by Daniel J. Graeber
New York (UPI) Feb 2, 2017
Geopolitical tensions in the Persian Gulf offered support to crude oil prices early Thursday, though renewed work in Libya could undermine the rally.
The White House unnerved markets further in a spate of diplomatic outbursts. The Washington Post reported President Donald Trump ended a call early with Australia's prime minister amid disputes over tightened U.S. immigration policy. Trump's stance has already angered many conventional European allies and the administration added to increased tensions by putting Iran "on notice" for its recent missile tests.
Saber-rattling against Iran is a particular market concern because as much as 20 percent of the world's oil moves through the narrow Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
The price for Brent crude oil was up about 0.3 percent about a half hour before the start of U.S. trading to $56.99 per barrel. The U.S. benchmark for crude oil prices, West Texas Intermediate, was up 0.2 percent to $53.98 per barrel.
Today's rally could be short-lived as competing market factors play against geopolitical tensions that may not evolve beyond rhetoric. Already, a market report from S&P Global Platts found crude oil prices may be fast approaching a ceiling as the rise in U.S. crude oil production balances against an agreement from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to trim output.
Iran is the only member of OPEC allowed to produce more oil. Libya, meanwhile, is exempt from the deal and Austrian energy company OMV said the improved political and security situation there meant it was able to start production at two of the country's larger oil fields.
"OMV has been a trustful partner to Libya's National Oil Corp. throughout challenging times and remains fully committed to invest in Libya in the future," OMV Chairman and CEO Rainer Seele said in a statement.
Elsewhere, U.S. payroll numbers could drag on broader market momentum even after private payroll processor ADP reported strong gains earlier this week.
For the week ending Jan. 28, the U.S. Labor Department reported first-time claims for unemployment fell from the previous week's revised level. The less-volatile four-week average, however, was revised up by 2,250 and the previous week's long-range average increased by 250.
All About Oil and Gas News at OilGasDaily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|