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Oil hits highs as Opec members calls for output curbs to continue

Oil hits highs as Opec members calls for output curbs to continue

The markets were strong throughout the week with WTI futures exceeding highs last seen on November 28, 2014, the day after OPEC's decision to cut production in an effort to trim the excess global supply and stabilize prices.

Oil prices fell on Friday after hitting a three-year high of more than $70 a barrel the previous day, but they were still on track to post a fourth straight week of gains.

Late in the week, prices received a boost after the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) oil minister hinted that an alliance between OPEC and non-OPEC producers, including Russian Federation, could continue in some way beyond their current deal to curb oil output.

Growing signs of a tightening market after a three-year rout have bolstered confidence among traders and analysts that prices can be sustained near current levels.

The agreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and a group of non-OPEC producers led by Russian Federation reached in late 2016, to cut 1.8 million barrels of crude daily (MMBPD), is slated to run through the end of 2018.

"It is for the first time that an OPEC event is taking place in Oman and the proposed meeting is being supported by Oman Oil Company", Ali al Riyami, director general - marketing at the Ministry of Oil and Gas, told reporters at a press conference on Sunday.

Aside from market fundamentals, other factors have helped support crude prices in recent weeks - including tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and possibility of new US-led sanctions on the latter, not to mention the ever-present tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. “Of course, we need to continue monitoring the situation.

Still, a number of analysts have warned that the 13 percent rally since the start of the year could peter out in the short term due to global refinery maintenance and rising North American production.

United States energy companies added 10 oil rigs in the week to January 12, taking the number to 752, energy service firm Baker Hughes said on Friday. This was the biggest increase since June 2017.

In Canada, energy firms nearly doubled the number of rigs drilling for oil last week to 185, the highest level in 10 months. "From a fundamental perspective, the surge in USA managed money raises a clear red flag for us". We see the U.

"Given the current strength in prices, it is no surprise that we are seeing a pickup in rig activity", said Khan at ING.

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