Oil prices increased today to the highest this month due to tensions in the Middle East and the likelihood of a further drop in Venezuelan production.
Brent futures LCOc1 increased by 98 cents to touch $67.03 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 grew 87 cents to reach $62.93 a barrel, reported Reuters.
PVM Oil Associates strategist Tamas Varga was quoted by Reuters as saying: “The move today is more to do with geopolitical tensions than underlying fundamentals, but I don’t expect that to last.”
Saudi Arabia termed the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the top six powers in the world as flawed. Trump also threatened to withdraw from the deal, thereby increasing the chance of new sanctions, which could negatively impact Iran’s oil industry.
Energy consultancy Trifecta director Sukrit Vijayakar was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran gave prices some support.”
Furthermore, the possibility of drop in production from Venezuela has supported the prices. The production of Venezuela has almost come down by 50% since 2005 to less than two million barrels per day due to an economic crisis.
The accelerated drop in the country’s output could take the markets into a state of oil deficit.
Varga, however, added that for the OPEC and its allies, their efforts to curb output is not undermined by growing production from countries that are part of this cartel.