Oil prices on early Monday went up after US drilling activity seemingly stalled, while Saudi Arabian crude production abruptly declined in July.
By 8:22 am GMT, Nymex futures rose 0.67% to $68.95 per barrel (pb), while Brent crude futures went up 0.45% to $73.54 pb.
Markets are also anticipating an announcement pertaining to the renewal of US sanctions against Iran, a major oil producer, from the White House due to be in place later in the day.
US drillers trimmed the oil rig count to 859 in the week ended 3 August by two rigs, Baker Hughes reported on Friday.
This also comes as many US oil drillers saw disappointing quarterly results in recent weeks, on the back of rising operating expenses, hedging losses, and a drop in crude prices from this year’s highs seen between May and July.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia pumped roughly 10.29 million crude barrels per day (bpd) during July, two sources from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Friday.
The decline came despite a pledge in June by Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s de-facto leader and Russia, a major oil producer, to ramp up production as from July.
“The Saudi and Russian production surges appear to be more limited,” US investment lender Jefferies said in a note, adding that the bullish trend in the market was also supported by looming reinstatement of US sanctions against Tehran.
However, investors noted that the resumption of Saudi oil shipments through Bab al-Mandeb sea lane provided some relief to the market. Riyadh announced in late July that two key oil carriers were attacked by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement, which led to a temporary closure of the key Red Sea lane.
In the same vein, the escalating trade tension between Washington and Beijing, which lately intensified with China proposing retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion in US imports, also kept rising crude prices at bay.
This article provided by NewsEdge.