Greece moves towards bailout deal, Iranian sanctions tighten, oil investments flourish
Brent crude oil futures rose considerably today, touching their highest peaks in more than six months, as reports of falling inventories in the US fuelled the interest of traders. Rising optimism regarding the bailout negotiations with Greece and the escalating tensions in Iran also gave oil investment a needed boost.
March-settlement Brent prices rose 20 cents to $116.43 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London. This marks the seventh consecutive winning session for investments in the European benchmark.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for delivery in March rose more than $1 to $99.43 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The dramatic surge came after a Canadian oil sands plant suffered from a sudden outage.
The euro advanced against the dollar on the Greek momentum, as traders and economists alike await for investment news of a deal to be struck with the debt-addled nation.
The Energy Information Administration in the US issued a report stating that its demand projections for the years 2012 and 2013 have been positively adjusted in order to make room for the expected absence of several prominent crude providers.
Colder than expected winters reported across the globe also forced a surge in demand for heating oil, boosting oil investment along the way.
The spread between Brent and WTI currently sits below $17 per barrel, after rising above $20 last Friday. The closure of the Canadian plant remained the central factor in propelling the US benchmark up the polls against Brent.
Crude oil prices have a standing fixed bottom at the moment in the face of the disputes regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions. With the US imposing new sanctions against the OPEC nation just yesterday, it now looks as if the absence of Iranian oil from the market is sure.