Crude oil prices surged for the fourth straight session on Wednesday on the back of strong demand. As of 1230 hours GMT, Brent, the international benchmark for two-thirds of the world’s oil, gained $0.99 (+1.29 percent) to reach $77.83. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the main oil benchmark for North America, went up by $1.02 (+1.40 percent) to $73.93. The price of Russian Sokol decreased by $0.38 (-0.57 percent) to $66.38. Arab Light prices witnessed an increase of $1.26 (+1.63 percent) to reach $78.60 a barrel.
The price for Opec Basket decreased by $0.47 (-0.62 percent) to $75.24. The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of Saharan Blend, Girassol, Djeno, Zafiro, Rabi Light, Iran Heavy, Basra Light, Kuwait Export, Es Sider, Bonny Light, Arab Light, Murban and Merey.
Crude Oil has enjoyed a strong bounce to start the week with back-to-back days of gains despite broad based US dollar strength. A report from the International Energy Administration (IEA) also aided the recent bounce in oil prices. The IEA warned that a shortage in oil could materialise in the second half of 2023 as they expect demand to outstrip supply by some 2 million barrels a day.
Another variable to consider in the oil price rise of late should be the recent wildfires which have engulfed Canada over the past week. Officials in Alberta were hoping for some respite as heavy rains are forecast over the coming days as they grapple with the worst start to a fire season on record. This could raise concerns from market participants regarding production and supply from Canada in the short-term providing a further boost to WTI and Brent prices.
Oil also rose as traders evaluated a warning from Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman to short-sellers, offsetting a lack of tangible progress in US debt-limit talks. Saudi Arabia’s top energy official said at Qatar Economic Forum: “I keep advising them that they will be ouching — they did ouch in April”.
Brent eyes $78 as oil rises for fourth session