Oman’s crude benchmark surges to $68.35/barrel

New triggers: Brent crude futures climbed above $70 a barrel on Monday for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began, while US crude touched its highest in more than two years, following reports of attacks on Saudi Aramco’s giant facilities

BUSINESS REPORTER –
MUSCAT, MARCH 8
Oman’s benchmark crude oil futures contract soared to $68.35 per barrel on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) on Monday in trend with spikes reported by other global benchmarks propelled by reports of drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.
The Omani benchmark gained $1.94 per barrel to settle at $68.35, a figure last seen in January 2020.
It came on the back of an earlier spike on Thursday when the Opec+ alliance of global producers, which includes the Sultanate, agreed to roll over production curbs into April 2021.
Brent crude futures climbed above $70 a barrel on Monday for the first time since the pandemic began, while US crude touched its highest in more than two years, following reports of attacks on Saudi Aramco’s giant facilities.
Brent crude futures for May hit $71.38 a barrel in early Asian trade, the highest since January 8, 2020, and were at $70.56 a barrel by 0730 GMT, up $1.20, or 1.7 per cent. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for April rose $1.08, or 1.6 per cent, to $67.17.
The front-month WTI price touched $67.98 a barrel earlier, the highest since October 2018.
Asian stocks also rose after the US Senate approved a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill while positive economic data from the United States and China bode well for a global economic rebound.
Yemen’s Houthi forces fired drones and missiles at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry on Sunday, including a Saudi Aramco facility at Ras Tanura vital to petroleum exports, in what Riyadh called a failed assault on global energy security.
“We could see further upside in the market in the near-term, particularly as the market probably now needs to be pricing in some sort of risk premium, with these attacks picking up in frequency,” ING analysts said.
(With inputs from Reuters)