The Latest Oil Bet: From Too Much to Too Little
Oil investors are finally buying into the notion that the biggest risk to the price now is likely to be supply falling short of demand, rather than from any stubborn overhang of unwanted crude, the options market shows. The price of Brent crude has hit $52 a barrel, virtually double January's near-13-year lows, driven primarily by a decline in global production that has been speedy enough to bring supply and demand into line faster than many had anticipated. "In the end, you will see global oversupply, at some point diminish, and in effect even earlier than speculators realise," ABN Amro chief energy strategist Hans van Cleef said. In the last year, nearly a million barrels per day (bpd) have vanished from higher-cost U.S.
Brent up to $61, First Monthly Gain Since July
Brent premium over U.S. crude widens to $12; China's implied oil demand set to grow 3 percent this year. Crude oil futures rebounded on Friday and Brent headed for its first monthly gain since July, helped by strong investor inflows, an improving demand outlook and supply outages. At 1148 GMT, Brent crude futures were up 92 cents at $60.97 a barrel, off an earlier high of $61.75. U.S. crude was up 78 cents at $48.95 a barrel. Both contracts tumbled on Thursday, with U.S. crude falling hardest. Brent is trading at a premium of about $12 to U.S. crude, which remains hamstrung by massive inventory builds. This is the widest spread since January 2014. "The main event this week has been the widening of the spread between Brent and WTI (U.S.
Oil at $60 per Barrel, Libya Fire Supports
Brent on track for biggest annual drop since 2008; stimulus measures from Japan, China lend some support. Brent crude oil rose to $60 per barrel on Monday, supported by concerns about disruption to exports from Libya, but a global supply glut kept prices nearly 50 percent off their peak for the year. A fire at one of Libya's main export terminals has destroyed 800,000 barrels of crude - more than two days of the country's output - officials said, as clashes escalated between factions battling for control of the nation.. Libya currently produces around 385,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil - down from peak production of over 1 million bpd - but this is a small fraction of the global supply glut, analysts said.
Oil Falls Towards $111 on Libya Ports Deal
Oil fell towards $111 a barrel on Wednesday, its lowest in almost three weeks, on a possible substantial recovery in Libyan exports after rebels said they would reopen two oil terminals. Libyan rebels blockading eastern oil ports have agreed to reopen the remaining two terminals at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf. The port seizures have crippled the OPEC producer's oil industry since last summer. If fulfilled, the deal would bring back around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil export capacity, although production would remain well below the total of around 1.4 million bpd. There have been repeated reports in the past that ports would reopen and production increase, but analysts said the latest developments were likely to have more impact.