Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Oil Hovers at 4-Year High

How Much Oil Can Saudis Really Pump? We're Set to Find Out Does Saudi Arabia have the extra oil
Elsie Buchanan | 03 October, 2018, 16:42

Oil drums stored in a warehouse at the Ladol free trade zone port in Lagos.

Brent crude rose to $83 per barrel on Monday even as exports from Iran thinned further with the new United States sanctions set to be slapped in November.

Brent for November delivery rose $1.06 to $82.78 a barrel at 11:14 a.m. on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. In post-settlement trade, the contract continued to strengthen, rising to US$85.45 a barrel, the first trade above US$85 since November 2014.

USA and global benchmark crude futures were poised Friday to post a third straight weekly gain but according to Dow Jones Market Data, October is the worst month for Brent crude, based on average monthly performance since 1990, while November stands as the worst for West Texas Intermediate.

Meanwhile, the USA and Canada forged an economic alliance on Sunday with the goal to save the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a trilateral deal with Mexico, CNBC said.

Fears are growing that the constriction of Iranian exports by US sanctions and the collapse of Venezuela's oil industry will leave a deep shortfall in the market.

Investors have loaded up on options that give the holder the right to buy Brent at US$90 by the end of October. Open interest in call options at $90 has risen by almost 12,000 lots in the past week to 38,000 lots, or 38 million barrels.

Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland win 2018 Nobel Physics Prize
The winners will be awarded with nine million kronor (£770,000) which has been decided by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The winners of the Nobel Prize will be awarded $1 million or £770,000 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


Worldwide benchmark Brent crude oil futures were at $85.03 per barrel at 0439 GMT, up 5 cents from their last close, and not far off the $85.45 peak reached in the previous session, the highest since November 2014.

And, as concerns over supply remain elevated, a growing pool of analysts are anticipating the price of the valuable commodity could hit $100 per barrel.

With just weeks left until the sanctions are imposed, oil buyers are looking for new suppliers to avoid breaching the United States sanctions, which take effect from November 4.

Brent was pushed up by the looming sanctions against Iran, which will start targeting its oil sector from November 4. "However, such optimistic claims are falling on deaf ears", PVM Oil Associates strategist Stephen Brennock said. China's Sinopec said it had halved loadings of Iranian oil in September. USA officials have been working with refiners in Asia to find replacements or Iranian oil.

Donald Trump spoke on the phone Saturday with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, days after the US president's latest criticism of OPEC over high oil prices.

Britain's Barclays bank, however, said "OPEC has ample spare capacity".

"Already at $80, we are seeing emerging-market local oil prices pretty close to where we peaked a few years ago. the race to protect consumers from further price rises from here could potentially impact demand growth sooner than would otherwise have been expected", Hansen said.

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