Middle East Tension Could Spike Prices Higher if It Impacts Supply

Russian oil

Overall, however, the oil markets remain well supported by the limited supply by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the measures being taken early previous year to reduce stockpiling and rebuild prices.

London Brent crude was up 46 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $65.30, after rising more than 3 percent last week.

Among the factors holding back the further rise of the market, analysts call the rapid growth of oil production in the U.S. The futures on USA light WTI crude oil with delivery in March rose by 1.02% to 62.31 Dollars per barrel, while the Brent variety reported a drop of 0.15% to 65.57 USD per barrel.

Last week, major oil producer Saudi Arabia reaffirmed its alliance with OPEC and non-OPEC producers, including Russian Federation, in an attempt to reduce about 2 percent in inventories worldwide.

"WTI oil prices are gaining on Brent as strong US demand and Canadian pipeline issues tighten USA oil supply even further", Phil Flynn, the senior market analyst for the PRICE Futures Group in Chicago, said in market commentary emailed to UPI.

Global oil demand for 2018 is estimated to grow 1.6 million barrels per day due to an "encouraging environment", Barkindo added.

More news: US, Russian officials dispute reports of Russian casualties in Syria

Saudi Arabia has been lobbying to keep prices high by instigating a production cut for both OPEC and non-OPEC partner countries.

WTI has gained more than 8 per cent since the end of November, when the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies agreed to extend an output-curb deal until the end of this year.

Non-OPEC stocks outside North America are also believed to decline this year and the next. The United States added rigs last week for the fourth consecutive week, bringing the total number to 798.

A report this week from Morningstar found more USA oil could wind up on the global marketplace and possibly upset an effort by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to drain the surplus from the oil inventories held by the world's industrialized economies.

The most active gold futures contract on the Comex market in NY touched a high of $1,358.60 an ounce in midday trade, up more than 2pc or almost $30 an ounce compared to Tuesday's settlement after inflation data in the USA came in higher than expectations.

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