Crude futures held at fresh three-year highs in European morning trading Thursday, as a larger-than-expected draw on US crude stocks continued to outweigh signs of rising oil product stocks, and the market looked ahead to a deadline Friday on the fate of the Iranian sanctions waiver, Platts reports.
At 1120 GMT, ICE March Brent crude futures were 32 cents higher than Wednesday’s settle of $69.20/b which was the highest since early December 2014. The NYMEX February light sweet crude contract was up 40 cents at $63.97/b. The US Dollar Index was up 0.08% at 92.19.
Weekly data released on Wednesday from the US Energy Information Administration showed stockpiles fell 4.948 million barrels in the week to January 5, to 419.515 million barrels. As a result of that fall, the surplus to the five-year average has nearly halved over the past eight weeks.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump will face a deadline on the waiver for Iranian sanctions as part of the nuclear deal. Analysts have said that 800,000 b/d of Iranian exports could be at risk if the deal unravels.