OPEC and their non-OPEC partners can agree to extend their production curtailments through 2018, then we estimate the oil market will remain in modest under-supply until 2019", USA investment bank Jefferies said. Analysts had expected a decrease of 2.6 million barrels.

Brent crude futures settled up 11 cents at $58.44 a barrel. Production rebounded from a falloff due to Hurricane Nate, and imports rose.

The EIA report also showed gasoline and distillate inventories fell by more than 5 million barrels, and refinery utilization rates rose 3.3 percentage points. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 29 cents to $52.18.

The bullish comments helped turn sentiment on oil prices positive amid investor concerns over recent data showing both US crude supplies and domestic production jumped last week.

Brent oil rose 1 percent on Tuesday after top exporter Saudi Arabia said it was determined to end a supply glut, while prices also drew support from forecasts of a further drop in USA crude inventories as well as nervousness over tensions in Iraqi Kurdistan.

"Expectations of increased demand continue to provide support for higher prices", said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy.

The dollar trimmed its earlier gains versus a basket of currencies following a Bloomberg report that U.S. President Donald Trump is leaning toward Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell as his pick to head the U.S. central bank.


USA oil exports hit all-time high this week and, after a brief respite, look set to rise to their highest on record into north west Europe, as the discount of US crude to Brent sits at two-year highs, casting a shadow over the North Sea market.

OPEC and some major producers outside the cartel, including Russian Federation, first agreed late past year to cap their production at around 1.8 million barrels a day lower than peak October 2016 levels, with the aim of alleviating global oversupply and boosting prices.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to debate extending its production cutting agreement through 2018 at its next official meeting in Vienna on November 30.

"The trend is up, but getting exhausted", said Robin Bieber, technical chart analyst and a director of London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

The disruption to exports from Iraq, the second-largest producer in OPEC, has supported the market and should give the group's already high compliance with the cutback agreement a boost in October.

The data also showed that USA crude production rose 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) last week to 9.5 million bpd after a decline due to Hurricane Nate, while U.S. oil exports hit a new record four-week average of 1.7 million bpd. Kurdish authorities on Wednesday offered to suspend their independence drive, but Baghdad said it would continue its offensive to retake Kurdish territory.

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