Oil is heading for the longest run of weekly gains since January on concern that higher Saudi and Russian output may not ease a supply crunch as impending U.S. sanctions squeeze Iranian exports.
Futures in New York climbed as much as 0.7 percent, on course for a fourth weekly gain. Prices may hit $100 as soon as this fall given all the uncertainty over Iran, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told radio station Business FM. Still, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said “We’re doing everything we can,” signaling the kingdom is ready to mitigate a potential loss of supply from the Persian Gulf state.
Oil is near the highest level in four years as Iranian shipments drop, production in Venezuela falls due to an economic crisis and a pipeline bottleneck deters inland American supply from reaching export terminals on the coast. While Saudi Arabia and Russia signaled they may pump more amid growing pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, doing so could reduce the world’s spare production capacity to historically low levels.
West Texas Intermediate for November delivery advanced as much as 51 cents to $74.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and traded at $74.77 at 9:54 a.m. in Tokyo. The contract fell $2.08 to $74.33 on Thursday. Prices are up 2.1 percent for the week. Total volume traded was about 65 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for December settlement rose 36 cents to $84.94 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract declined $1.71 to $84.58 on Thursday. Prices are up 2.7 percent for the week. The global benchmark crude traded at a $10.28 premium to WTI for the same month.