United States exporting more oil, but that could change

Posted April 26, 2018

First, a key driver of the recent rally in prices has been the risk that the USA will re-impose sanctions on Iran's oil exports next month.

At 0655 GMT, June WTI crude oil is trading $67.60, down $0.10 or +0.17% and June Brent crude oil is at $73.79, down $0.07 or -0.09%.

A rise in geopolitical tensions has been the main driver of prices in recent times with concerns mounting over whether the Trump administration will withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal, which he called "insane" yesterday, and return to sanctions, a decision which needs to be made by 12 May.

Analysts said fresh positions built up by participants in tandem with a firm trend overseas on expectations that supplies will tighten lifted the sentiment here.

Iran's oil minister said that if crude oil prices continued to rise there would be no need to extend a pact between OPEC and non-OPEC producers aimed at bolstering prices, the ministry's official website SHANA reported.

Futures on US WTI crude oil rose by 0.93% to 69.28 Dollars per barrel, which is its highest value since November 28, 2014.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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Geopolitical conflicts across the world, production shortages in the United States and some African countries as well as confidence in the global economy had been successfully extending oil gains until last Friday. Analysis from commodity pricing group S&P Global Platts found Brent was supported by global supply risks, while the USA benchmark was bogged down by the "relentless" increase in shale oil production.

Brent, the global benchmark, traded as high as $75.27, gaining for a sixth day, and was up 4 cents at $74.75. "No good and will not be accepted!".

"Oil prices are artificially Very High!"

Crude had previously been rallying over the past week amid supply concerns.

Indeed, despite the surge in USA oil production over the past year, the U.S.is still a significant net importer. "Bets on rising crude prices are close to a near-record high", PVM Oil Associates strategist Stephen Brennock said.

Trump has been a critic of the deal since before he was elected and is surely well aware that threatening to re-impose sanctions on Iran would drive up oil prices. Conventional thinking over the past several years revolved around the belief that OPEC was powerless and shale's massive growth could prevent future price spikes and solve longstanding energy security problems. The region is the biggest oil-consumer right now.

On Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, released its own data showing a 1.1 million barrel increase in crude supplies for the week ended April 20, even as it said gasoline and distillate inventories came down by 2.7 million barrels and 1.9 million barrels, respectively.

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