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Oil trades near $57 as Saudis boost security at crude facilities

Business | 2017-11-13 08:34:13
Oil trades near $57 as Saudis boost security at crude facilities
Oil traded near $57 a barrel as Saudi Arabia signaled it will raise security at its crude facilities after Bahrain blamed Iran for a fire at a pipeline that connects the two Arab allies. Iran denied it was involved.

Futures were little changed in New York after falling 0.8 percent Friday. Prices still capped a fifth weekly gain last week, the longest run since October 2016. The plan to boost security was reported by Al-Arabiya television on Saturday, citing the energy ministry of Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter. The pipeline resumed pumping later in the day after a brief halt.

Oil has climbed about 20 percent since the start of September as global supplies tighten and on signs the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will extend output curbs past the end of March. U.S. drillers increased the rig count by the most since June last week, according to Baker Hughes.

“Geopolitical events in the Middle East come and go, but there is enough tension there at the moment to keep the market on edge,” said David Lennox, a commodity analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney. “Given U.S. output is rising, that’s probably what’s stopping the oil price from retreating sharply.”

West Texas Intermediate for December delivery traded at $56.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 6 cents, at 12:20 p.m. in Hong Kong after climbing as much as 0.5 percent earlier. Total volume traded was about 27 percent below the 100-day average. Prices lost 43 cents to close at $56.74 on Friday, trimming the weekly gain to 2 percent.

Brent for January settlement added 3 cents to $63.55 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices rose 2.3 percent last week. The global benchmark traded at a premium of $6.52 to January WTI.

The pipeline attack “is a dangerous Iranian escalation that aims to scare citizens and hurt the global oil industry,” Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Khalifa said on Twitter. Iran responded by saying the Bahrainis “need to know that the era for lies and childish finger-pointing is over,” Islamic Republic News Agency reported Sunday, citing a foreign ministry spokesman.

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