Oil pares losses as Israel lines up Iran announcement

02 May, 2018, 01:41 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • Crude Futures Price comparison

Trump has given Britain, France and Germany a May 12 deadline to fix what he views as the flaws of the 2015 nuclear deal, or he will reimpose sanctions. Futures for September delivery had risen 0.6% to 444.2 yuan per barrel on Friday, gaining 5.7% this month. French President Emmanuel Macron made a joint announcement with the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that the two leaders would work together on preserving the deal. Still, expanding American drilling activity continues to limit price increases.

Brent, against which Nigeria's crude oil is priced, stood at $75.16 per barrel as of 8:15pm Nigerian time, while the United States' marker, West Texas Intermediate, traded around $68.36 per barrel.

"Although the overall U.S. oil rig count rose by five, the prolific Permian region saw oil rigs decline by one", Anthony Headrick, energy market analyst and commodities futures broker at CHS Hedging LLC, said in an email.

OPEC and its partners agreed to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels per day since January a year ago, an effort which has recorded a 149 percent success, and has boosted prices to $74 per barrel as at Thursday.

Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, dipped 39 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $74.25 a barrel.

The prospect of fresh sanctions on Tehran and disruption to the country's oil flows has helped push the oil price to its highest since late 2014, this month. The more-active July contract closed rose 90 cents to close at $74.69.

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Crude oil stocks rose by 2,170 MBBL last week to 429,737 MBBL, from 427,567 MBBL.

While US defense secretary Jim Mattis said last week that there's been no decision on the nuclear deal, the nervousness around a potential breakdown in the accord is also spilling over into the physical oil market.

A strong US dollar also weighed on crude prices, as the USA dollar index hit its highest level since January. The global benchmark crude traded at a US$6.43 premium to June WTI. The rig fleet has expanded throughout the entire month of April, adding a total 28 units.

Concerns that the USA may reimpose sanctions on Iran helped underpin the markets this week as this represents a threat to supply.

US crude inventories likely rose by 1.3 million barrels last week, while gasoline and distillate stockpiles fell, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday ahead of data by the Industry group the American Petroleum Institute later in the day.

Venezuela's plunging output and looming USA sanctions against Iran come against a backdrop of strong demand, especially in Asia, the world's biggest oil consuming region.

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