RIYADH: Oil prices fell by nearly 2 percent on Wednesday as a stronger US dollar and weak data from top oil importer China raised demand fears.
Brent crude futures for August delivery were down $1.69, or 2.30 percent, to $71.85 a barrel at 3:15 p.m. Saudi time, while US West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.99, or 2.87 percent, to $67.47.
China’s manufacturing activity contracted faster than expected in May on weakening demand, with the official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index dipping to 48.8 from 49.2 in April.
In the US, trader sentiment remained cautious despite legislation brokered by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to lift the $31.4 trillion US debt ceiling and achieve new federal spending cuts passed an important hurdle late on Tuesday, advancing to the full House of Representatives for debate and an expected vote on passage on Wednesday.
Rosneft’s Q1 net profit up 45.5%
First-quarter net profit of Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft rose by 45.5 percent from the previous three months to 323 billion rubles ($4 billion) on the back of rising output, the company said on Wednesday.
Rosneft, headed by Igor Sechin, a long-standing ally of President Vladimir Putin, has shown resilience in the face of Western sanctions by redirecting its oil flows from Europe to Asia amid a wider political fallout.
Sechin said the company’s operations would be further impacted by Russia’s decision to reduce its oil output by 500,000 barrels per day, or about 5 percent, to bolster global oil markets.
“While the cut did not have much influence on the Q1 2023 results, it will have a strong impact on the results of the following quarter,” he said in a statement.
Rosneft also said its core profit increased in January-March to 672 billion rubles, up 25.1 percent from the previous three months, while revenue edged down 1.1 percent to 1.823 trillion rubles.
Iraq’s Cabinet approves $416.9m to build 3rd offshore export pipeline
The Iraqi Cabinet approved on Tuesday $416.9 million for the construction of a third offshore export pipeline, it said in a statement.
Iraq’s state-run Basra Oil Co. has contracted Dutch company Royal Boskalis to construct the pipeline, which has an operating capacity of 2 million barrels daily.
(With input from Reuters)