Oil prices near $80 per barrel, as supplies tighten

Oil hits high

OPEC compliance reaches record 172%

Brent, the worldwide benchmark for oil prices, eased back in afternoon trading after hitting a session high of 80.5 US dollars a barrel.

"And even if growth were to decelerate sharply, it would take global GDP growth collapsing to 2.5% yoy to simply balance the oil market!"

Prices maintained support, however, from tight supply and planned USA sanctions against Iran that are likely to restrict crude oil exports from one of the biggest producers in the Middle East.

French energy giant, Total, said on Wednesday that it might abandon a multi-billion dollar gas project in the country if it could not secure a waiver from United States sanctions, adding to doubts on European-led efforts to salvage the worldwide nuclear agreement.

Brent crude oil, the worldwide benchmark, traded up 0.91% to $80 per barrel on Thursday, or almost 10% above the level at which traders started paring bets that oil would rise. "It's why you see the oil price going up and up and up". U.S. WTI futures were also up, gaining 0.36 percent to trade at $71.75 per barrel.

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Pouyanne said Iran had raised production by a million barrels a day after sanctions were lifted under the 2015 Iran deal.

There is now a concern that because of the decrease in supply and Opec choosing to cut production by 1.8m barrels per day until the end of 2018, the prices could continue to increase to as much as $100 per barrel within the next few years.

Triggering Thursday's gains in Brent, overnight French oil major Total said it would be forced to stop development of phase 12 of Iran's giant South Pars field if the United States administration did not grant it a specific waiver from sanctions for that specific project.

"Russia also becomes a source, and if Russian Federation can upset the USA, they will do it".

As a result of its surging production, US crude is increasingly appearing on global markets as exports.

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Brent prices have climbed nearly 20% in 2018, boosted by output cuts from major producers and increased tensions in the Middle East.

Futures contracts in London and NY both climbed more than 1% on Thursday.

"The current market deficit points to a further decline in stocks", Commerzbank said in a daily note.

Venezuela, which has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, has seen production plummet amid the acute economic crisis that has left it unable to conduct maintenance or expand output.

Commodity brokerage Marex Spectron said that the surge in USA supplies was a "strongly price-bearish development".

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June gold on COMEX was nevertheless slipping 0.17% lower to $1,289.40/oz.

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