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Oil trades near strongest levels since mid-2015 on Iranian unrest

03 January 2018

"Geopolitical risks are clearly back on the crude oil agenda after having been absent nearly entirely since the oil market ran into a surplus in the second half of 2014", Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB, said, also citing Kurdistan and Libya.

WTI prices were supported by data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration late on Thursday showing domestic oil production C-OUT-T-EIA declined last week to 9.75 million barrels per day (bpd) from 9.79 million bpd the previous week.

Oil prices rose to their highest level since mid-2015 today as large anti-government protests continued in Iran.

Brent rose 0.6% to $67.29 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 7.16am local time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures traded down slightly at around $60.32 United States a barrel at 10:26 a.m. ET after hitting $60.74 USA earlier in the day, their highest since June 2015.

Extreme cold weather across much of North America could also boost USA crude prices by causing production problems in the oilfields.

US Crude Oil Inventories Have Fallen ~10.6% in 2017
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. Inventories declined 1% week-over-week and 54.2 MMbbls or 11.15% year-over-year.

Russian Federation said it would cut its output by 300,000 bpd from the 30-year monthly high of 11.247 million bpd hit in October 2016 and achieved the targeted cut by the second quarter.

Oil prices have lost ground in the days following last week.

The Russia-led non-OPEC producers and OPEC agreed at the end of November to extend their production cut pact to the end of 2018, in their efforts to continue drawing down the global oil overhang.

"Independent E&P firms will be particularly attractive to larger independents and integrated oil companies", Moody's said in its 2018 credit trends report.

Only rising US production, which is on the verge of breaking through 10 million bpd, is weighing on the price outlook for 2018.

Oil trades near strongest levels since mid-2015 on Iranian unrest