Oil prices rise as 2017 draws a close

Oil prices rise as 2017 draws a close

Oil prices rise as 2017 draws a close

MCX Crude oil futures closed flat around Rs 3820 per barrel yesterday after hitting highs above Rs 3840 mark.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 20 cents to $59.84 a barrel.

A combination of supply disruptions earlier in the week and evidence that supplies in the oil market are being reduced has helped to push prices higher headed into 2018. Brent crude futures rose 41 cents to $66.57 a barrel. The futures with delivery in February were exchanged for 1,298.40 Dollars per ounce, with their price rising by 0.09%.

WTI Crude has extended its upside and broke above the key $60 per barrel levels after the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported yet another draw in USA crude oil inventories for the week to December 22. Brent broke through $67 this week for the first time since May 2015.

Oil markets have tightened after a year of production cuts led by Middle East-dominated Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russian Federation.

Since early 2017, the Brent and WTI crude have risen by 17% and 12% respectively, although growth has even reached 50% since the middle of the year.

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"That trend is likely to continue into 2018 and worldwide oil inventories will continue their decline", said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.

Analysts expect USA production to top 10 million bpd in the next few weeks and to keep growing, limiting efforts by other producers to cap global supplies. The US production grew by almost 16% since mid-2016, as most analysts expected to cross the 10 million barrels per day by the end of 2017.

Net U.S. crude imports rose last week by 807,000 barrels per day.

At the same time, China issues crude oil import quotas for a total of 121.32 million tons for 44 companies in its Q1 2018.

The Forties pipeline was already pumping close to normal levels, trading sources said on Friday.

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