OIL PRICE: NEAR $78
REUTERS - Oil prices rose on Monday as U.S. drilling stalled and as investors anticipated lower supply once new U.S. sanctions against Iran's crude exports kick in from November.
Benchmark Brent crude oil rose $1.09 a barrel, or 1.4 percent, to a high of $77.92 and was trading at $77.85 by 0900 GMT. U.S. light crude was 70 cents higher at $68.45.
"A higher oil price scenario is built on lower exports from Iran due to U.S. sanctions, capped U.S. shale output growth, instability in production in countries like Libya and Venezuela and no material negative impact from a U.S./China trade war on oil demand in the next 6-9 months," said Harry Tchilinguirian, oil strategist at French bank BNP Paribas.
"We see Brent trading above $80 under (that) scenario," he told Reuters Global Oil Forum.
The number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States has stalled since May, reflecting increases in well productivity but also bottlenecks and infrastructure constraints.
Outside the United States, Iranian crude oil exports are declining ahead of a November deadline for the implementation of new U.S. sanctions.
Although many importers of Iranian oil have said they oppose sanctions, few seem prepared to defy Washington.
"Governments can talk tough," said Energy consultancy FGE.
"They can say they are going to stand up to Trump and/or push for waivers. But generally the companies we speak to ... say they won't risk it," FGE said. "U.S. financial penalties and the loss of shipping insurance scare everyone."
While Washington exerts pressure on countries to cut imports from Iran, it is also urging other producers to raise output in order to hold down prices.
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry will meet counterparts from Saudi Arabia and Russia on Monday and Thursday respectively as the Trump administration encourages the world's biggest exporter and producer to keep output up.
Investors are concerned about the impact on oil demand of the trade dispute between the United States and other large economies, as well as the weakness of emerging markets.
"Trade wars, and especially rising interest rates, can spell trouble for the emerging markets that drive (oil) demand growth," FGE said.
Despite this, the consultancy said the likelihood of much weaker oil prices was fairly low as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would probably adjust output to stabilize prices.
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TP - With fast growing demand and expanding gas receiving capacity in Pakistan, the South Asian nation is expected to source more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar, said the country’s visiting Finance Minister Asad Umar.
REUTERS - Qatar Petroleum (QP) is looking to invest at least $20 billion in the United States over the coming few years, its chief executive told Reuters, after the Gulf Arab state unexpectedly quit OPEC this month.
U.S. FRB - U.S. industrial production rose 0.6 percent in November after moving down 0.2 percent in October; the index for October was previously reported to have edged up 0.1 percent. In November, manufacturing production was unchanged, the output of mining increased 1.7 percent, and the index for utilities gained 3.3 percent.
BHGE - U.S. Rig Count is down 4 rigs from last week to 1,071, with oil rigs down 4 to 873 and gas rigs unchanged at 198. Canada Rig Count is down 12 rigs from last week to 174, with oil rigs down 7 to 95 and gas rigs down 5 to 79.