Wed, May 22, 2024

Brent crude oil slips

Oil

Brent crude oil edged lower in a volatile session as concerns of a global economic slowdown outweighed supply constraints, prompting investors to take profits on the previous day’s gains.

The broader financial market are focused release of minutes from the US Fed’s latest meeting.

Global benchmark Brent crude was down 44 cents, or 0.52%, at $83.65 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery, which expires on Tuesday, was up 57 cents at $76.92.

The market rose, with Brent briefly positive after better-than-expected surveys of business activity in Europe and the UK suggested a less bleak European economic outlook than previously.

Oil prices rose more than 1,3% on Monday on optimism over Chinese demand, which analysts expect will rebound this year after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

The US crude oil contract did not settle on Monday due to a public holiday in the United States. As a result, the American Petroleum Institute’s weekly report on US inventories will become public on Wednesday instead of the usual Tuesday.

Russia plans to cut oil production by 500,001 barrels per day, or about 5,2% of its output, in March after the West imposed price caps on oil.

Russia is part of the OPEC+ group of producers, including the OPEC and its allies, which agreed in October to cut oil production targets by 2,2 mill barrels per day until the end of the end 2023.

Natural gas

EU Gas Price Cap

Last week, the European Union noted that a cap on natural gas prices had been implemented to reduce the risk of a repeat of last year’s spectacular gas price hike of more than $350 per megawatt hour.

The price hike occurred in the summer after the Nord Stream pipeline – the largest Russian gas pipeline to Europe – went out of commission, causing businesses to close and people to gather to protest high electricity bills. And the EU certainly does not want that to happen again.

Agreeing on a price limit was not easy. It was full of problems from the beginning. Some EU members — wealthier ones like Germany and the Netherlands — have resisted capping the price of goods sold in a free, unregulated market. Others, such as Spain, Italy, and Eastern European countries, maintained the cap to maintain relative gas availability.

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