American Oil Prices Highest Since 2015

Price Speculations Continue U.S. oil prices hit their highest since 2015 again on Tuesday as speculators bet on further price rises amid OPEC-led production cuts and a dip in...

Price Speculations Continue

U.S. oil prices hit their highest since 2015 again on Tuesday as speculators bet on further price rises amid OPEC-led production cuts and a dip in American drilling activity, though some warned the rally could run out of steam. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.24 a barrel at 0252 GMT – 51 cents, or 0.8 percent, above their last settlement. They earlier marked a May-2015 high of $62.56 a barrel. Earlier this year, oil prices slumped on concerns that rising crude production from Nigeria, Libya and elsewhere would undermine output cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia.

The organization of the petroleum exporting countries and allies, including Russia are keeping supply limits in place in 2018. The second year of restraint will reduce a price denting flood of oil held in inventory. Prices have rallied nearly 50 percent since the middle of the year on robust demand and strong compliance with the production limits. “That trend is likely to continue into 2018 and worldwide oil inventories will continue their decline,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. China has already been the world’s largest importer and is expected to hit another record in 2018 if Beijing will allow more independent refiners to import crude oil.

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