OIL PRICES: ABOVE $67
REUTERS, BLOOMBERG - Oil prices fell on Friday, dropping away from highs last seen in 2015, as soaring U.S. production undermined a 10-percent rally from lows hit in December that was driven by tightening supply and political tensions in OPEC member Iran.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $61.81 a barrel at 0750 GMT. That was 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, below their last close. WTI hit a $62.21 the previous day, which was its strongest since May, 2015.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $67.88 a barrel, 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, below their last settlement. Brent hit $68.27 the day before, also the highest since May, 2015.
Traders said political tensions in Iran, the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), had pushed prices higher.
"The protests in Iran add more fuel to the already bullish oil market mood," said Norbert Ruecker, head of commodity research at Swiss bank Julius Baer.
Oil prices have received general support from production cuts led by OPEC and by Russia, which started in January last year and are set to last through 2018, as well as from strong economic growth and financial markets.
That has helped tighten markets. U.S. commercial crude inventories fell by 7.4 million barrels in the week to Dec. 29, to 424.46 million barrels, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
That is down 20 percent from their historic peaks last March and close to the five-year average of 420 million barrels.
CAN THE BULL-RUN LAST?
Yet given Iran's oil production has not been affected by the unrest, and that U.S. output will likely break through 10 million barrels per day (bpd) soon, a level so far only reached by Saudi Arabia and Russia, doubts are emerging whether the bull-run can last.
U.S. bank Jefferies said the oil price "upside from here is not obvious to us", although it added that "we believe the oil market will remain undersupplied through 2018".
Ruecker of Julius Baer said crude prices above $60 per barrel project an "overly rosy picture (as) oil production disruptions (in Iran) remain a very distant threat ... disruptions in the North Sea have been removed ... (and) U.S. oil production surpassed the 2015 highs in October and is set to climb to historic highs this year."
Lukman Otunuga, analyst at futures brokerage FXTM, struck a similarly cautious tone.
"Oil started the New Year on an incredibly bullish note ... in part due to ongoing tensions in Iran ... (and) over OPEC's supply cut rebalancing the markets," he said.
"While the current momentum suggests that further upside is on the cards, it must be kept in mind that U.S. shale remains a threat to higher oil prices."
|April, 18, 13:14:00|
|April, 18, 13:12:00|
|April, 18, 13:10:00|
|April, 18, 13:08:00|
|April, 18, 13:07:00|
|April, 18, 13:06:00|
FRB - Industrial production rose 0.5 percent in March after increasing 1.0 percent in February; the index advanced 4.5 percent at an annual rate for the first quarter as a whole. After having climbed 1.5 percent in February, manufacturing production edged up 0.1 percent in March. Mining output rose 1.0 percent, mostly as a result of gains in oil and gas extraction and in support activities for mining. The index for utilities jumped 3.0 percent after being suppressed in February by warmer-than-normal temperatures. At 107.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.3 percent higher in March than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector moved up 0.3 percentage point in March to 78.0 percent, a rate that is 1.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
AOG - Kuwait plans to invest $113bn over the next five years to enhance oil exploration and production activities both inside and outside the country
МИНФИН РОССИИ - Средняя цена на нефть Urals за период мониторинга с 15 марта по 14 апреля 2018 года составила $ 65,80125 за баррель, или $ 480,3 за тонну.
REUTERS - Oil prices slipped with Brent crude futures LCOc1 off 66 cents at $71.92 a barrel, while U.S. crude CLc1 fell 56 cents to $66.83 a barrel.