Oil price races towards $80 amid strong demand

Brent crude oil prices soar above $75 per barrel, hitting highest level in two years

Brent crude oil prices soar above $75 per barrel, hitting highest level in two years

USA crude futures were up 4 cents at $67.74 a barrel.

At $75 for Brent on Tuesday and almost $70 for WTI crude, you can't help but feel some invisible hands are cranking up the pressure to bring oil back to top form. The collapse in the oil price which started in the summer of 2014 saw it fall from above $110 to a low of $34 in January 2016.

Analysts said fresh positions built up by participants in tandem with a firm trend overseas on expectations that supplies will tighten lifted the sentiment here.

"Oil strength is coming from Saudi Arabia's recent commitment to get oil back up to between $70 to $80 per barrel as well as inventory levels that are back in the normal range", said William O'Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia's Rivkin Securities.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down 4 cents at $67.66 a barrel.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

OPEC oil output fell in March to an 11-month low due to declining Angolan exports, Libyan outages and a further slide in Venezuelan output, a Reuters survey found earlier this month, sending compliance with a supply-cutting deal to another record.

The relatively high prices brought about by a pact in OPEC in cutting output jointly by 1.8 million barrels per day, coupled with the surging USA output, are making it harder to sell Russian, Nigerian and other oil grades in Europe.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 0.2% at $73.97 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

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"Oil prices are artificially Very High!"

United States president Donald Trump's intent to pull away from Iran nuclear deal some few weeks later might be the final catalyst for oil prices to clear $80 level for Brent.

OPEC ministers profess to be unconcerned about the impact on either supply or demand, but they have often misjudged market responses in the past. "No good and will not be accepted!"

USA crude stocks had posted a surprise build of 1.099 million barrels for the week ended April 20, according to analyst reports quoting API data.

"The fact is that time is running short and the rhetoric will intensify as the May 12 Iranian sanctions waiver deadline approaches", he added. USA crude rose 3 cents to $68.67, having hit its highest since November 28, 2014 on Tuesday.

Now, thanks to the massive output drop in Venezuela and the OPEC led production cuts, prices are being driven up.

On Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, released its own data showing a 1.1 million barrel increase in crude supplies for the week ended April 20, even as it said gasoline and distillate inventories came down by 2.7 million barrels and 1.9 million barrels, respectively.

If oil and fuel prices continue rising, the political pushback from consumer countries against OPEC will only intensify.

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