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Oil price improves after Paris terror attacks

The oil and gas sector
The oil and gas sector

Oil prices edged up, Monday, due to heightened political and security tensions after Friday’s deadly attacks in Paris claimed by Islamic militants, but a global glut of crude supplies capped rises.

Front-month Brent crude prices were up 55 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $45.02 a barrel at 1143 GMT. U.S. futures traded 75 cents higher, or nearly 2 percent, at $41.49 a barrel.

Last week, oil prices saw their biggest weekly losses in eight months as swelling storage of crude on both land and sea weighed.

An Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) delegate from a Gulf producing country said he believed that in the mid-term oil prices could get some support due to rising tensions especially if the international community takes more steps to reduce smuggling of oil and hits oil facilities under Islamic State’s control in Syria and Iraq.

But oil and other commodities could also come under renewed downward pressure on fears the attacks will further slow the global economy.

Many analysts also continue to believe prices will remain subdued due to abundant stocks of oil and slowing economic growth.

“Our outlook is skewed negative into (the first half of next year). Macro headwinds remain, crude oil inventories are building,” Morgan Stanley said.

Oil prices have dropped more than 60 percent since June last year as high production and inventories have coincided with an economic slowdown in Asia, particularly in China but also Japan, which slipped back into recession in the third quarter.

“The fact that both crude oil and combined crude and product stocks are near record levels is a reason for concern,” Barclays bank said in a research note.

The oil in storage is comparable to a months’ worth of global oil consumption.

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