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Oil prices see 1% rise amid supply cut

PW Bureau

International Brent crude oil futures were at 59.62 USD per barrel, up 1.1 percent (63 cents), from their last close. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at USD 51.14 per barrel, up 1.3 percent (63 cents)

Singapore: Oil prices rose nearly 1 percent on January 15 in the middle of supply cuts as OPEC and Russia-led allies lowered the supply of oil, even though a darkening economic outlook may soon take a toll on growth in fuel demand. International Brent crude oil futures were at 59.62 USD per barrel, up 1.1 percent (63 cents), from their last close. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at USD 51.14 per barrel, up 1.3 percent (63 cents).

“OPEC-led cuts and declining US rig counts have bolstered market sentiment in the New Year,” Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures said, according to a report by Reuters.

There has been a drop in the number of rigs seeking new oil production in the US, which was a 2018-peak of 888 to a still high number of 873 early this year

The West Asia-dominated producer club of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-OPEC allies, including Russia, agreed in late 2018 to cut supply to rein in a global glut.

There has been a drop in the number of rigs seeking new oil production in the US, which was a 2018-peak of 888 to a still high number of 873 early this year. Production growth was at more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) last year, bringing American crude output to a record 11.7 million bpd.

The US also re-imposed sanctions against Iran’s oil exports in November. Even though, the US government permitted sanctions waivers to Iran’s biggest oil customers, mostly in Asia, the Islamic nation’s exports have fallen since.

“Iranian exports have already fallen sharply and are likely to remain at around 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019, 1.3 million bpd down vs their 1H18 average,” HSBC said in its 2019 oil market outlook.

“The outlook for the global economy continues to be highly uncertain,” HSBC said.