OIL PRICE: ABOVE $72
REUTERS - Oil prices steadied on Friday, heading for their largest weekly gain since July after U.S. President Donald Trump's comments about possible military action in Syria and reports of dwindling global oil stocks.
Recovering from earlier losses, Brent crude LCOc1 was up 28 cents at $72.30 a barrel by 1301 GMT and set for a weekly gain of almost 8 percent, or about $5.
U.S. crude for May delivery CLc1 rose 28 cents to $67.35, up more than 8 percent, or about $5, for the week.
"You have to put today's moves in the context of the last three days. There hasn't been any particular change today in terms of geopolitics or fundamental data," said Harry Tchilinguirian of BNP Paribas.
Both oil benchmarks hit their highest since late 2014 on Wednesday after Trump warned that missiles "will be coming" in response to a suspected gas attack in Syria and after Saudi Arabia said it intercepted missiles over Riyadh.
Trump tweeted on Thursday that an attack on Syria "could be very soon or not so soon at all", raising the prospect that an attack might not be as imminent as he seemed to suggest the previous day.
"As we start the last day of the week, we feel that the geopolitical risks are not as high as feared three days ago," Petromatrix said in a note.
"The Syrian escalation risk cannot be fully written off, but we view that it deserves less of a premium than three days ago."
A global oil stocks surplus is close to evaporating, OPEC said on Thursday, adding that its collective output fell to 31.96 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, down 201,000 bpd from February.
Vienna-based OPEC and its oil producer allies are poised to extend their supply reduction pact into 2019 even as the global glut of crude looks set to be eradicated by September, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo told Reuters.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), which coordinates the energy policies of industrialized nations, signaled on Friday that markets could become too tight if supply remains restrained.
"It is not for us to declare on behalf of the Vienna agreement countries that it is 'mission accomplished', but if our outlook is accurate, it certainly looks very much like it," the IEA said.
Meanwhile China's March crude oil imports climbed month on month to the second-highest level on record.
In Norway, Eni (ENI.MI) has shut output at its Arctic Goliat oilfield because of a small at a platform that has capacity of close to 100,000 barrels a day.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.