Oil price high as Brent Crude hits $60 a barrel

Crude Oil Dips After Inventories Data

The prince said Thursday that "of course" he wanted to prolong the curbs beyond the end of March 2018.

Crude oil continues to rally, with Brent crude climbing to $60/bbl for the first time in more than two years and U.S. WTI poised to mark another six-month settlement high.

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.

The worldwide benchmark for oil prices was trading up $1.05, or 1.8 percent, at $60.35 a barrel at 11:17 a.m. ET (1517 GMT).

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rose 2.5 percent to $53.98 after closing Thursday at $52.64. "The oil fields near Kirkuk-the Bai Hassan and Avana fields-are still reportedly not exporting crude, but that could soon change", reports OilPrice.com.

US drillers added one oil rig in the week to October 27, but the rig count fell by 13 for the month, the biggest such decline since May 2016, data showed on Friday.

Oil prices have been hovering near their highest levels for this year amid recent signs of a tightening market, talk of an extension of production cuts and tensions in Iraq.

"The exports are ripping higher", Loewen said.

Traders say today's move is driven mostly by currency markets, with the dollar whipsawed by a report that Pres. Trump is leaning towards Jerome Powell as the next Fed chairman.

"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.

Last week, the EIA said, Iraqi exports came in at 1.072 million barrels per day, versus 569,900 barrels per day from Saudi Arabia.

Given oil's implied volatility of 24.1%, USA crude oil futures could close between $50.88 and $54.40 per barrel in the next seven days with a probability of about 68%.

Brent's premium over WTI WTCLc1-LCOc1 was up 1.5 per cent on Thursday at US$6.35 amidst renewed strength in the global benchmark.

"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.

Rising U.S. crude production remains an issue for OPEC as it strives to clear a global overhang.

Southeast Asia's net crude oil imports will more than double to 5.5 million bpd by 2040 as the region adds new refining capacity to meet rising demand while regional oil output falls, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

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