(New York) Oil prices rose on Thursday, pushed by the increasingly pronounced easing in the financial markets, but also by the extension of a blockage in Iraq which cut supply by several million barrels.
North Sea Brent oil for May delivery rose 1.26% to close at $79.27.
As for the barrel of American West Texas Intermediate (WTI) of the same maturity, it took 1.91%, to 74.37 dollars.
With banking sector anxiety ebbing, “the economic outlook is looking a bit better and that has allowed prices to recoup some of their losses” since the crisis began, a note noted. , Craig Erlam, Oanda analyst.
“There really wasn’t any news today, but the buoyant things this week were US stocks and the suspension (of exports) to (Iraqi) Kurdistan captured everyone’s attention. world,” commented John Kilduff of Again Capital.
In addition, discussions are continuing in Baghdad between the Iraqi authorities and representatives of the Iraqi Kurdistan regional government on the file of crude exports to the Turkish terminal in Ceyhan, interrupted since Saturday.
The Iraqi federal government demands that the transport of oil from Iraq be subject to the control of the state oil company Somo (State Oil Marketing Organization), under a decision rendered by an arbitration tribunal after almost ten years of proceedings.
But at this stage, “both parties’ proposals have been rejected,” a Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) parliamentarian told the Iraq Oil Report news site, on condition of anonymity.
The foreign companies exploiting the deposits, mainly the Norwegian DNO and the British Gulf Keystone and Genel Energy, have begun to suspend their operations. Storage capacities in the region are indeed very limited.
In ordinary times, the pipeline linking Kirkuk to Ceyhan carries around 450,000 barrels per day. The blockage has therefore already deprived the market of more than 3 million barrels.
“I imagine they’ll get along eventually, but days pass and it’s still not settled,” John Kilduff said. “If they can’t find a solution by the weekend, it’s going to become a problem. »