Oil prices near 2015 highs on tight market
By Henning Gloystein
Heading into 2018, traders said market conditions were relatively tight due to ongoing supply cuts led by the Middle East-dominated Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), as well as top producer Russia.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $59.69 a barrel at 0336 GMT, up 5 cents from their last settlement. WTI broke through $60 a barrel earlier this week, the first time since June 2015.
Brent crude futures were at $66.50 a barrel, up 6 cents. Brent broke through $67 earlier this week, the first time since May 2015 this week.
Traders said the high prices were a result of a relatively tight market following a year of OPEC and Russia-led production cuts, which were started last January and scheduled to cover all of 2018.
“Given the much stronger price response to supply disruptions in the wake of OPEC supply cuts, the market is poised to make further gains,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.
“With geopolitical risk no less sure ahead of Libyan elections next year, we should expect more regional chaos and disorder to underpin oil prices,” he added.
In the North Sea, the 450,000 bpd capacity Forties pipeline system was shut earlier this month due to a crack.
Both pipelines are expected to return to normal operations in January, with Forties already in the start-up process.
The latest official U.S. production figures are due to be published by the on Thursday.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)