WTI crude oil quickly rises to the highest since May

Dominique A. Pineiro

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and several other producers have cut production by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) since the start of 2017.

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said on Tuesday an extension by OPEC certainly was on the cards and Algerian Energy Minister Mustapha Guitouni concurred. The OPEC-led group implemented more than 100 percent of its agreed cuts last month and fuel stockpiles have been "massively drained", OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said Friday in Vienna. It hit a 5-month high of $56.48 on Wednesday.

Against U.S. crude futures, it is trading at its largest premium in over two years, having doubled in just over a month.

Futures rose as much as 1.4 percent in London to the highest since February 2.

A market survey estimates that Cushing crude oil inventories rose on September 15-22, 2017. This discount has doubled in the last six weeks as USA crude demand has been affected by hurricane damage to US refineries.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on USA stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to further weigh what the impact of recent storm activity was on supply and demand. Nigeria will be prepared to cap its crude production when it has stabilised at 1.8 million barrels per day, he said. The data was in line with internal data, which gave a daily production rate of 3.845 million bpd.

State-run oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) is to increase domestic gasoline and diesel prices today by NT$0.3 and NT$0.4 per liter respectively, pushing prices at the pump to a seven-month high. Earlier this year, Brent was in a "contango" situation, where nearby contracts traded at a discount to those farther out.

Markets were also eyeing developments in North Korea. But the situation has improved for producers following a recovery in China and stronger growth across most developed nations in growth.

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