Oil prices extend upward momentum on expectations of tighter supply

By Thomson Reuters Mar 25, 2024 | 8:54 PM

By Colleen Howe

BEIJING (Reuters) – Oil prices were on track to gain for a second straight day on Tuesday after settling up more than a dollar on expectations of tighter supply driven by Russian production cuts and attacks on Russian refineries.

Brent crude rose 23 cents to $86.98 a barrel by 0118 GMT. U.S. crude futures climbed 28 cents to $82.23.

Crude oil gained on supply side issues and continued Middle East tensions, according to a note from ANZ analysts.

Both contracts settled $1.32 higher in the previous trading session.

Russia told its oil companies to reduce output to meet an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) target of 9 million barrels per day (bpd). In late February, Russia had been producing about 9.5 million barrels per day.

At the same time, Ukranian attacks on Russian oil refineries have continued. Russia’s Kuibyshev refinery had to shut half of its capacity after a fire broke out there on Saturday morning.

In a sign of further supply tightening, Macquarie forecast that U.S. refinery crude runs would increase by 300,000 bpd next week against a decrease in domestic supply of 500,000 bpd, according to a note from energy strategist Walt Chancellor.

On Monday, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas, after the U.S. abstained from the vote.

But analysts are not confident that a ceasefire would halt the Houthi attacks that have roiled shipping routes in the Red Sea.

After the vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a visit to the U.S. to discuss Israel’s planned invasion of the Gaza city of Rafah, which Israel’s allies have opposed. Although the U.S. said its position had not changed, the spat raised questions about whether the U.S. would restrict military aid to Israel if it presses ahead with the invasion.

(Reporting by Colleen Howe; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)