Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Finance | By Jaime Brady

Brent crude hits new 3½-year high as sanctions' impact unclear

Brent crude hits new 3½-year high as sanctions' impact unclear

According to Goldman, global oil demand growth in the first quarter of 2018 is likely to have seen the strongest yearly growth since the fourth quarter of 2010.

On Friday, there was a slide of 0.9 percent by which it can expected that the futures of NY are little changed. Dozens of Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli troops in Gaza after the United States opened an embassy in Jerusalem.

US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran has driven oil to the highest in more than three years this month.

"The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Zafiro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela)".

Supply concerns are also increasing with continuing tensions in the Middle East region.

"The expectation that there's going to be a drawdown in crude stocks this week is keeping the market very tight", said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group.

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In addition, the leaders of Russian Federation and Turkey discussed issues of the Syrian settlement and implementation of key bilateral projects.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih had signaled last month that the kingdom is prepared to keep supply restrained, even though inventories are back to normal.

West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery was 59 cents higher at $71.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 11:46am in London, after rising 26 cents on Monday. Tennessee gas prices rose 3 cents during the past week. Total volume traded Tuesday was 17 per cent above the 100-day average.

The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was around $73 per barrel early Wednesday.

Descalzi added that "We have a demand that is increasing 1.6 to 1.7 million bpd yearly average, so that is going to create a disruption in terms of cost and price, and when we have this kind of situation, the landscape becomes very uncertain". Brent crude for July delivery traded up about 0.4% at $77.40. China's crude oil imports in the first quarter increased by 7 percent on the year to around 9.09 million bpd-a rise of nearly 595,000 bpd on average compared to Q1 2017, according to Reuters calculations.

OPEC on Monday reported it's cutting production by more than is required. Iraq's compliance was at 63%, and it was the only member not to have curbed production as agreed under a deal that took effect January 1, 2017 and is scheduled to run through the end of 2018.

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