WTI crude oil quickly rises to the highest since May

Dianna Christensen
September 26, 2017

London Brent crude for November delivery was up 1 cent at Dollars 56.87 a barrel by 0049 GMT, having settled up 0.8% on Friday. But Hurricane Harvey's strike on Texas last month was a game changer as flooding from the storm shut down a quarter of the USA oil refining capacity of nearly 18 million bpd, sparking huge drawdowns in fuel inventories and prompting refiners to process as much crude as they could on their return.

Nigeria is pumping less than 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude, its oil minister said on Friday, meaning the country is sticking to an output cap agreed under an OPEC-led deal to limit output.

Goldman Sachs said that talks over extending cuts are "noteworthy but premature", adding "we believe it is unlikely that committee will recommend extension of cuts this week".

Rising production from the two exempt OPEC members-chiefly from Libya-has indeed slowed down the oil price improvement that OPEC targeted with its agreement.

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Brent crude leapt by 2.7% to $58.39 (£43.35) a barrel as analysts said prices could rise to levels not seen since 2014, in a move that would put further upward pressure on inflation in the UK.

Asked when Nigeria was willing to join the supply limiting deal, the minister said the country already had, in effect. U.S. crude oil stockpiles jumped last week as imports and production increased, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said, as operations resumed from the impact of Hurricane Harvey which hit the Gulf Coast on August 25.

The higher price of oil is also expected to translate into higher prices at petrol pumps, which could push inflation above 3%. At Wednesday' session, Brent and WTI were up about 16% for the third quarter - on track to their largest quarterly gain since 2004.

Markets were also eyeing developments in North Korea. All comments are subject to editorial review. Shale has been the main culprit the oil glut of the past three years, often proving a bane to OPEC attempts to push the market higher.

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