Oil climbs as Venezuela sees output deal
By Dmitry Zhdannikov
LONDON (Reuters) –
Oil prices rose on Monday from multi-week lows after Venezuela said OPEC and non-OPEC producers were close to a deal to stabilise the market and as clashes in Libya disrupted attempts to boost crude exports.
Brent crude futures were at $46.32 per barrel at 1043 GMT (11.43 a.m. BST), up 55 cents from their previous settlement and off an earlier peak of 46.62. U.S. crude was up 61 cents, or 1.4 percent, at $43.64 a barrel.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said a deal could be announced this month to stabilise oil markets, which have come under pressure due to persistent oversupply.
“We think there is a great window of opportunity for a freeze here,” Natixis analyst Deshpande Abhishek said. “It will not just help balance the markets, but it is also a win-win for OPEC and Russia, as Iran is unlikely to add extra production anyway for the next 6-12 months.”
Crude exports from OPEC’s third biggest producer Iran jumped 15 percent in August from a month ago to more than 2 million barrels per day, according to a source with knowledge of its tanker loading schedule, closing in on shipment levels seen five years ago before Western sanctions.
Last week, Brent hit a two-week low and U.S. crude fell to a five-week low on concerns about oversupply with more deliveries from Libya and Nigeria.
On Monday, prices were also supported by a weaker dollar and as the expected boost to Libyan exports was delayed.
Clashes in Libya have halted the loading of the first oil cargo from the port of Ras Lanuf in close to two years and raised fears of a new conflict over Libya’s oil resources.
However, concerns about rising supplies remain a bugbear. A preliminary Angolan November loading plan showed supplies were set to bounce back from a 10-year low.
In the United States, drillers have added oil rigs for 11 out of the past 12 weeks.
(Additional reporting by Mark Tay in Singapore; editing by Himani Sarkar and David Clarke)