EghtesadOnline: T he price of Iran’s light crude oil settled up $1.69 a barrel at $69.23 in the week to Jan. 12, in line with a rally that has pushed global prices to their highest levels in three years.
The country’s light crude, which is typically priced higher than its heavier grades because of being easier to process, has averaged $68.51 per barrel in 2018, Shana, the Oil Ministry’s news portal, reported on Saturday.
Iran Heavy, one of the country’s main export grades, reached $65.62 a barrel, up $1.42 from the previous week and averaging $64.07 a barrel this year.
According to OPEC’s latest monthly report published on Thursday, Iran Heavy traded at $60.86 per barrel last month, up $1.6 or 2.7% from November, Financial Tribune reported.
The Iranian crude averaged $51.71 a barrel in 2017, up 30% in the previous year that saw prices plummet to their lowest levels in more than a decade, the report said. Oil fell from above $110 a barrel in mid-2014 to below $30 in early 2016.
Oil prices ended down on Friday and broke a four-week winning streak after a rally that had taken benchmarks to three-year highs, as investors sold positions on reemerging US production concerns.
Brent crude futures fell 70 cents, or 1%, to settle at $68.61 a barrel after hitting a session low of $68.28. On Monday, they hit their highest since December 2014 at $70.37, Reuters reported.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled at $63.37 a barrel, down 58 cents, or 0.9%. WTI marked a December-2014 peak of $64.89 a barrel on Tuesday. On a weekly basis, Brent settled 1.8% lower while WTI was down 1.5%.
Global markets were supported last year by an extension of a production cut agreement between OPEC and several non-members through the end of 2018 as well as tensions in the Middle East and supply disruptions in the US and elsewhere.
The supply cut deal, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, is aimed at removing about 1.8 million barrels per day of crude from the market to reduce global inventories and lift prices.
Some analysts are speculating that $70-per-barrel range is as far as the fossil fuel could go, as higher prices are forecast to spur output by producers outside of the supply cut accord, including the US shale industry.