Oil Prices Rise on Signals OPEC Might Cut Output

By The Al Attiyah Foundation, Qatar

Oil Prices Rise on Signals OPEC Might Cut Output

Oil prices ended higher on Friday, boosted by signals from Saudi Arabia that OPEC could cut output. Still, trading was volatile as investors digested and ultimately shrugged off warnings from the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve about economic pain ahead. Brent crude futures rose $1.65 to settle at $100.99 a barrel. U.S. WTI crude futures rose 54 cents to $93.06 a barrel. Overall, Brent gained 4.4% for the week, while WTI was set to rise 2.5%. Last week, Saudi Arabia, OPEC's de facto leader, flagged the possibility of production cuts to offset the return of Iranian barrels to oil markets should Tehran clinch a nuclear deal with the West. Other OPEC member states, including Iraq, Venezuela, UAE, and Kazakhstan, were aligned with Saudi Arabia's thinking and expressed readiness to intervene and restore balance in the oil market. However, oil prices briefly fell after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the tight monetary policy might be in store "for some time" to fight inflation, meaning slower growth and a weaker job market. Meanwhile, some European Central Bank policymakers want to discuss a 75 basis point interest rate hike at a September 8 policy meeting, even if recession risks loom as the inflation outlook is deteriorating.


Benchmark Oil Prices


Asia LNG Price Hits Record High Ahead of NS1 Outage



Asian spot liquefied natural gas hit a fresh record high this week as South Korean and Japanese buyers restocked for the winter and a planned outage at the Nord Stream 1 pipeline pushed up European demand. As a result, industry sources said that the average LNG price for October delivery into north-east Asia was estimated at $70.50 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), up $13.50 from the previous week. Meanwhile, analysts said there is a lot of panic in the European gas market, especially with prices spiking in recent days due to fears that Russian gas flows would not return even after planned maintenance on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Russia's Gazprom has announced a three-day outage for the pipeline, from August 31 until September 2, which is currently running at 20% of its total capacity, piling pressure on Europe as it seeks to fill up gas storage facilities ahead of winter. Europe's gas storage sites were just over 78% full, Gas Infrastructure Europe data showed, approaching a European Commission target of 80% by October 1. In the United States, front-month gas futures for September delivery fell on Friday by 7.9 cents to settle at $9.30 mmBtu. For the week, the front month was down about 0.4%.


Benchmark Gas Prices


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IndraStra Global: Oil Prices Rise on Signals OPEC Might Cut Output
Oil Prices Rise on Signals OPEC Might Cut Output
By The Al Attiyah Foundation, Qatar
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