Daily Trends Now
Daily Trends Now


Crude Oil Higher On Dwindling OPEC Output

"U.S. sanctions on Iran take center stage in the oil market", said Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity at Julius Baer Group Ltd.in Zurich.

Global benchmark Brent gained $1.11 to settle at $78.23 a barrel. The contract hit $78.22/Bbl earlier in the session, its highest level since November 26, 2014.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $71.03 a barrel, down 28 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement.

The United States last week withdrew from an worldwide nuclear accord with Iran and announced renewed sanctions against the country.

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.

China, France, Russia, Britain, Germany and Iran all remain in the nuclear accord that placed controls on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for a relaxation of economic sanctions against Iran and companies doing business there, Reuters reported.




Of course, not everyone is as cool headed as Pradhan or Mazroui: Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Italian oil and gas giant ENI, told CNBC that "The impact is more for the crude oil price, because Iran now is exporting about 2.6 million barrels [per day], and if we go back to the first sanctions, they were exporting 1.5 million". American measures could cut the Persian Gulf nation's crude exports, and traders are watching whether OPEC and its allies will end their agreement to curb supply and instead increase production to fill in the gap.

"The API inventory data in the US fits with. a topping pattern - or at least a decent pause - for oil prices at the moment", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.

US crude is trading at a hefty discount to Brent, the worldwide marker, thanks to sharp rises in USA production to 10.7 million bpd, which has left the American domestic oil market well supplied.

World oil prices have surged more than 70 percent over the previous year as demand has risen sharply while production has been restricted by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia, and other producers, including Russian Federation.

On the other hand, US production is growing at a pace that made traders hesitate last week after Baker Hughes reported yet another increase in drilling rigs.

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