offshore

Brent crude’s value increased on Friday and stayed at more than $107 a barrel, on speculation that the oil demand would increase in the US and China, thanks to peak winter and factory output growth respectively.

Brent crude gained two cents to settle at $107.39 a barrel, while US crude oil slipped by four cents to stay at $97.07, reported Reuters.

A panel of forecasters said the coming US winter will probably be cooler than it was a year ago, boosting demand for oil and heating fuels.

A preliminary survey report showed that China’s factory output expanded at its fastest pace in seven months in October, as policymakers in the Asian powerhouse sought to ensure a steady, broad-based recovery.

But the oil prices came under pressure due to increasing supply, easing Middle Eastern tensions and seasonally weak demand, as refineries shut for repairs this month before resuming production later this year to meet peak winter demand.

Investors are looking for oil price demand to catch up in the US during winter, despite a drop in overall manufacturing last month due to the government shutdown.

Prices are unlikely to fall further as the US trade group American Petroleum Institute said in its report Tuesday that the crude-oil stocks rose by three million barrels in the week ended 18 October, as refiners trimmed operations, consuming less crude.

On Thursday the US Government held a meeting with aides to Senate committee leaders seeking to persuade lawmakers to hold off on a package of tough new sanctions against Iran.


Image: Brent value increased as US oil demand is set to improve. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

Nri