Oil Prices Climb More Than $1 Per Barrel On Supply Risk

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: The brent and US West Texas Intermediate crude oil benchmarks rose more than $1 a barrel during trade on Friday as markets watched for signs of any direct conflict between Israel and Iran that could tighten supplies further. Brent crude settled at $91.17 a barrel, up 52 cents, or 0.57%. US West Texas Intermediate crude finished at $86.91 a barrel, up 32 cents, or 0.37%, noted Al-Attiyah Foundation in its Weekly energy market Review.

Brent and WTI are set to notch more than 4% gains last week after Iran, the third-largest OPEC producer, vowed revenge against Israel for an attack that killed high-ranking Iranian military personnel. Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack on Iran's embassy compound in Syria on Monday. Ongoing Ukrainian drone attacks on refineries in Russia may have disrupted more than 15% of Russian capacity, a NATO official said on Thursday, hitting the country's fuel output. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, last week kept its oil supply policy unchanged and pressed some countries to increase compliance with output cuts. Meanwhile, US job growth soared in March, easily beating expectations, according to data released on Friday which also showed a steady increase in wages.

Asian spot liquefied natural gas was unchanged this week, keeping at a six-week high over $9 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) for a third consecutive week, as demand from buyers continued shoring up prices. The average LNG price for May delivery into northeast Asia held at $9.50/mmBtu, the same as the previous week, which was its highest level since February 9, industry sources estimated. Demand was sustained due to colder-than-normal weather driving some gas demand in northeast Asia, analysts said.

Furthermore, Chinese players are likely waiting for further price declines to encourage more LNG buying and that the recent earthquake in Taiwan has had little impact on prices as no nuclear infrastructure was affected. The emergence of Egypt's natural gas company EGAS for LNG deliveries to Jordan, and expectations that the country's demand could reach some 20 cargoes, has raised the prospects of competition for European buyers for summer cargoes to be loaded from Atlantic terminals.

European gas prices have been under pressure at the end of the winter season as temperatures rise, inventories remain well-filled, and healthy LNG flows toward Europe are expected.


The Peninsula

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