Oil prices were stable on Thursday, after Brent Crude reached its 2015 highs as outlook brightens and demand surges in the global oil markets. Oil prices have received a significant boost up from the supply side strategies led by OPEC and Russia to cap production.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $58.50 a barrel at 0141 GMT, up 3 cents from their last settlement.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $65.25 a barrel, unchanged from their last close, but near the $65.83 per barrel briefly on Dec. 12 – the highest since June 2015.
Brent prices have risen by 47 percent since mid-2017 on the back of OPEC efforts to tighten the markets by reducing output. The agreement for cuts between Middle East dominated OPEC and Russia started last January and is to cover the year 2018.
Oil analysts are mixed on the future of oil prices during 2018. Many argue the bullish sentiment may be short-lived as supply on the base of rising supply, whereas optimists present strong global demand for as major factor for prices to rise in the international markets.
Prices have recently rallied on the News of outage in the Forties Pipeline, one of the major pipelines underpinning the BRENT Benchmark, in the North Sea which expected to resume supplies up to 450,000 bpd to Europe specially UK.
In the long-term scenario, oil prices may fall down as a result of rising US Production hampering OPEC and Russia led efforts to tighten the markets.