Politics
GE

UPDATE 11-Oil rises over 2 pct to 2019 highs on tightening supplies

* Partial outage hits top Saudi offshore field

* U.S.-China trade talks to resume in Washington next week

* U.S. adds oil rigs for second week in a row (Updates to settlement, adds new quotes)

NEW YORK, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose more than 2percent to their highest this year on Friday after an outage atSaudi Arabia's offshore oilfield boosted expectations fortightening supply, while progressing U.S.-Sino trade talksstrengthened demand sentiment.

The international Brent crude benchmark LCOc1 rose $1.68,or 2.6 percent, to settle at $66.25 a barrel, its highest sinceNovember.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures CLc1 settled up$1.18, or 2.2 percent, at $55.59 a barrel, and hit their highestthis year in post-settlement trade at $55.80.

For the week, Brent ended more than 6 percent higher and WTIgained more than 5 percent, partly on tightening supplies sincethe Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and itsallies led by Russia started voluntary production cuts lastmonth.

The partial closure of Saudi Arabia's Safaniya, the world'slargest offshore oilfield, occurred about two weeks ago, asource said on Friday. Safaniya has production capacity of morethan 1 million barrels per day. It was not immediately clearwhen the field would return to full capacity.

"It's another factor that is raising concerns about theavailability of crude," said Phil Flynn, analyst at PriceFutures Group in Chicago. "All of a sudden you don't have toworry just about OPEC cuts. Now you have a problem with SaudiArabia's ability to actually produce as much oil."

Leading OPEC producer Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it wouldcut an additional half a million bpd in March more than itpreviously pledged.

Supply has also been curbed by U.S. sanctions on Venezuelanand Iranian crude and reduced Libyan output because of civilunrest. Security threats could threaten Nigerian productionafter general elections this weekend.

Growing confidence that the United States and China willresolve their ongoing trade dispute also supported prices. Thosetalks will restart next week in Washington, with both sidessaying this week's negotiations in Beijing showed progress.

"Optimism surrounding a potential trade deal has really beenthe big issue here in the United States the last couple days,"said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.

However, prices pared gains after a report showed U.S.energy firms this week increased the number of oil rigsoperating for a second week in a row due to concerns that crudesupplies will swamp global demand as U.S. output keeps growingfrom record levels. RIG/U

U.S. oil drillers added three oil rigs this week, GeneralElectric Co's GE.N Baker Hughes energy services firm said. RIG-OL-USA-BHI .


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story

GE

Other Topics

Stocks World Markets Commodities

Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

Learn More