Oil prices race to $80

Posted May 15, 2018

Both oil futures contracts hit their highest since November 2014 last week at 78 dollars and 71.89 dollars a barrel, respectively as markets anticipated a sharp fall in Iranian crude supply once US sanctions bite later this year.

Worldwide benchmark Brent crude futures for the July delivery rose by 0.8 percent to $78.93 per barrel, marking a new high after hitting a 3-1/2 year high of $78.53 during the previous session. By 0800 GMT, Brent was up 20 cents at $78.43.

June contract US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil futures climbed 0.5 percent to $71.38 per barrel, also not far from its November 2014 high of $71.89 reached last week.

"Strong global oil consumption has come up against a 1½ -year-old deal led by OPEC and Russian Federation to manage crude supply among producers".

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Further, the possibility of reduced exports from Iran after renewed USA sanctions is also keeping oil close to November 2014 highs and the technical chart also shows a bull flag setup - a bullish continuation pattern.

Now the United States has announced that it will impose sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, raising fears that markets will face shortages later this year when trade restrictions come into effect.

Oil price is now trending towards $80 per barrel following bullish trading that heightened yesterday in the worldwide market which saw the price leap to $78 yesterday, up from $67 April average.

The tightening market has just about solved the global supply overhang that has weighed down oil prices between 2014 and 2017.

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USA crude prices are at the steep discount to Brent as a more than 25 percent rise in US crude production to 10.7 million barrels per day has left the American market well supplied.

Opec figures published on Monday showed that oil inventories in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) industrialised nations in March fell to 9-million barrels above the five-year average, down from 340-million barrels above the average in January 2017.

The Permian basin in Texas, the biggest US oil patch, is expected to see output climb 78,000 bpd to a fresh record of 3.28 million bpd.

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