Crude oil futures traded higher on Thursday morning as fears over supply disruptions increased following protests in Libya.
At 9.53 am on Thursday, March Brent oil futures were at $78.59, up by 0.43 per cent; and February crude oil futures on WTI (West Texas Intermediate) were at $73.16, up by 0.63 per cent.
January crude oil futures were trading at ₹6,105 on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning, against the previous close of ₹6,071, up by 0.56 per cent; and February futures were trading at ₹6,137, as against the previous close of ₹6,105, up by 0.52 per cent.
Wednesday’s protests at Libya’s Sharara oilfield led to its production shutdown. Market reports said the oilfield produces around 300,000 barrels a day of crude oil. Following this development, crude oil futures gained around 3 per cent on Wednesday.
Concerns over the movement of merchant vessels in the Red Sea also helped boost the price of the commodity. Houthi militants said they attacked another container vessel bound for Israel in the Red Sea.
Meanwhile, data from the industry body American Petroleum Institute (API) showed a decline in crude oil inventories in the US. According to API, crude oil inventories fell by 7.4 million barrels for the week ending December 29, against a gain of 1.8 million barrels in the previous week.
Official data from the US EIA (Energy Information Administration) is expected later on Thursday.
A media statement by OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) said that OPEC and non-OPEC oil-producing countries re-affirm commitment to unity, full cohesion and market stability.
“At the outset of 2024, the OPEC Secretariat, in consultation with OPEC member countries and the non-OPEC producing countries participating in the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC), re-affirms full commitment by the countries participating in the DoC to unity and cohesion, as well as their continued and unwavering efforts to maintain oil market stability going forward through the DoC signed on December 10, 2016, and further endorsed in subsequent meetings,” the statement said.
The unprecedented levels of cooperation, dialogue, mutual respect and trust will continue to be the basis for these continued collaborative efforts going forward, it said, adding: “This is for the benefit of all producers, consumers and investors, as well as the global economy at large.”
January natural gas futures were trading at ₹225.50 on MCX in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning, against the previous close of ₹223.10, up by 1.08 per cent.
On the National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), January jeera contracts were trading at ₹32,540 in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning, against the previous close of ₹31,290, up by 3.99 per cent.
April dhaniya futures were trading at ₹7,720 on NCDEX in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning, against the previous close of ₹7,684, up by 0.47 per cent.