Finance

Crude Oil Pulls Up Short Of USD70 Wall

Crude Oil Pulls Up Short Of USD70 Wall”

Oil prices were boosted on Wednesday by the EIA weekly USA inventories report and a media report that Saudi Arabia would be pushing for oil prices to go as high as $100 a barrel, following reports from last week that it was aiming for $80.

Brent crude oil futures rose $1.52, or 2.1 percent, to $73.10 a barrel by 10:50 a.m. ET (1450 GMT), taking out last week's three-year high of $73.09.

The price for West Texas Intermediate crude also kept climbing, trading up 41 cents at $68.88 U.S. per barrel.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil rallied to their highest level since late 2014 on Wednesday after a U.S. government report showed U.S. crude stockpiles declined last week and as traders continued to price in the possibility of supply disruptions in several key oil-producing nations. Oil was trading above $74 on Thursday, having reached its highest since November 2014. Focus is now shifting to whether OPEC and its allies will signal an extension of supply cuts at their meeting on Friday in Saudi Arabia.

Also today, the chief executive of oil major Total, Patrick Pouyanné, warned that high oil prices could start eroding-albeit slightly-oil demand growth.

Talk that Saudi Arabia has its sights on $80-$100 a barrel oil again ignited a fierce rally in commodities and resource stocks on Thursday, though the potential boost to inflation globally put some pressure on fixed-income assets.

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"The idea of bearish United States production just getting dumped onto the open market and taking down oil prices is getting some reprieve for now".

To be sure, OPEC and Saudi Arabia have no official price target and say the objective of the production cut is to balance supply and demand, and reduce the inventory glut. Late previous year, they agreed to extend the pact to the end of 2018.

OPEC and its partners meet on June 22 to review policy and before then a ministerial monitoring panel gathers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on April 20. Distillate inventories were also down, by 3.1 million barrels, after a weekly draw of 1 million barrels in the prior seven-day period.

"I personally think that now $70 is the floor for oil prices", a second OPEC source said.

"US production is too responsive to high price and there is still plenty of crude oil in tanks", he said.



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