RIYADH: Oil prices jumped about 4 percent to a five-week high on Friday, lifted again by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and its allies known as OPEC+, decided to make its largest supply cut since 2020, despite concern about a possible recession and rising interest rates.
Brent futures rose $3.50, or 3.7 percent, to settle at $97.92 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude rose $4.19, or 4.7 percent, to end at $92.64.
That was the highest close for Brent since Aug. 30 and WTI since Aug. 29. The price jump pushed both benchmarks into technically overbought territory for the first time since August for Brent and June for WTI.
Both contracts posted their second straight weekly gains, and their biggest weekly percentage gains since March this week, with Brent up about 11 percent and WTI 17 percent higher.
OPEC oil cuts bad for global economy, says US’s Yellen
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said a decision by the OPEC+ grouping to cut oil production was “unhelpful and unwise” for the global economy, especially emerging markets, the Financial Times said on Sunday.
“We’re very worried about developing countries and the problems they face,” Yellen told the newspaper in an interview.
She also criticized allies for being slow to send financial aid to Ukraine.
“The pace of transferring money to Ukraine is far too slow,” Yellen added, pointing out that some countries that had pledged assistance had not got around to disbursing it.
OPEC+ agreed last week to lower their output target by 2 million barrels per day.
Putin orders seizure of Exxon-led Sakhalin 1 oil and gas project
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Friday that establishes a new operator for the Exxon Mobil Corp-led Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project in Russia’s Far East.
Putin’s move affecting Exxon’s largest investment in Russia mimics a strategy he used to seize control of other energy properties in the country.
The decree gives the Russian government authority to decide whether foreign shareholders can retain stakes in the project.
Exxon holds a 30 percent operator stake in Sakhalin-1, with Russian company Rosneft, India’s ONGC Videsh and Japan’s SODECO as partners.
Oil production at the Sakhalin-1 project fell to just 10,000 barrels per day in July from 220,000 bpd before Russia invaded Ukraine.
Exxon has been trying to exit its Russia operations and transfer its role in Sakhalin-1 to a partner since March, after international sanctions were imposed on Moscow.
Russia’s government and Exxon have clashed, with the oil producer threatening to take the case to international arbitration.
(With input from Reuters)