Oil highest since 2018 with Iran deal elusive and OPEC talks due

Topics oil market | OPEC | Opec oil

US crude futures climbed to the highest in more than two-and-a-half years after the OPEC+ alliance forecast a tightening global market, while international efforts to revive a nuclear deal with Iran were yet to reach a breakthrough.


West Texas Intermediate rose as much as 3.2 per cent from Friday’s close to $68.42 a barrel, while global benchmark Brent topped $70, a level it has failed to hold for a sustained period since 2019.


The oil glut built up during the coronavirus pandemic has almost gone and stockpiles will slide rapidly in the second half of the year, according to an assessment of the market from an OPEC+ committee. A ministerial group is gathering in Vienna, before a full meeting that is expected to ratify a scheduled output increase for July.


Traders also continue to follow the progress of negotiations between Tehran and world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement, paving the way for increased oil supplies from Iran. The country said it hopes to fully reactivate the deal before the end of the government’s term in August, raising the prospect that a solution may not be found in the current round of talks in Vienna.


A robust economic recovery in the U.S. and Europe has given OPEC+ the confidence that markets can absorb additional barrels. Although Covid-19’s renewed surge in parts of Asia is threatening demand there, OPEC+’s Joint Technical Committee sees crude stockpiles falling by at least 2 million barrels a day from September through December. The later a deal with Iran is signed, the greater the chances of oil-market tightness over the Northern Hemisphere summer.

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