Oil hits fresh highs
LONDON, January 3, 2018 – Crude oil prices climbed to fresh multi-year highs on Wednesday, as supply cut efforts by global oil producers continued to support the commodity despite ongoing concerns over rising U.S. output.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude February contract was up 68 cents or about $1.13 at $61.05 a barrel by 04:00 a.m. ET (08:00 GMT), the highest since June 2015.
Elsewhere, Brent oil for March delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London was little changed at $66.56 a barrel, close to the nearly three-year peak of $67.29 hit in the previous session.
Oil prices had climbed amid Iranian protests, marking the biggest challenge to the country’s clerical leadership since 2009. However, the protests were showing no signs of impacting Iran’s oil production.
Crude prices continued to be supported by production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia. The producers agreed in December to extend current oil output cuts until the end of 2018.
The deal to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day (bpd) was adopted last winter by OPEC, Russia and nine other global producers. The agreement was due to end in March 2018, having already been extended once.
Overall optimism appeared to overshadow reports that U.S. production is set to rise further and doubts over whether demand growth can continue at current levels.
Elsewhere, gasoline futures were up 1.61% at $1.790 a gallon, while natural gas futures lost 2.78% to $2.972 per million British thermal units.