Oil Up 2% on Producer Deal Speculation; Gasoline Dips

تم نشره في Mon 19 September / Sep 2016. 12:00 AM
  • A view of an oil refinery off the coast of Singapore. – (Reuters)

NEW YORK/LONDON — Oil prices rose about 2 per cent on Monday after Venezuela hinted that OPEC and other major oil producers could agree to a market support deal and as clashes in Libya disrupted attempts to boost crude exports.

US gasoline futures fell slightly on profit-taking from last week's rally on the outage of a key gasoline pipeline due to a leak.

Oil was also supported by higher equity prices on Wall Street and a weaker dollar that made greenback-denominated commodities, such as crude, more affordable to holders of the euro and other currencies.

Brent crude futures were up 97 cents, or 2.1 per cent, at USD46.74 a barrel by 12:07 p.m. EDT (1607 GMT).

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose by 95 cents, or 2.2 per cent, to USD43.98.

US gasoline futures fell 0.4 per cent to USD1.4555 per gallon.

Last week, Brent hit a two-week low and WTI fell to a five-week low on concerns about oversupply with more deliveries from Libya and Nigeria.

Clashes in Libya on Sunday, however, halted the loading of the first oil cargo from the port of Ras Lanuf as the state-run National Oil Corporation prepared to restart exports from the ports blockaded for several years.

Oil prices also rose after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major oil producers were close to reaching a deal on price stability that could announced later this month.

Oil producers are to meet on the sidelines of an industry conference in Algeria next week for talks on the potentially freezing oil production, ahead of OPEC's all-important policy meeting in November.

In the past, analysts have persistently discounted the possibility that OPEC members such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nigeria and Libya will agree to production curbs as they ramped up output to protect market share.

But with the Algiers talks approaching, some opinions were shifting.

"My bias remains positive as there appears to be more bullish surprises as of late in a time where the market was pretty convinced that it was going to be the opposite," said Scott Shelton, broker for crude and other energy products at ICAP in Durham, North Carolina.

Speculators' net long positions in Brent have stabilized at around levels seen in mid-August, data showed, as hedge funds bet on the possibility of an oil output deal.

A production freeze will be "a win-win for OPEC and Russia, as Iran is unlikely to add extra production anyway for the next six-12 months," Natixis analyst Deshpande Abhishek said.

T. Boone Pickens, who runs BP Capital Management, told Reuters he believed crude will end the year in a range of USD55-USD60. He does not see it rising to USD100 because of the size of US reserves.