Oil near 2015 highs on strong China data

01 January, 2018, 03:50 | Author: Lora Ball
  • TransCanada Keystone Decision 20171120

Oil's trading at the highest level since mid-2015 after WTI breached above $60 a barrel for the first time in more than two years. Brent crude futures-the global benchmark-were also up, rising 45 cents or 0.7% to $66.61 a barrel, CNBC reported.

Nationwide stockpiles fell 4.6 million barrels last week to the lowest level since October 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration Thursday.

Brent crude oil in particular is being supported by ongoing supply cuts by top producers OPEC and Russian Federation as well as strong demand from China.

Kim Kwangrae, a commodities analyst at Samsung Futures Inc.

"The current highs are unsustainable in the short-to-medium term, with prices likely to head back below $60 once we get past January, but for now the season of goodwill appears to be in full swing", stated analysts led by Michael dei-Michei at consultants JBC Energy in Vienna.

More news: "Mild" Saturday, Colder Sunday

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $60.16 a barrel at 0210 GMT, up 33 cents or 0.5 percent from their last close.

Specifically, slightly more than half the survey's respondents expect the rig count to continue to climb six months from now, but almost all said oil above $60 will be needed for a substantial increase. Output peaked at 9.6 million bpd in 1970. Inventories excluding the nation's strategic reserve have declined more than 11% in the previous year.

Federal Reserve Bank insists oil must exceed $60 for a boost in US drilling.

Oil continued its revival from the biggest crash in a generation, with prices set for a second annual gain after a year marked by hurricanes, Middle East conflict and the tussle between Opec (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) and USA shale, said a report.

United States oil production, which has risen more than 16 percent since mid-2016, is expected to surpass 10 million bpd next year, some analysts said. While gains were driven by glut-shrinking output cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russian Federation, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East as well as pipeline disruptions from the North Sea to Canada and Libya have also helped.

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