Oil edges back from big slump as Iran sanctions return to focus

US sanctions against Iran’s oil industry will kick in from November 4. (Reuters)
Updated 24 October 2018
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Oil edges back from big slump as Iran sanctions return to focus

SINGAPORE: Oil prices on Wednesday clawed back a fraction of their hefty losses the day before that came after Saudi Arabia said it would make up for supply disruptions from US sanctions starting next month on Iran’s petroleum exports.
Front-month Brent crude oil futures were at $76.72 a barrel at 0320 GMT, 28 cents, or 0.4 percent, above their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $66.66 a barrel, up 23 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement.
That came after Brent closed down 4.3 percent and WTI 4 percent in the previous session.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said at an investment conference in Riyadh on Tuesday that despite expected supply disruptions from US sanctions against Iran that kick in from November 4, Saudi Arabia would step up to “meet any demand that materializes to ensure customers are satisfied.”
“Oil prices fell substantially ... as Saudi Arabia released assurances it could supply more to the global market,” Australia’s Rivkin Securities said.
Despite the slump, analysts said markets remained tight because of the looming sanctions.
“We still see Brent reaching $85 per barrel by year-end,” said US bank Morgan Stanley.
Into 2019, however, the broader economic outlook could be darkening.
China’s state planner said on Wednesday it would step up financial support for regions most hit by the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing in which both sides have slapped import tariffs on hundreds of goods.


Oil prices edge up as OPEC says its crude output fell sharply in December

Updated 18 January 2019
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Oil prices edge up as OPEC says its crude output fell sharply in December

  • OPEC cut oil output sharply in December before a new accord to limit supply took effect on Jan. 1

SYDNEY, Australia: US oil prices inched higher on Friday after a report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries showed its production fell sharply last month, easing fears about prolonged oversupply.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.40 per barrel at 0026 GMT, up 32 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last settlement. WTI futures closed down 0.4 percent on Thursday.
International Brent crude oil futures had yet to trade, after closing up 1.1 percent in the previous session.
OPEC cut oil output sharply in December before a new accord to limit supply took effect on Jan. 1, it said on Thursday, suggesting that producers have made a strong start to averting a glut in 2019 as a slowing economy curbs demand.
“The OPEC+ production cuts (that stared this month) will be paramount to keeping the market tight and supporting prices,” ANZ said in a research note. The body is making cuts along with other major producers such as Russia.
OPEC said in its monthly report that its oil output fell by 751,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December to 31.58 million bpd, the biggest month-on-month drop in almost two years.
But tempering that support for prices, OPEC also cut its forecast for average daily demand for its crude in 2019 to 30.83 million barrels, down 910,000 bpd from the 2018 average.