Oil Prices Rise on Tightening Global Market Signs

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The energy industry has grown more efficient after cutting costs in response to the plunge in crude oil prices in previous years, so they are now in a better position to improve revenue at lower oil prices.

This followed stepped up tension in the Middle East after the opening of the United States of America's Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel.

The OPEC cuts and looming sanctions come amid strong demand.

The Vienna-headquartered organization estimated on Monday that oil demand will increase by around 1.65 million barrels per day to reach 98.84 million bpd of total global oil consumption for 2018, according to its monthly report. "If the complex can break above the multiyear highs set last week, the charts suggest we could see another 5-10% of upside near term".

The number of rigs drilling for oil in the US rose by 10 last week to 844 rigs, the highest in more than three years.

OPEC has also predicted that U.S. drillers outside its group will pump 59.62 million barrels per day this year, or 1.72 million barrels a day more than last year. The gap between global and US oil prices widened as new figures showed that producers in the USA are ramping up quickly.

The company's revenues increased "on the back of higher crude oil prices and optimization in sales channels despite the remaining constraints in production within the OPEC+ Agreement", it said on a statement issued on Monday.

"Although oil could venture higher in the near term, robust production from United States shale remains a threat to higher oil prices", he said.

Reuters reported that it is unclear how hard U.S. sanctions will hit Iran's oil industry but a lot will depend on how other major oil consumers respond to Washington's action against Tehran, which will take effect in November. And the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that oil production in the seven major shale plays in the U.S.is expected to hit a record of 7.18 million barrels a day next month, up 144,000 barrels a day from this month. Diesel futures rose 1.24% to $2.2496 a gallon.

The combination of subdued economic growth and rampant inflation - also known as stagflation -would likely create a "particularly hostile environment for risk assets", the US bank added.

Prices received a boost last week following President Donald Trump's announcement on May 8 that the U.S. would withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal.

"The question is now whether that strong rally can be sustained and maintained", said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

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