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gpolit.com May 24, 2018


Brent Crude Hits New High On Soaring Demand

16 May 2018, 12:37 | Rufus Hill

Brent Crude Hits New High On Soaring Demand

Oil pumps

Brent crude futures, the global benchmark for oil prices, were at $78.37 per barrel at 0028 GMT, up 14 cents from their last close and not far off a three-and-a-half year high of $78.53 a barrel reached the previous session.

While it is still unclear how US sanctions will affect output from the third-largest OPEC producer, the move has helped oil prices rise.

Increased demand and restricted supply caused oil prices to soar today with Brent crude oil reaching $79 (£58) per barrel which is the highest since November 2014.

The difference between the two grades briefly widened to more than $8 a barrel, the widest gap since April 2015, reflecting surging USA crude supplies and a greater geopolitical risk to Brent-based crudes.

Now the United States has announced it will impose sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, raising fears that markets will face shortages later this year when trade restrictions come into effect.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other large oil producers led by Russian Federation, have agreed to cut their combined oil output by 1.8 million bpd to reduce bloated global oil inventories and support prices.

Iran will restart its uranium enrichment if it can not find a way to save the 2015 nuclear deal with the European Union after the United States pulled out last week, Tehran's government spokesman said on Tuesday.

During the week from April 28 to May 4, the API reported a draw of 1.85 million barrels of crude oil.

Another industry player who seems is indifferent to the Iran situation is Dharmendra Pradhan, oil minister for India: he told Bloomberg television that he expects "reasonable" oil prices following sanctions against Iran and that his country as an emerging major economy is open to crude imports from any and all sources.

"The clash in Israel worsened market sentiment over geopolitical risks in the Middle East, even though it wouldn't directly impact oil's supply and demand", Mikiko Tate, a senior analyst at Sumitomo Corporation Global Research, said by phone from Tokyo. As the dollar strengthens, investors can retreat from dollar-denominated commodities like oil.

Saudi Arabia pumped 9.868 million barrels a day last month, the lowest since January 2017, according to OPEC's monthly report. Yesterday, the Energy Information Administration said it expected shale oil production to hit 7.178 million barrels daily next month thanks to a record-high monthly increase of 144,000 bpd.

"We expect the EIA report to display bearish results amidst higher rig counts and production levels in the USA", said Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.



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