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Oil Hovers Below $70 Highs

Oil hovered below a three-year high near $70 a barrel on Monday on signs that production cuts by OPEC and Russia are tightening supplies, but analysts warned of “red flags” due to surging U.S. production.
International benchmark Brent crude futures LCOc1 were trading 18 cents lower at $69.69 by 1004 GMT, having risen above $70 earlier in the session according to Reuters.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $64.22, down 8 cents from their last settlement. Trading was relatively slow due to a national holiday in the United States.
A production-cutting pact between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers has given strong tailwind to oil prices, with both benchmarks last week hitting levels not seen since December 2014.
Growing signs of a tightening market after a three-year rout have bolstered confidence among traders and analysts that prices can be sustained near current levels.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Monday raised its 2018 Brent price forecast to $64 a barrel from $56, forecasting a deficit of 430,000 barrels per day (bpd) in oil production compared to demand this year, Reuters reports.
Other factors, including political risk, have also supported crude.
“Tighter fundamentals are (the) main driver to the rally in prices, but geopolitical risk and currency moves along with speculative money in tandem have exacerbated the move,” U.S. bank JPMorgan said in a note.

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