​Oil prices rise

Oil prices have had the largest jump in months as US crude oil production reaches a peak.

Prices rose to just over US$50 per barrel yesterday when US crude oil production fell for the first time since the start of 2015, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Oil output slipped by 36,000 barrels a day week on week, and showed an easing off from the record highs recorded last year of 1.2 million BPD, which was the highest ever level of production for the US.

Wood Mackenzie believe that this downward movement will continue, with US crude stocks likely to decline.

Currently the US is estimated to produce around 9.02 million barrels per day, representing around 12.24 per cent of the world’s output.

Part of this rise has also been linked to a massive offshore oil platform fire yesterday, when Pemex’s Abkatun Permanente platform caught alight.

The inferno led to the evacuation of around 300 workers, with one worker killed and 45 injured.

Across the US the number of active rigs shutting down also shrank to the lowest rate in 15 weeks, with active oil rigs falling only by 12 last week, bringing the total in the US to 813.

These factors, combined with a bullish US dollar, has contributed to the rise.

However despite this stabilisation major producers are still feeling the strain.

OPEC (excluding Iran) has recorded an 11 per cent fall in revenues, falling from US$824 billion in 2013 to US$730 billion last year, the lowest earnings for the group since 2010.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) is also predicting further troubles ahead for the group, with expectations of net oil export revenues to fall even further to US$380 billion in 2015 “as a result of much lower crude oil prices”.

Despite expectations of a continued weak oil market, Saudi Arabia has indicated its intention to maintain its current production output in the belief it will fill supply reductions carried out elsewhere.

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