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Brent crude holds near 4-1/2 month high on Yemen, U.S. rig count

SINGAPORE – Brent crude prices held near a 4-1/2 month high above $65 a barrel on Monday, supported by concerns about fighting in Yemen disrupting Middle East supplies and signs that U.S. shale output may have started to decline.

The number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil has fallen for a record 20 weeks in a row to the lowest since 2010, according to Baker Hughes data.

“Support for oil actually came from a lot of positive speculation that oil supply from the U.S. is actually going to drop,” said Shunling Yap, a senior oil analyst at BMI Research.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s forecast of a drop in oil output in May from April, the first monthly decline in four years, also supported bullish bets, she added.

Brent edged up 1 cent to $65.29 a barrel by 0200 GMT after posting its third weekly gain last week and touching a Dec. 10 high of $65.80.

U.S. crude fell 3 cents to $57.12 a barrel after rising for the sixth consecutive week, its longest stretch of gains since the first quarter of 2014.

Fighting in Yemen raged on as Saudi Arabia continued its air strikes against Houthi militia forces in Aden, but there were no fresh moves towards dialog.

While the Yemen crisis has raised the risk premium for oil, BMI’s Shun said supply from the world’s top exporter Saudi Arabia remained steady and there was no immediate threat to major oil shipping routes in the region.

In related news, Yemen conflict keeps Brent crude oil around $63.

(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Ed Davies)

This article was from Reuters and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

31 comments

  1. $90 a barrell by October/November, 2015

  2. NYMEX is $8 below Brent. U. S. Exports could close that gap.

  3. Benchmark bakken oil and we will gain $10 a barrel,the problem is,that’s a political move and we all know how fast politicians move!!

  4. That is why the GOP want war, trouble around the world makes oil go up !

    • Not true, Russia is on the verge of collapse due to the price of oil. That’s why Putin is trying to start little wars all around the world, to drive the price back up.

    • That was part of the reason this government was behind lowering the price of oil was to control Russia. And yes it is true, the GOP has done everything in their power to get a war started with Iran !

    • Gop is in charge? Uh I thought Obama and his mighty pen and phone had total control?

    • Haven’t you noticed there is still a house and senate ! Just what have they done for the country the last few years ? They only work for the Koch Brothers and the rest on the rich.

    • Obama is too clueless to be in control:

    • So…. A war is good for the domestic economy

    • War is just a waste of our resources, money and our people !

    • The GOP? Was it the GOP that sent a Dutch airliner into a hostile war zone even after the pilot begged not to fly over that area? The plane never flew over that area in the past , so why this time? Are the Dutch GOP? I think not…… You are a fool to believe the GOP is behind oil prices. You guys just keep complaining about the Koch brothers and somehow messing with things going on. When you know that Warren Buffett owns the trains hauling all the Bakken oil. You know he supports the Dems. How do you know it’s not him and the Dems starting all this turmoil in the world to keep oil prices up? The Saudis never increased output when a Republican
      was in office. ……..

  5. I’m sure those cats in the middle east will have things patched up by this weekend.

  6. High oil is NEVER coming back-the saudis are making sure of it -keeps IRAN in check and russia irans technology supplier
    Its the GOAL of iran to take over Saudi Arabia and control MECCA
    The been at eachothers throats since the 800s

  7. F**k Brent crude it’s wti we should be focused on that’s the american market as far as I’m concerned we should take every tanker ship carrying Brent and send it back

  8. It’s WTI we should watch. Bakken crude trades $10.00 to $12.00 less then WTI. US doesn’t export crude, only diesel and gas. Haven’t been able to export crude since 1978. Apparently US is trying to repeal export ban.

    • My understanding is that ALL Alaskan crude goes overseas…is that not right?

    • Don’t believe so. They recently freed up and allowed some unrefined crude for exports. But we haven’t been able to export since 1978. When they repeal that ban, OPEC will crap their pants. Most of their oil is exported.