OIL PRICES MAXIMUM ANEW
BLOOMBERG - Oil reached levels last seen more than two years ago as Saudi Arabian King Salman's anti-corruption drive shook the world's biggest crude exporter just weeks before major producers gather to discuss prolonging historic production caps.
Futures advanced as much as 1.2 percent in New York. The purge eliminated potential rivals to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and included a member of the royal council overseeing state oil producer Saudi Aramco and one of its directors. The arrests of princes, government ministers and billionaires may cast a shadow over the Nov. 30 OPEC meeting.
"The geopolitical supply risk premium is starting to bear its head in the market right now because OPEC supply cuts have made it relevant," Michael Loewen, a commodities strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto, said by telephone. Now that OPEC "has capped supply and demand has continued to grow higher over time, we are near balanced and that means supply risk is more important."
Oil has advanced for four straight weeks in New York on signs that a global glut is shrinking in response to output caps implemented by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied producers including Russia. At the Nov. 30 gathering, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other major suppliers are expected to make the case for extending the limits beyond their March expiration.
West Texas Intermediate for December delivery rose 23 cents to $55.87 a barrel at 10:04 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange after earlier rising to $56.28, the highest intraday price since July 2015.
Brent for January settlement climbed 46 cents to $62.53 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded at a $6.41 premium to WTI for the same month.
Security forces arrested 11 princes, four ministers and dozens of former ministers and prominent businessmen, according to Saudi media and a senior official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"I wouldn't expect a change of strategy for Saudi Arabia" in terms of production and OPEC policy, Rupert Harrison, chief macro strategist at BlackRock International Ltd., said in a Bloomberg television interview. "But clearly the risk is always from disruption, and that's the uncertainty that hangs over this and is always very hard to call."
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ARAB NEWS - Saudi's Aramco Trading Company (ATC) expects to increase its oil trading volume to 6 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2020, 50 percent higher than current levels, the company's top official said on Monday.
BAKER HUGHES A GE - U.S. Rig Count is down 2 rigs from last week to 1,053, with oil rigs down 1 to 866, gas rigs unchanged at 186, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 1. Canada Rig Count is down 29 rigs from last week to 197, with oil rigs down 13 to 135 and gas rigs down 16 to 62.
REUTERS - International benchmark Brent crude for November delivery LCOc1 was up 26 cents, or 0.33 percent, at $78.96 a barrel by 0647 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery CLc1 was up 7 cents, or 0.10 percent, at $70.39 a barrel.
BLOOMBERG - Russia's oil output is currently fluctuating between 1.54 million and 1.55 million tons a day -- driven mainly by state-run giant Rosneft PJSC -- the official said, asking not to be named as the information isn’t public yet. That equates to 11.29 million to 11.36 million barrels a day, beating the previous record of 11.25 million barrels a day set in October 2016 before Russia agreed with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut production.