HOUSTON, Jan 22 – Oil prices rose about 2% on Monday on concerns over global energy supplies following a Ukrainian drone strike on Russia’s Novatek fuel terminal and as extreme cold weather continued to hamper US crude production.
Brent March crude futures settled at USD 80.06 a barrel, up USD 1.50, or 1.9%.
Front-month US West Texas Intermediate crude futures contract (WTI) for February delivery closed at USD 75.19, up USD 1.78, or 2.4%, as the contract expired. The more active March WTI contract was up USD 1.36 at USD 74.61.
“There are finally concerns in the market about genuine supply disruptions,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC, citing the drone strike that idled portions of the Novatek terminal.
Severe cold weather across the US is limiting crude oil output in North Dakota, as well hampering production in other states, said Phil Flynn, analyst with Price Future Group.
Over 20% of output in the third largest oil producing state remained shut in on Monday after being halved last week by extreme cold weather and operational challenges, North Dakota’s pipeline authority said.
Flynn added that stock markets continue to gain, pointing to greater demand in the coming months.
“Pessimism about the economy is going away,” he said.
The benchmark S&P 500 scaled a fresh record high, extending a bull run into a new week on a boost from megacap and chip stocks.
There are no signs of respite in Israel’s offensive in Gaza while attacks by Iran-aligned Houthis on commercial vessels in the Red Sea have continued despite retaliatory measures from the United States.
Still, oil fundamentals could continue to drag on prices, according to IG analyst Tony Sycamore.
Oil production is higher while the growth outlook in China and Europe is mixed and data this week is expected to show US economic growth has slowed considerably, he said.
“Investors want to be bullish, but tepid data and a cautious narrative from policymakers keep them on the back foot,” said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.
The latest demand growth forecasts by the US Energy Information Administration, the International Energy Agency and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for 2024 range between 1.24 million and 2.25 million barrels per day, though all three organizations expect demand growth to slow in 2025.
Separately, production at Libya’s Sharara oilfield resumed on Sunday, state oil company NOC said, after protesters ended a sit-in that had halted output since early January.
(Reporting by Erwin Seba; additional reporting by Natalie Grover, Noah Browning, Mohi Narayan, and Florence Tan; Editing by Marguerita Choy, Jane Merriman, and Tomasz Janowski)