From the Field
Oil surges on supply woes
LONDON, September 24, 2018 – Oil prices continued to climb on Monday as an Iranian official said Saudi Arabia and Russia lack the capacity to add more oil to the market.
West Texas Crude oil futures for November rose 1.96% to $72.17 a barrel as of 10:49 AM ET (14:49 GMT). Meanwhile Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., increased 2.21% to an almost four-year-high of $79.97.
Iran’s Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, told Reuters that Russia and Saudi Arabia are unable to increase production.
“They are doing little and late, to get prices higher,” he said. “They got prices higher and they are going to get them higher still.”
“There is no spare capacity. They cannot deliver the extra capacity that they claim.”
The group of oil producers gathered in Algiers on Sunday and made no formal recommendation for any additional supply boost at its Sunday meeting. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, says it can add an extra 1.5 million barrels per day.
Prices of oil have been rising in recent months over concern of tightening supply due to U.S. sanctions against Tehran, which are expected to go into effect on November 4. The sanctions have already caused Iran’s crude exports to fall.
Meanwhile decreased drilling activity in the U.S. also bolstered prices, with the oil rig count falling by 2 to 1,053 last week.
In other energy trading, Gasoline RBOB Futures rose 1.47% at $2.0315 a gallon, while heating oil increased 2.05% to $2.2763 a gallon. Natural gas futures gained 1.75% to $3.026 per million British thermal units.