Crude prices rise to maximum since 2015

Crude prices rise to maximum since 2015

Oil rose to its highest level since May 2015 on Thursday, supported by unrest in Iran that has raised concerns about supply risks, cold weather in the United States that is boosting demand and output cuts led by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec). Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate, fell to the lowest since February 2015, while nationwide output expanded to a near record.

OPEC as well as non-OPEC members including Russian Federation, initiated an agreement to cut supplies in 2016, with the goal of lifting prices by diminishing the two-year excess of supply.

Some analysts were asking yesterday whether the bull market had run its course. There's no doubt that the ten-dollar move...

Brent, the global crude oil benchmark, has risen by more than 50 percent in less than six months, stoking fears of stronger inflation but providing a boost to producing countries that have been hard hit by low oil prices in the last three years. USA production rose to 9.78 million barrels in the last week. That was just short of the May 2015 high at $62.58.

While OPEC producers have chose to roll over the production cuts through the end of 2018, non-OPEC supply will increase more than previously expected, and total supply growth could exceed demand growth next year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in December's Monthly Oil Market Report.

Oil prices fell Friday as some investors cashed in on the week's strong gains and others mulled ambiguous USA inventory data.

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As noted in the OPEC publication, crude oil production from OPEC countries had decreased by 0.13 million barrels per day (BOPD) in November 2017. The previous day it touched $68.27, also the highest since May 2015.

As Opec's leverage over the world's biggest economy diminishes, it is hard to know how oil producers will react and, more importantly, whether this represents merely a blip or a return to the global energy landscape that existed before the Arab oil crisis of the 1970s.

A $10 per barrel increase in global crude oil prices increase current account deficit by $8 billion, fuel oil subsidy by about $2 billion and dents crude oil GDP growth by 30 bps.

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said late Wednesday that its own data for the week showed a 5-million-barrel decrease in crude supplies, a 1.9-million-barrel rise in gasoline stocks and a 4.3-million-barrel rise in distillate inventories, according to a market participant.

The expected rise in stocks during the first half is one reason why OPEC and its allies think market rebalancing will not be completed until later in the year and agreed to keep their output unchanged.

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