Crude oil prices were little changed Tuesday after hitting 2019 highs earlier in the day, maintaining strength on expectations Opec+ will continue its production cuts.
U.S. oil prices have risen 9% in the last six weeks, as the Opec+ supply cuts are now expected to continue through the rest of 2019. Opec+ representatives this week canceled their scheduled April meeting, pushing their next get together to late June.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures for April delivery ended Tuesday’s session 6 cents lower, at $59.03 per barrel, after hitting an intraday peak at $59.57/Bbl — the highest level since Nov. 12, Kallanish Energy reports.
The April contract expires on Wednesday. The more heavily traded May contract nearly reached $60/Bbl Tuesday.
Brent crude futures rose 7 cents, to $67.61/Bbl. The international benchmark for crude prices rose to a four-month high of $68.20/Bbl earlier Tuesday.
Opec and a group of non-affiliated producers led by Russia and collectively known as Opec+, cut supply in 2019 by 1.2 million barrels per day (Mmbpd) to halt a drop in prices that began in the second half of last year on booming U.S. production and fears of a global economic slowdown.
Prices have been further strengthened by U.S. sanctions against oil exports from Iran and Venezuela.
Because of the tighter supply outlook for the coming months, the Brent forward curve has gone into backwardation since the start of the year, meaning prices for immediate delivery are more expensive than barrels for delivery in the future.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.