KONTAN.CO.ID - SINGAPORE. U.S. oil prices hit their highest since 2014 on Wednesday due to ongoing production cuts led by OPEC as well as healthy demand, although analysts cautioned that markets may be overheating.
A broad global market rally, including stocks, has also been fuelling investment into crude oil futures.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at US$63.44 a barrel, 48 cents, or 0.8%, above their last settlement at 0752 GMT. Earlier prices rose to as much as US$63.53, the highest since Dec. 9, 2014.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at US$69.11 a barrel, 29 cents, or 0.4%, above their last close. Brent touched US$69.29 in late Tuesday trading, the most since May 2015. Most market participants see the price high that day as an outlier and are measuring the gain as the most since Dec. 5, 2014, when prices rose to as high as US$69.82.
“The extension of the OPEC agreement ... and declining inventories are all helping to drive the price higher,” said William O‘Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia’s Rivkin Securities.
In an effort to prop up prices, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) together with Russia and a group of other producers last November extended an output cut deal that was due to expire in March this year to cover all of 2018.
The cuts, which have mostly targeted Europe and North America, were aimed at reducing a global supply overhang that had dogged oil markets since 2014.
The American Petroleum Institute said late on Tuesday that crude inventories fell by 11.2 million barrels in the week to Jan. 5, to 416.6 million barrels.
This came as the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) raised its 2018 world oil demand growth forecast by 100,000 barrels per day from its previous estimate.
Official EIA stocks data is due at 1530 GMT on Wednesday.
Editor: Rizki Caturini