Prices for Iranian crude exceed $53 per barrel

Oil Rises Nearly 1

Oil prices jumped to their highest for more than two years on Monday after major producers said output cuts were squeezing supplies.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan repeated a threat to cut off the pipeline that carries 500,000-600,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from northern Iraq to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, intensifying pressure on the Kurdish autonomous region over its independence referendum.

Brent crude hit a near two-year high of $59.49 on Tuesday, before sliding to $59.01 a barrel.

"We're expecting the second half to see improvements, and we're witnessing those improvements as we speak", UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said on Monday in Abu Dhabi.

November West Texas Intermediate crude fell 5 cents, or 0.1%, to $51.83 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The more modest rally in WTI widened to more than $6 a barrel the USA benchmark's discount versus to Brent.

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The other supply issue is how quickly USA shale drillers can respond to higher prices, and how effectively any extra production can reach global markets.

"Going forward, oil is likely to remain supported as supply disruptions, combined with solid global demand, will probably continue to lift prices", ANZ said in a research note.

"The destocking process has accelerated in recent months".

Both International Energy Agency and OPEC forecasted robust demand which led to an increase in oil prices.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and a handful of non-member state producers in January started a plan to pull global crude oil inventories closer to the five-year average.

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Oil futures on Tuesday fell by 0.7% on expectations US data would show a fourth consecutive weekly rise in domestic crude inventories.

Gasoline was also trading down on Tuesday, at $1.64, down 1.54% on the day. The EIA has revised lower U.S. oil production for 2017 from 9.35 million bpd to 9.25 million. This comes amid broader forecasts for bumper USA oil supplies.

In the short term, much of the difference can be explained by the effects of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which disrupted oil refineries and transportation along the US Gulf Coast.

Refinery crude runs increased by 1 million barrels per day as utilization rates rose by 5.4 percentage points to 88.6 percent of total capacity, its highest rate since Harvey hit on August 25, EIA data showed. Moreover, the investment bank argued that OPEC probably shouldn't extend its production cuts anyway because the group could cede market share to other producers (i.e. US shale).

If the output reductions are pro longed, that would only hasten the prospect of a tighter market, said Morse, adding that the source of the supply squeeze will probably be Opec rather than producers outside the group.

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