Tuesday, October 03, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 17, 1445 H
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Oil prices rebound as supply concerns return

Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing oil hub, in Cushing, Oklahoma. — Reuters
Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing oil hub, in Cushing, Oklahoma. — Reuters

LONDON: Oil prices rose on Wednesday, clawing back some of Tuesday's heavy losses as supply concerns returned to the fore and outweighed lingering worries about a potential global recession.

Brent crude futures rose by $1.43, or 1.39%, to $104.20 a barrel at 1120 GMT.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude climbed 65 cents, or 0.65%, to $100.15 a barrel after closing below $100 in the previous session for the first time since late April.

Both contracts recorded their largest daily drop since March on Tuesday on recession fears and other bearish pressures, which also kept a lid on Wednesday's price rise.

Oil prices have seen a knock from a resurgent dollar, which is holding at a 20-year high against the euro and multi-month peaks against other major currencies.

A stronger US dollar usually makes oil more expensive in other currencies, which could curb demand.

Renewed concerns of Covid-19 lockdowns across China could also cap oil price gains.

Adding to the downward pressure on prices, all oil and gas fields that were affected by a strike in Norway's petroleum sector are expected to be back in full operation within a couple of days, Equinor said on Wednesday.

Norway's government intervened to end the strike on Tuesday.

But analysts expect a quick resurgence in oil prices as supply tightness persists, pointing to front-month spreads which have held up despite Tuesday's price fall.

Brent's six-month market structure was in steep backwardation of $14.82 a barrel, little changed from the previous day. Backwardation exists when contracts for near-term delivery of oil are priced higher than those for later months.

"The price action overnight, with both contracts trading in near 15 dollar ranges, hints more at panic and forced liquidation, than a structural change in the tight supply-demand situation globally," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA, adding that oil prices may be in danger of overshooting to the downside.

Meanwhile, Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), which takes oil from Kazakhstan to the Black Sea via one of the world's largest pipelines, has been told by a Russian court to suspend activity for 30 days, although sources said exports were still flowing.

Operations at Kazakhstan's giant Tengiz oilfield were not disrupted by an explosion on Wednesday and were continuing, the operator said, after the blast killed two workers and injured three. — Reuters

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