OIL PRICE: ABOVE $64 AGAIN
NYMEX crude for March delivery CLc1 was up 17 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $61.51 a barrel by 0750 GMT, after earlier touching a one-week high of $61.82. For the week, the contract has risen about 4 percent after losing nearly 10 percent last week.
London Brent crude LCOc1 was up 25 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $64.58 after settling down 3 cents. Brent is up nearly 3 percent for the week after falling more than 8 percent last week.
"Oil is getting support from a rebound in global stock markets and a weak dollar, but the upside is limited due to a projection for rising U.S. production," said Tomomichi Akuta, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting in Tokyo.
"The market is quiet due to a slew of holidays in Asia."
The dollar slipped to a three-year low against a basket of currencies on Friday. A weaker dollar often boosts prices for oil and other dollar-denominated commodities.
Asian shares rose for a fifth straight day on Friday as investor confidence slowly returns after a sharp sell-off earlier in the month.
Oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia aim to draft an agreement on a long-term alliance by the end of this year, United Arab Emirates energy minister Suhail al-Mazroui said on Thursday.
OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russia have been restraining production by a total 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in a bid to prop up prices under a deal that is to expire at the end of 2018.
The move comes at a time when Asian demand is on the rise. India imported a record 4.93 million bpd in January to feed its expanded refining capacity and meet rising demand, data showed.
Oil won support earlier in the week after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said OPEC hopes to keep limiting crude output to leave the market tight.
However, surging U.S. production is offsetting OPEC's efforts to curb supplies. U.S. crude output hit a record 10.27 million barrels per day last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday, making it a bigger producer than Saudi Arabia.
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U.S. EIA - Venezuela holds the largest oil reserves in the world, in large part because of the heavy oil reserves in the Orinoco Oil Basin. In addition to oil reserves, Venezuela has sizeable natural gas reserves, although the development of natural gas lags significantly behind that of oil. However, in the wake of political and economic instability in the country, crude oil production has dramatically decreased, reaching a multi-decades low in mid-2018.
U.S. BEA - The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $124.1 billion (preliminary) in the first quarter of 2018 from $116.1 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit was 2.5 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter, up from 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter.
WNN - There are 126 operational power reactors in 14 EU Member States, providing more than one-quarter of the bloc's total electricity production. In its Communication on the Nuclear Illustrative Program (PINC) published last year, the European Commission expects nuclear to maintain its significant role in Europe's energy mix up to 2050. This would require investment of some EUR40-50 billion (USD46-58 billion) in nuclear LTO by 2050.
REUTERS - Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 50 cents at $75.58 a barrel by 0835 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was 50 cents higher at $65.57.