Brent oil up to $71.49 at week beginning April 15


International benchmark Brent crude saw a slight decrease to $71.49 a barrel at 0610 GMT while American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) registered at $63.58, according to official figures on Monday.

The price of Brent crude oil traded at $71.73 a barrel at 1217 GMT on Friday, while American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was $64.62 per barrel at the same time.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) and Russia led non-OPEC countries’ cuts, along with sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, led to higher oil prices of $70-$72 per barrel last week.

The number of oil rigs in the U.S. increased to 833 for week ending April 12, up by 2 over the previous week, according to data released by oilfield services company Baker Hughes on Friday.

Despite the increase in the oil rig count, geopolitical risks in Libya and sanctions on Iran and Venezuela countered more crude output and Brent closed at $71.65 on Friday while WTI finished the day at $63.76 a barrel.

Tensions have escalated between the UN-backed Government of National Accord and east Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar, posing risks for the secure supply of crude from the OPEC nation.

Crude prices have been on the rise since the beginning of 2019 with falling global oil supply.

Due to U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, both countries’ oil production levels are in decline, and are expected to account for a total of 1.76 million barrels per day (bpd) in lost output this year.

Nonetheless, the supply cut deal of Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and Russia led non-OPEC continues its upward pressure on crude prices.

Source: AA