Oil Surges to Highest Since 2014 as OPEC Sticks to Supply Plan

Oil Surges to Highest Since 2014 as OPEC Sticks to Supply Plan

OPEC+ agrees to proceed with 400,000 barrel-a-day hike. WTI jumps as much as 3.3% in New York; Brent tops $80 a barrel

Oil in New York jumped to the highest since 2014 with OPEC+’s decision to proceed to hike output gradually surprised some investors who expected a bigger increase in the wake of a shortage of natural gas.

U.S. crude futures advanced as much as 3.3% on Monday. OPEC+ ministers ratified the 400,000 barrel-a-day supply hike scheduled for November after a short video conference on Monday, according to a statement from the group. The decision comes as the world’s biggest oil company, Saudi Aramco, said the global natural-gas crisis has boosted demand for crude by 500,000 barrels a day.

“The consensus was that it was going to be an 800,000 barrel-a-day temporary boost in November,” said Rob Thummel, a portfolio manager at Tortoise, a firm that manages roughly $8 billion in energy-related assets.

The crude market has tightened significantly following the economic recovery from the pandemic and supply disruption in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico due to Hurricane Ida. Surging natural gas prices have also raised the prospect of increased demand for oil products for power generation and are boosting inflationary pressures on the global economy.

Modeling from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies shows oil demand will outstrip supply over the next two months.

OPEC+ production policy will be the main factor influencing oil prices over the coming months, according to Vitol Group. There’s little chance of Iranian barrels returning this year and U.S. shale producers aren’t investing enough to raise output quickly, Mike Muller, head of Asia for the oil trading house, said Sunday in a webinar hosted by Dubai-based consultant Gulf Intelligence.

Fuel switching due to high coal and gas prices is likely to drive up oil demand by 500,000 barrels a day this winter, Sri Paravaikkarasu, head of Asia oil at consultant FGE, told Bloomberg Television. A cold winter could see consumption climb by a further 200,000 to 300,000 barrels a day, she added.

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By Sharon Cho and Alex Longley

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