Oil Prices Hit 2 Year High

Wednesday, 27 Sep, 2017

This caused prices to fall as low as $29 in January 2016.

That's the story, but it isn't the whole picture. They are not yet out of the woods.

Still, Brent, the global benchmark for oil, hit a new milestone, reaching March highs of $56.87 a barrel. This recent price jump suggests these efforts to rebalance the oil industry by cutting production through early 2018 are working.

While in conversation with an energy trader, a polymerupdate team member was informed, "crude oil prices gained on the back of improved global crude oil demand".

One thing that sets this year's strong economic performance apart is that it is touching economies everywhere.

Iran wants OPEC to impose caps on Libyan and Nigerian production.

Distillate inventories fell again this week, by 4.527 million barrels. This, he said, "is supporting Brent and in turn is supporting US products and WTI as well".

But we need to be careful, because there are short-term factors whose influence we neglect at our peril.

During the session, the discount of WTI to Brent futures hit its widest since August, 2015 as USA crude was pressured by hurricane damage to US refineries.

Shale billionaire Harold Hamm told Bloomberg TV on Friday that forecasts of U.S. oil production growth are way too optimistic and are distorting global crude prices.

That leaves Asia as the clearing house for US crude.

Erdogan's threat to shut off the main pipeline in northern Iraq comes as the region held an independence referendum to see whether it should become an autonomous Kurdish region, something the Turkish President strongly opposes.

"The high compliance of producers in jointly curbing output, as well as the news of Turkey's response to the referendum helped oil prices".

This implies that WTI will have to remain in a structural discount to Brent is order to clear rising US crude supplies. These figures confirm beyond all reasonable doubt that the market is rebalancing.

Can the crude rally last?

He cited strong demand for distillates, especially European gas oil. The focus on over-supply will switch to worries about impending shortage.

Kirkuk, controlled by the Kurdish forces, produces close to 400,000 barrels a day, which makes up nearly 10 percent of total Iraqi oil production.

"Even at these prices levels, they're still bleeding cash".

Then there is shale.

Oil prices have been volatile and sometimes stuck in a range this year as OPEC attempts to clear a three-year long glut in world crude supplies were often met with skepticism by traders and investors.

However, a private meeting Friday between OPEC and some non-OPEC members, resulted in no decision on whether to extend the agreement beyond the current end-date of March 2018.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.