Oil Builds on Seven Year-High Amid Global Energy Shortages

Oil steadied near the highest level since 2014 after OPEC+ chose to keep supplies fairly tight.

Oil Builds on Seven Year-High Amid Global Energy Shortages
Valve control wheels on a crude oil pipe. (Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Oil extended its rally from a seven-year high a day after OPEC+’s decision to keep its supply agreement in place as energy prices spike stoking concerns that more petroleum products will be used in power generation. 

U.S. crude futures advanced 1.7% Tuesday, heading closer to the key, psychological $80-a-barrel level. At an OPEC+ meeting on Monday, Saudi Arabia and its partners opted for only a modest output increase of 400,000 barrels a day for November. U.S natural gas futures jumped to a 12-year high as global as global shortages of that fuel fanned fears of a shortage in the U.S ahead of winter in the northern hemisphere. 

“There is no room for error in the system,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group Inc. “If we get a cold winter these prices could go up dramatically.”

Meanwhile, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute reported U.S. crude stockpiles rose 951,000 barrels last week, according to people familiar with the data. 

Oil Builds on Seven Year-High Amid Global Energy Shortages

Both the U.S. and global crude benchmarks have surged this month with rising energy prices stoking fear of inflation forcing consumers to pay more for everything from gasoline to heating, food and plastics. 

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecast that power generation could add an extra 650,000 barrels a day to oil demand this winter due to high gas prices.

Underlying oil market gauges are also showing signs of strength. West Texas Intermediate crude’s so-called Dec.-Red-Dec. spread, a favored trade of the world’s hedge funds, topped $7.50 a barrel this week, the strongest on a rolling basis since 2019. 

  • West Texas Intermediate traded at $79.08 a barrel at 4:59 p.m. after settling at $78.93 a barrel in New York
  • Brent climbed $1.30 to settle at $82.56 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange

Meanwhile, in the U.S., analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimate a crude stockpile rise of 700,000 barrels last week. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute will release inventory data later Tuesday, while the U.S. government will release its weekly tally on Wednesday.

Other market news:
  • Saudi Arabia reduced prices for all crudes destined to Asia, its biggest market, after OPEC+’s decision to keep slow production increases sent oil futures surging.
  • Intercontinental Exchange Inc. raised its margin requirements for Brent crude by almost 9%, effectively boosting the cost of trading the world’s benchmark oil contract.
  • Apollo Global Management Inc. and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. are among parties that made first-round bids for a potential multibillion-dollar stake in Saudi Aramco’s natural gas pipeline network, according to people familiar with the matter.

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