Iran's Light Crude Picks Up

Iran's Light Crude Picks UpIran's Light Crude Picks Up

Iran's light crude made small gains in the week to Dec. 22, moving in the opposite direction of Brent, the international benchmark for crude prices.

The country's light grade oil rose 13 cents to $63.36 per barrel in the week, averaging $52.20 in 2017, Shana said on Saturday, citing a report by the Oil Ministry.

Iran Heavy, one of the country's main grades for export, settled up 52 cents at $61.01, breaking through the $60 barrier for the first time this year. Brent crude ended the week at $64.04, or 6 cents lower compared with the previous week.

The price of OPEC basket of 14 crudes stood at $62.16 a barrel on Wednesday, compared with $61.72 the previous day, according to the latest OPEC Secretariat calculations.

US oil prices closed above $60 a barrel on the final trading day of the year, the first time since mid-2015, as the commodity ended 2017 with a 12% gain spurred by strong demand and declining global inventories.

Brent crude futures ended the year with a 17% rise, supported by ongoing supply cuts by top producers OPEC and Russia as well as strong demand from China.

The spread between the benchmarks widened throughout the year, as Brent responded to the drawdown in supply from major world producers while US output continued to grow.

Under the supply cut deal, spearheaded by OPEC's top exporter Saudi Arabia and the world's No. 1 producer Russia, producers are expected to erase 1.8 million barrels of crude oil per day from the market through the end of 2018. The pact requires Iran to pump no more than 3.8 million bpd.

In the long haul, the cuts are aimed at cutting down global inventories to their five-year average, though the current inventories are oversupplied by some 150 million barrels.

Members of the oil pact are wary that a steep rise in oil prices could embolden producers outside of the supply cut deal, especially the US shale producers, to pump more and weigh down prices.


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