Brent futures climb above $68 a barrel to record 2015 high
Brent futures hit a record 2015 high, climbing above $68 a barrel on the London ICE stock exchange. Brent Crude, a trading classification of sweet light crude oil, is one of the major benchmark prices for oil in the world.
The rebound in oil prices helped boost the value of the Russian ruble, with the US dollar dropping to below 51 rubles.
Brent crude prices rose 2.66 percent higher than at close of the previous trading session, up to $68.22 per barrel – the highest level since the beginning of December 2014.
WTI June futures gained 2 percent up to $60.67 at 18:20 MSK. WTI stands for West Texas Intermediate, which along with Brent, is another major oil price benchmark.
According to the Financial Times, oil prices rose after the Saudi publication of export prices.
The Saudi national oil company, Aramco, raised the price of Arab Light crude for June deliveries to North-Western Europe by $1.30 on Tuesday.
The price for the US increased by $0.2, while the price for Asia did not change.
The FT says that the rise in Saudi oil prices is a signal of increased demand.
U.S. crude settled up $1.47 at $60.40 a barrel.
The American Petroleum Institute issued a report indicating that U.S. crude inventories dropped by 1.5 million barrels last week – the first time this year.
However, a Reuters poll suggests that U.S. inventories rose by 1.5 million barrels instead last week.
Will oil prices continue to rise at this rate, or is the market simply getting ahead of itself?
Not everyone is convinced that oil prices will continue to rise though.
Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute in New York, told Reuters:
“I think the market is getting ahead of itself,”
“There’s plenty of producer hedging going on as well, and those production levels are not going to come down if demand projections are not met. This could simply mean we are setting ourselves up for another leg lower in prices,” Chirichella said.