Oil steadies, supported by Iraq disruptions and drop in US rigs

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Oil steadies, supported by Iraq disruptions and drop in US rigs

At 0543 GMT, December WTI Crude Oil futures are trading $52.09, up 0.25 or +0.48% and January Brent Crude Oil futures are at $57.71, up 0.13 or +0.23%.

USA crude futures settled up 18 cents, or 0.4 per cent, at $US51.47 a barrel.

One analyst, Tomomichi Akuta, from Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting, said that "The market is now weighing supportive materials more, such as the Kurdistan situation, the slowdown in shale-related (U.S.) rig counts and the possible extension in OPEC (output) cuts".

"Volatility has actually been tame, and there's no sustained trend lately that can break us out of this $45-$55 a barrel range".

Crude oil prices gained in Asia on Tuesday as the market looked ahead to industry estimates on USA inventories.

Later Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute will report its estimates of and refined product stocks to be followed on Wednesday by officiald ata fromt he Energy Information Administration (EIA).

"However, the turn down in drilling has yet to temper the optimism of most forecasts of US output growth in 2018". Tensions in Iraq, where the army has been retaking areas around Kirkuk from Kurdish forces, also helped to support prices the past week as pipeline flows from the region were disrupted.

Crude oil exports through the Iraqi Kurdistan controlled-pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan rose to 288,000 bpd on Monday afternoon, from 255,000 bpd earlier in the day, a shipping source told Reuters.

Crude oil prices ended the session on the front foot as traders cheered news suggesting oil exports from Northern Iraq dropped sharply amid ongoing political unrest in Northern Iraq.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan region on Monday to resolve their conflict over Kurdish self-determination and disputed territories through dialogue.

Meanwhile, the extended oil output-cut which was extended until March 2018 is expected help the crude prices up these next months; and with the participation of OPEC countries and Non-OPEC countries such as Russian Federation, the market can expect a strong crude.

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