Connect with us

Crude Oil

Oil Prices Hold Steady Amidst Geopolitical Chess Game



Crude Oil - Investors King

Oil prices were stable in the early hours of Tuesday after declining by more than $1 on Monday amid rising global uncertainty in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war.

The decline was a result of two main factors, the anticipated relaxation of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose by 29 cents to settle at $89.94 per barrel while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) appreciated by 20 cents to $86.86 a barrel.

These developments come amidst a backdrop of continued uncertainty in the global energy market.

The oil industry is cautiously optimistic as Venezuela’s government and opposition prepare to reinitiate suspended talks with President Nicolas Maduro suggesting potential benefits for the 2024 election.

If these discussions lead to a sanctions relief, it could be a game-changer, opening doors to Venezuela’s oil exports. Since 2019, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuelan oil as a punitive measure, following contested elections in 2018.

However, the road to increased oil production in Venezuela remains long, hindered by a lack of recent investments.

Simultaneously, the Middle East is in focus as U.S. President Joe Biden prepares for a high-stakes visit to Israel amid escalating tensions with Hamas.

While the U.S. expresses support for Israel’s efforts to combat Hamas, it is also actively seeking to engage Arab states to prevent a broader regional conflict.

Iran’s commitment to “preemptive action” by its allies in the face of escalating tensions adds to the complexity of the situation.

According to ANZ Research, the risk of a broader conflict in the region remains high, with Iran’s foreign minister warning that the expansion of war fronts may be inevitable.

These geopolitical developments underscore the fragile equilibrium influencing global oil prices, with investors closely watching each twist and turn in this complex geopolitical chess game.

Continue Reading

Crude Oil

Oil Prices Slide as U.S. Crude Stockpiles Surge, Heightening Demand Concerns



Crude oil

Oil prices declined on Thursday as concerns over demand intensified due to a larger-than-anticipated build in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dropped by 0.5% to $83.25 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell by 0.3% to $78.28 a barrel.

The Energy Information Administration’s report revealed a substantial increase in U.S. crude oil stockpiles by 4.2 million barrels to 447.2 million barrels for the week ending February 23rd.

This surge surpassed analysts’ expectations and marked the fifth consecutive week of rising inventories.

While gasoline and distillate inventories witnessed a decline, concerns regarding a sluggish economy and reduced oil demand in the U.S. were amplified.

Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities, highlighted that the significant stockpiles have heightened investor worries.

Moreover, the anticipation of delayed U.S. interest rate cuts further weighed on market sentiment, potentially undermining oil demand.

Traders have adjusted their expectations for rate cuts, with an easing cycle predicted to commence in June rather than March as previously anticipated.

Market participants await the U.S. personal consumption expenditures price index for insights into inflation trends, while the possibility of an extension of voluntary oil output cuts from OPEC+ looms over price dynamics, amid lingering uncertainty in the demand outlook and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Continue Reading

Crude Oil

Crude Oil Shortage Threatens Dangote, Government Refineries, Minister Raises Alarm



Dangote Refinery

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has sounded a clarion call over a looming crude oil shortage that threatens the operations of the newly inaugurated Dangote Petrochemical Refinery and government-owned refineries in Nigeria.

Addressing stakeholders at the seventh edition of the Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, Minister Lokpobiri expressed concerns that unless deliberate efforts are made to increase investments and crude oil production, these refineries may struggle to obtain enough feedstock for petroleum product manufacturing.

The Dangote refinery, a colossal project spearheaded by Dangote Industries Limited, has a daily requirement of up to 650,000 barrels of crude oil, while government-owned refineries could need approximately 400,000 barrels.

However, the current pace of crude oil production and investment in Nigeria falls short of meeting these demands.

Minister Lokpobiri highlighted the need to ramp up production and attract investments in the upstream sector to ensure adequate feedstock supply for the refineries.

He emphasized the importance of efficiently utilizing Nigeria’s abundant oil and gas reserves to enhance domestic energy security and economic prosperity.

Furthermore, the minister underscored the significance of investing in energy infrastructure and transitioning towards more environmentally friendly practices to address Nigeria’s energy needs effectively.

The alarm raised by Minister Lokpobiri underscores the urgency for strategic interventions and collaborative efforts to mitigate the impending crude oil shortage and secure the future of Nigeria’s refining industry amidst evolving global energy dynamics.

Continue Reading

Crude Oil

Oil Prices Surge as Brent Approaches $83, WTI Nears $78 Amidst Refinery Buying Activity



Crude oil - Investors King

Oil prices surged as Brent crude oil approached the $83 price level while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) neared $78 as refineries in the United States and China increased purchases.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, gained 1.1% on Monday, signaling a bullish trend in the oil market.

The recent uptick in oil prices comes amidst signs of heightened demand from refineries, particularly in key markets like the US and China.

This surge in demand has contributed to the strengthening of timespreads, indicating tighter conditions in the near term.

Market observers are closely monitoring the International Energy Week in London, where industry leaders are convening to discuss the outlook for the global energy market.

Scheduled speakers include Russell Hardy, the CEO of Vitol Group, a major player in the energy sector.

While tensions in the Middle East and production cuts by the OPEC+ alliance have supported crude prices, increased production from non-OPEC+ countries, notably the US, has capped potential gains.

Analysts predict that oil prices may continue to trade within a range, with Brent crude expected to hover around $83, while WTI remains near the $78 mark, barring significant shifts in market dynamics.

Continue Reading