US crude prices soared to their highest levels since late 2014, as a result of ongoing production outage in Canada, while Brent prices also jumped following a declaration of force majeure by Libya on some of its supplies.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 surged 79 cents, or 1.1%, to trade at $74.73 per barrel, after reaching their strongest levels since November 2014 at $74.84, Reuters reported.
Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 increased 44 cents, or 0.6%, to stand at $77.77 per barrel.
The significant rise in US crude prices is reportedly as a result of expectations of a fall in North American fuel inventories after Suncor Energy’s 350,000 barrel per day (bpd) Syncrude oil sands facility was hit with power outage in Canada.
Futures brokerage FXTM chief market strategist Hussein Sayed was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Oil bulls seem to have returned after Libya suspended oil exports from two key ports.
“If Libya’s oil doesn’t return fast to the market it will be an important test to OPEC’s spare capacity, especially given that output from Venezuela and Iran is expected to fall significantly in the next couple of months.”
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In Libya, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) suspended oil exports from Zueitina and Hariga ports, impacting supplies of around 850,000bpd.
According to a Reuters survey, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) output for last month stood at 32.32 million bpd, which represents an increase of 320,000bpd from the previous month and is the highest production level since January this year.
Meanwhile, the Asian demand for oil imports is slowing down as a result of rise in import costs and the growing trade tensions between the US and China.