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Iran's Light Crude Resurges Above $63

Iran's Light Crude Resurges Above $63

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by staff ()

Iran's Light Crude Resurges Above $63

T he price of Iran's light crude oil moved back above $63 a barrel in the week to Dec. 15, marking the biggest weekly gain among global crude benchmarks.

Iran's light grade oil advanced $1.2, or 1.9%, to $63.23 per barrel in the week. Brent, the international benchmark for crude prices, rose 1.1% over the week while the US West Texas Intermediate crude grew more modestly at 0.19%.

The country's light crude has averaged $51.97 per barrel in 2017, IRNA reported, citing a report by the Oil Ministry.

Iran Heavy, one of the country's main crudes for exports, rose $1.02, or 1.7%, to $60.49 a barrel in the week.

Latest OPEC calculations showed the organization's basket of 14 crudes stood at $62.16 a barrel on Wednesday, compared with $61.72 the previous day.

Iran's light crude reached a year-high of $63.82 last month and has since held above $60 per barrel.

Crude prices have been helped by the extension of a supply cut agreement last month between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and 10 non-OPEC producers from March to the end of 2018.

The deal is to erase 1.8 million barrels of oil per day from the markets to lift prices and restore crude inventories to a five-year average. Stocks are still around 150 million barrels above that target. However, producers are wary that a steep rise in oil prices could embolden producers outside of the supply cut deal, especially the US shale producers, to pump more and weigh down prices.

Russia, the world's top producer, is already looking forward to plans for a smooth exit from the OPEC-led deal, although the pact is set to expire over a year from now.

“We will talk about it (an exit strategy) as we get closer to the market rebalancing,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quoted as saying by Russia’s Interfax news agency on Saturday, Reuters reported.

Iran, OPEC's third biggest producer after Saudi Arabia and Iraq, has agreed to maintain production at around 3.8 million barrels per day.

According to OPEC's secondary sources, the country produced 3.81 million bpd in November, down 2,200 barrels compared with the previous month, marking the second consecutive monthly decline in Iran's crude output.

Iran's own submitted figures to OPEC showed an increase of 68,000 barrels in production to 3,878 million bpd last month, OPEC said in its monthly report on Dec. 13.