Global oil stable on slightly tighter market, strong demand
Global oil prices were stable on Monday, supported by supply concerns in the Middle East and declining US drilling activity.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $57.75 at 0710 GMT, unchanged from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $51.92 per barrel, up 8 cents, or 0.14 per cent, according to Reuters.
“Oil prices are holding comfortably above $50 as possible supply disruptions in the Kurdish region of Iraq support prices,” said William O‘Loughlin, analyst at Rivkin Securities.
“US production was also recently impacted by a hurricane for the second time in as many months and the number of US drilling rigs declined for the third week in a row,” O‘Loughlin said.
The amount of US oil rigs drilling for new production fell by seven to 736 in the week to Oct. 20, the lowest level since June, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday.
Some analysts warned, however, that the US market may not be tightening by as much as expected.
In India, September oil imports hit a record 4.83 million barrels per day (bpd), up 4.2 per cent from this time last year and about 19 per cent more than in August, ship-tracking data from industry sources and Thomson Reuters Analytics showed.
Given the tightening oil market conditions, many analysts expect prices to rise further.
Despite the tightening market and recent price rises, market volatility has been low.
The crude oil volatility index, which measures market expectations for 30-day price volatility, fell to levels similar of 2014 last Friday.