oil

Oil prices got a boost today, driven by panic that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is likely to reduce oil supplies if prices plunge further. However, data from major economies indicating a slower growth and fuel demand restricted gains.

Brent price gained by 31 cents to $100.62 a barrel, while US oil rose by 50 cents to $89.68, reported Reuters.

Oil jumped above $100 this week following calls from major OPEC members, Venezuela and Iran, to organise an emergency meeting ahead of the one scheduled for 31 May.

OPEC, which produces more than a third of the world’s oil and conducts meetings twice a year to coordinate supply, has kept oil output limits unchanged since a meeting in December 2012.

In China, growth in factory activity slowed down, as export demand declined, while in Germany, business activity diminished for the first time in five months.

"American Petroleum Institute (API) released data that showed crude stocks had dropped last week."

Oil prices received some boost on the expectation that the US, the world’s biggest oil consumer, could post strong GDP growth of three percent in the first quarter on Friday.

On Tuesday, American Petroleum Institute (API) released data that showed crude stocks had dropped last week by 845,000 barrels, against analysts’ speculations of a rise of 1.5 million barrels.

US Government data, which is scheduled to be released at 1430 GMT, is expected to provide a better outlook on the demand for oil.


Image: New OPEC headquarters in Vienna. Photo courtesy of Priwo.

Energy