Gasoline prices rise for the first time in weeks

  • Gasoline prices rise for the first time in weeks

Gasoline prices rise for the first time in weeks

Oil prices surged to 2-1/2-year highs and USA crude touched $60 a barrel in light trading volume on Tuesday, boosted by news of an explosion on a Libyan crude pipeline as well as voluntary OPEC-led supply cuts.

Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil prices, slipped 15 cents to $65.10 a barrel, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 7 cents at $58.40, Reuters reported.

Forties is the biggest of the five North Sea crude streams underpinning Brent, the benchmark for oil trading in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. WTI touched a session high of $51.82 a barrel on Thursday.

Libya lost around 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil supplies from a blast on a pipeline feeding Es Sider port yesterday.

Brent has risen 17 percent in the year to date while US crude has rallied about 11 percent so far in 2017.

On December 25, the petrochemical company Ineos reported that repairs of the pipeline in the North Sea have been technically completed and pressure pipes are being tested.

But the disruptions highlight that markets have tightened significantly a year into voluntary supply restraint led by top producer Russian Federation and the Middle East-dominated Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).

In December 2016, OPEC and non-OPEC producers reached their first deal since 2001 to curtail oil output jointly and ease a global glut after more than two years of low prices.

EIA data implies a slight supply shortfall of 180,000 bpd for the first quarter of 2018.

The agreement to cut started last January and is set to cover all of 2018.

Only Opec king-pin Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation produce more.