© Reuters. A maze of crude oil pipes and valves is pictured during a Department of Energy visit to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Freeport
By Florence Tan
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Futures topped $ 70 a barrel on Monday for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when they hit their highest level in more than two years, at the following reports of attacks on Saudi facilities.
Brent futures for May hit $ 71.38 a barrel at the start of Asian trade, the highest since January 8, 2020, and were at $ 71.11 a barrel at 0255 GMT, up 1.00. $ 75 or 2.5%.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for April rose $ 1.60, or 2.4%, to $ 67.69. The WTI price before the month hit $ 67.98 per barrel earlier, the highest since October 2018.
Asian stocks also rose after the US Senate approved a $ 1.9 trillion stimulus bill, while positive economic data from the US and China bodes well for a global economic rebound. .
Yemen’s Houthi forces on Sunday fired drones and missiles into the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry. Saudi Aramco (SE 🙂 Ras Tanura facility vital for oil exports, in what Riyadh has called a failed assault on global energy security.
“We could see a further rise in the market in the near term, especially since the market probably now has to assess some sort of risk premium as these attacks increase in frequency,” ING analysts said in a report, noting that this was the second attack this month after an incident in Jeddah on March 4.
Brent and WTI prices are up for the fourth session in a row after OPEC and its allies decided to keep production cuts largely unchanged in April.
Despite the rapid rise in crude prices, the Saudi oil minister expressed doubts about the recovery in demand.
“The decision to keep quotas unchanged signals the group’s intention to further reduce inventory, without fear of over-tightening the market,” ANZ analysts said in a note.
“It also suggests that they see little threat of increased production elsewhere.”
However, the energy minister of the world’s third-largest crude importer, India, said higher prices could threaten the consumption-driven recovery in some countries.
The rise in prices also encouraged U.S. energy companies to add oil and rigs for a second week in a row, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co. said on Friday.
Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any responsibility for loss or damage resulting from reliance on any information, including data, quotes, graphics and buy / sell signals contained in this website. Be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading in the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest forms of investing possible.