RIYADH: Oil futures jumped on Monday, with Brent rising above $120 a barrel after Saudi Arabia hiked prices for its crude sales in July, signaling tight supply even after OPEC+ agreed to accelerate output increases over the next two months.
Brent crude was up 91 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $120.63 a barrel at 0343 GMT after touching an intraday high of $121.95, extending a 1.8 percent gain from Friday.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 93 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $119.80 a barrel after earlier hitting a three-month high of $120.99. It gained 1.7 percent on Friday.
US to let Eni, Repsol ship Venezuela oil to Europe for debt
Italian oil company Eni SpA and Spain’s Repsol SA could begin shipping Venezuelan oil to Europe as soon as next month to make up for Russian crude, five people familiar with the matter said, resuming oil-for-debt swaps halted two years ago when Washington stepped up sanctions on Venezuela.
The volume of oil Eni and Repsol are expected to receive is not large, one of the people said, and any impact on global oil prices will be modest. But Washington’s greenlight to resume Venezuela’s long-frozen oil flows to Europe could provide a symbolic boost for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
The US State Department gave the nod to the two companies to resume shipments in a letter, the people said. US President Joe Biden’s administration hopes the Venezuelan crude can help Europe cut dependence on Russia and re-direct some of Venezuela’s cargoes from China. Coaxing Maduro into restarting political talks with Venezuela’s opposition is another aim, two of the people told Reuters.
The two European energy companies, which have joint ventures with Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA, can count the crude cargoes toward unpaid debts and late dividends, the people said.
A key condition, one of the people said, was that the oil received “has to go to Europe. It cannot be resold elsewhere.”
Oil production resumed at Libya’s Sharara field
Oil production has resumed at Libya’s Sharara field, two oil engineers working there told Reuters on Sunday.
There was no immediate confirmation from the state-owned National Oil Corporation.
(With input from Reuters)