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OPEC price near 2-year high as US oil stockpiles Drops

OPEC price climbs
OPEC price near 2-year high as US oil stockpiles Drops
The price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at 64.83 US dollars a barrel on Tuesday, compared with 64.47 US dollars a barrel on Friday, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

Oil traded near the highest close in more than two years before US government data forecast to show stockpiles extended declines for a seventh week and as unrest continued in OPEC’s third-biggest producer, according to Bloomberg.

Futures were little changed in New York near 60 US dollars a barrel after easing 5 cents on Tuesday. Inventories probably fell by 5 million barrels last week, according to a survey before an Energy Information Administration report on Thursday. Crude and condensate exports from Iran remain unaffected by the turmoil that has spread across the country.

Oil last year capped a second annual advance as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies trim supply to reduce a global glut. Prices will probably trade between 40 and 60 US dollars a barrel this year, penned in by rising US shale production, declining but still hearty worldwide supplies and eroding OPEC compliance, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

“There’s still upside to the price,” said Daniel Hynes, an analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Sydney. “The market is definitely getting a little more positive about supply and demand dynamics. It’s highly unlikely we’ll see any impact on output from the Iranian protests but it does raise market awareness of rising geopolitical risks.”

West Texas Intermediate for February delivery was at 60.34 US dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 3 cents, at 7:40 a.m. in London. Total volume traded was about 45 percent below the 100-day average. Prices closed at 60.42 US dollars a barrel on Friday, the highest level since June 2015.

Brent for March settlement slid 9 cents to 66.48 US dollars a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange after losing 30 cents on Tuesday. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of 6.16 US dollars a barrel to March WTI.

Unrest in Iran began Dec. 28 with a rally against rising prices and the government’s handling of the economy, before turning into a wider protest against the political establishment. The OPEC member pumped 3.82 million barrels a day in November.

The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Zafiro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).