Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

U.S. oil costs hit highest since mid-2015 on shock…

Oil buoyed by drop in number of US drilling rigs Crude prices slightly rise
Elsie Buchanan | 08 January, 2018, 03:34

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $61.40 a barrel by 1140 GMT.

Norbert Rucker, analyst for Julius Baer, said crude prices above $60 project an "overly rosy picture" and explained that "Oil production disruptions (in Iran) remain a very distant threat.Disruptions in the North Sea have been removed with the Forties Pipeline system having resumed full operations; US oil production surpassed the 2015 highs in October and is set to climb to historic highs this year". Refinery utilization rates rose by 1 percentage points to 96.7 percent.

Oil hit its highest since May 2015 this week, supported by falling inventories, strong demand and high Opec compliance.

Having reached the levels of early December 2014 of about roughly $65 for the Brent and $60 for the WTI, benchmark oil futures have now the ambition to break permanently those levels which are now clearly in reach.

It also said based on data through October, average US imports of crude oil increased by more than 103,000 BPD from the 2016 level, to almost 8.0 MMBPD, the highest level since 2012.

Sachin Tendulkar's daughter Sara harassed, 1 held
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"The protests in Iran added more fuel to the already bullish oil market mood", said Norbert Rucker, head of commodity research at Swiss Bank Julius Baer.

Oil prices have received general support from production cuts led by OPEC and by Russian Federation, which started in January previous year and are set to last through 2018, as well as from strong economic growth and financial markets.

The agency said USA crude oil production increased in 2017 by more than 384,000 barrels per day (BPD), to 9.2 million barrels per day (MMBPD), based on data through September and estimates for the remainder of 2017. Inventories are down by nearly 20 percent from historic highs last March, and well below this time a year ago or in 2015. In the United States, crude stocks fell by 5 million barrels in the latest week, the American Petroleum Institute said on Wednesday before the government's supply report later, yesterday.

"Oil production disruptions (in Iran) remain a very distant threat. disruptions in the North Sea have been removed".

However, cold weather across much of the country was expected to keep demand high, as heating oil prices were just off highs not seen since early 2015.

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