Brent Crude Price Hits $66 Per Barrel, Highest In 3 Months 

Yemisi Izuora 

Oil prices rose to their highest levels since November last year on Monday, buoyed by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC-led supply cuts and US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

US West Texas Intermediate, WTI, crude oil futures pushed through $56 per barrel for the first time this year, hitting $56.13 a barrel before edging back to $56.02 a barrel still up 0.8 per cent from their last settlement.

On the other hand, the International Brent crude futures hit a high of $66.78 per barrel before easing to $66.65 per barrel, up 0.6 per cent from their last close.

For both benchmarks, these were their highest levels since November 20, 2018.

The OPEC, as well as some non-affiliated producers like Russia, agreed late last year to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to prevent a large supply overhang from swelling more.

Further pushing up crude prices have been US sanctions against oil exporters and OPEC-members Iran and Venezuela.

Traders said financial markets, including crude futures, were also generally supported by hopes that the United States and China would soon resolve their trade disputes, which have dragged on global economic growth.

“Positive signs in the US-China trade talks helped boost sentiment across markets,” ANZ bank said on Monday.

At least partly offsetting supply falls has been a surge in US crude oil production by more than 2 million bpd in 2018, to a record 11.9 million bpd and with more signs that US output will rise further.

US energy firms last week increased the number of oil rigs looking for new production by three, to a total of 857, energy services firm Baker Hughes said in a weekly report last Friday. 

That means the US rig count is higher than a year ago when fewer than 800 rigs were active.

Add Comment