Current Crude Prices Mixed in Recent Trading
The crude prices per barrel ended mixed after jumping earlier in the trading day. In London, Brent reached over $115.11 per barrel before decreasing slightly, its highest level since the early parts of May, before it finished at $113.60, a 62-cent gain.
Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude price per barrel for delivery in September ended lower by 14 cents compared to its closing rate of $92.73 in the past week’s trading. During midday NYMEX trading, it reached more than $94 per barrel.
Japan’s statement that its second quarter economic growth sharply slowed down placed a shadow over demand expectations in the oil market. According to the Cabinet Office, quarter two’s GDP grew by only 0.3 percent compared to the last three months, a fourth consecutive rise, but much slower versus the 1.3% growth seen in the first quarter.
Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank, linked the early gains to the maintenance-caused reductions in North Sea output and Middle Eastern tensions.
A recent collision between an oil tanker owned by Japan and a missile destroyer guided by the US near the Strait of Hormuz raised fears among investors worried over possible disruptions in oil supply. About twenty percent of the global oil is transported through a narrow strait that links the oil-rich Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean. It is for this reason that the impact of possible conflict on current crude oil prices cannot be perfectly calculated.
In the meantime, oil has been observed along Southern Nigeria’s coast by Exxon Mobil, who operates several oil production sites nearby. It is unknown – at the time of this writing – how much oil has been spilled or how this happened.
Mobil Producing Nigeria, a local subsidiary of Exxon, confirmed the discovery of oil along Akwa Ibom state’s shoreline in the southern part of Nigeria. Residents of the region also reported that they have seen deposits of oil along the coast.