Oil holds above $80 with global power shortage boosting demand

Oil held above $80 a barrel on expectations that a power crunch from Asia to Europe will lift demand and tighten global balances.

West Texas Intermediate futures edged lower in early Asian trading after closing up 1.5 per cent on Monday. Oil markets are tightening rapidly in the run-up to the Northern Hemisphere winter as shortages of natural gas and coal boost demand for alternative power generation fuels like diesel and fuel oil.

The switching is changing the US crude benchmark’s market structure. WTI’s prompt timespread is 61 cents in backwardation, a bullish pattern where near-dated contracts are more expensive than those further out, up from 29 cents at the start of last week.

Citigroup raised its fourth-quarter Brent forecast to $85 a barrel. Prices could rise to $90 at times, on “higher demand, lost supply, gas-to-oil switching and price contagion this winter,” it said in a note.

If prices continue to rise, the US is likely to ask OPEC to pump more crude, according to Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit.

The White House has been in communication with OPEC over the last few months, pushing them to boost their output while stressing the importance of affordable energy.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Latest articles

Similar articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: