Brent Crude Hits $80

Mae Love
May 18, 2018

The rise in oil prices means further accretion to the nation's Excess Crude Account, into which the difference between the market price of crude oil and the budget benchmark is saved to provide a cushion when oil prices fall or extra cash is needed for spending on infrastructure.

The Paris-based IEA said potential supply disruptions in Iran and Venezuela have prompted oil traders to focus on geopolitics rather than fundamentals, warning that any supply cuts could cause prices to rocket.

Fox News contributor John Layfield on the impact of rising oil prices on the USA economy. "It would be extraordinary if such a large jump did not affect demand growth", it said.

"When we backed out of the Iran Nuclear Deal that took about 500 to 800 barrels a day, roughly, off the market initially, and so that created about a $5 lift on the Brent Oil Crude Prices, about $2 to $3 lift on USA prices in the last five days on that", said Eugene Graner, Heartland Investment Services President.

Geopolitical concerns, tightening product inventories and robust demand would continue to provide support for prices, experts noted.

But high oil prices could hit consumption, the International Energy Agency had warned on Wednesday, lowering its global oil demand growth forecast for 2018 to 1.4 million from 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd).

Oil's advance to $80 brings it to the level that OPEC's biggest member, Saudi Arabia, is reportedly seeking to cover the cost of weighty domestic spending commitments and raises hope that Nigeria's projected budget deficit in 2018 and next year could narrow considerably. "So I wouldn't be surprised to see US$100 per barrel in the coming months".

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The IEA, which represents some of the world's largest consumer countries, also said it too would be "ready to act if necessary to ensure that markets remain well supplied".

A day earlier, Total said it wouldn't commit any more funds to Iran's South Pars 11 natural gas project, in which it took a controlling stake past year.

But this increased production was now in doubt due to the looming re-imposition of USA sanctions, he said.

Commercial stockpiles in the OECD countries declined in March by 26.8 million barrels to stand at 2.82 billion, about a million barrels lower than the five-year average and 214 million below the March 2017 level.

A day after the American Petroleum Institute's crude oil inventory report put a restraint on oil prices, the Energy Information Administration pushed prices up again by reporting a draw of 1.4 million barrels for the week to May 11.

The IEA noted that Iranian oil exports now total about 2.4 million barrels a day. The IEA acknowledged attention of market participants has shifted away from inventories to price volatility.

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