WTI and Brent crude oil edge away from yesterday highs

West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil

Daily December West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil

The global benchmark rose as high as $60.53 before 1930 GMT, gaining 2 percent after closing at $59.30 Thursday.

Prices have been supported this week by data showing declining commercial petroleum stocks in the US and news that Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation - the world's two largest crude producers - want to extend the agreement to curb output after the deal expires in March 2018, likely through the end of next year. West Texas Intermediate, the USA benchmark for the price of oil, was more or less unchanged at $52.21 per barrel. The pact runs to March 2018, but they are considering extending it.

"The seizure of the Kirkuk oil fields a few weeks ago, coming on the heels of the Kurdish referendum for independence, led to a temporary sidelining of some 400,000 bpd". US crude rose 4.7 percent for the week.

Rising U.S. crude production remains an issue for OPEC as it strives to clear a global overhang. Canada saw a decline of 11 in the number of active oil and gas rigs.

Crude rose almost 1% on Thursday after Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman indicated that the top oil exporter needed to extend production cuts in order to stabilize markets, suggesting agreement for another nine month extension.

Mr. Brennock said the "ingredients are there" for Brent to move higher but that "sustaining it will be a herculean challenge".

Inventories in the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ) were 6 percent higher in the week to October 23 to a total of 1.38 million tonnes.

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"I think the combination of short-covering and Chevron and Exxon both missing their production guidance for the third quarter has resulted in the market strength today", said Scott Shelton, energy futures broker with ICAP in Durham, North Carolina.

WTI light sweet crude oil fell 29 cents to settle at USD52.18 a barrel. Bullish U.S. government data that showed plunging gasoline and diesel stockpiles was tempered by the rise in oil production and a bump up in crude inventories.

Similarly, the November 180-cst discount to Brent crude fell to $4.58 a barrel on Friday, also its widest discount since October 6.

Oil prices have gotten a boost this month from geopolitical tension and expectations that OPEC and other oil exporters will extend a deal to limit their oil output.

"If OPEC and their non-OPEC partners can agree to extend their production curtailments through 2018, then we estimate the oil market will remain in modest under-supply until 2019", USA investment bank Jefferies said.

Iraq, Bloomberg's data showed, shipped 18.8 million barrels to the U.S.in September, while Saudi exports to this destination came in 2.9 million bpd lower.

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