Brent jumps as OPEC+ surprises, stands pat on output
Crude oil futures hit seven-year highs after OPEC+ nixed talks of a supply increase at their ministerial meeting.
At their joint ministerial meeting, energy ministers from Organisation of Petroleum Exporting countries and their counterparts from some non-OPEC oil producers, decided to stick to their previous commitment to boost their combined output by 400,000 barrels a day in November.
In response, as of 1552 BST, front month Brent crude oil futures were rising 3.2% to trade at $81.80 a barrel on ICE with the benchmark WTI contract up 2.9% at $78.08 a barrel alongside.
BP shares were up by 2.17% to 345.3p and those of Royal Dutch Shell by 1,677.8p.
Although the cartel and its allies alluded to the market consensus as one of the reasons for sticking to their initial plan, the decision surprised some market participants.
It also came as Saudi Aramco boss, Amin Nasserm said the crisis in natural gas prices had pushed crude oil demand up by 500,000 b/d.
“There is some shift we have seen from gas to liquids, especially in certain markets in Asia,” Nasser said at an Energy Intelligence forum, according to Bloomberg.
Another factor pushing crude higher was US oil exploration and production companies' financial discipline, Tom Kloza at Oil Price Information Service told Dow Jones Newswires.
Regular gasoline prices in the US were higher alongside at $3.20/gallon and also at seven-year highs, AAA said on its website.
“Global economic uncertainty and supply chain concerns caused by the lingering COVID-19 pandemic could be playing a role in keeping crude oil prices elevated,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said.
AAA was among those who had though that OPEC might ramp up production faster than previously agreed.