Possibility of Iran Spring pushes oil prices northwards

WTI Crude Oil Price Hits 60 bbl Highest Since Mid-2015

Crude Oil prices closed Y 2017 with strong gains on signs the global glut that has dogged the market since Y 2014 is shrinking.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures ended the year with a 17 percent rise, supported by ongoing supply cuts by top producers OPEC and Russian Federation as well as strong demand from China.

In the week ended December 29, 2017, U.S. crude oil inventories are expected to fall below 425 MMbbls (million barrels) for a further upside in oil prices.

Oil prices rose to their highest level since mid-2015 today as large anti-government protests continued in Iran.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures traded down slightly at around $60.32 United States a barrel at 10:26 a.m. ET after hitting $60.74 USA earlier in the day, their highest since June 2015.

Moody's believes North American exploration & production companies, after strong capital investment in 2017, will aim for profitable growth within existing oil acreage and cash flow in the new year, with improvement favouring companies with the greatest exposure to the best acreage and producers in the Permian Basin leading the way.

Unsafe wind chills expected New Year's Eve
Anyone venturing outside this New Year's weekend should be very aware of the risky wind chills and frigid temperatures in Madison. We will only make it to a few degrees above zero for New Year's Eve, but at least there will be sunshine.

Oil prices rebounded in mid-morning trade on Thursday, having earlier sunk after the International Energy Agency increased its forecast for USA oil output growth in 2018, raising the prospect of excess supply.

Brent rose 0.6% to $67.29 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 7.16am local time.

Federal Reserve Bank insists oil must exceed $60 for a boost in US drilling.

US oil production, driven largely by onshore tight shale oil fields, has risen by nearly 16 per cent since mid-2016, to 9.75 million bpd at the end of past year.

Prices have been supported by an outage on the Forties crude pipeline that was expected to last several weeks. Iranian oil industry and shipping sources said protests have had no impact on oil production or exports so far.

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