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Oil markets jittery after Israel rejects Gaza ceasefire

Oil markets jittery after Israel rejects Gaza ceasefire

Oil prices were little changed on Friday, staying on track for weekly gains, but the markets remained jittery with tensions persisting in the Middle East after Israel rejected a ceasefire offer from Hamas, according to Reuters. Brent crude futures slipped 1 cent to $81.62 a barrel by 6:34 a.m. Saudi time, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 3 cents to $76.25 a barrel. Both benchmarks rose about 3 percent in the previous session as Israeli forces bombed the southern border city of Rafah on Thursday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a proposal to end the war in the Palestinian enclave. The tensions have kept oil prices elevated, with Brent and WTI both set to gain more than 5 percent for the week. “The move yesterday seemed a bit excessive on the back of not very much at least in terms of fundamentals,” ING’s head of commodities research Warren Patterson said. “I still expect the rangebound trading that we have become accustomed to recently will continue given the comfortable oil balance.” US officials made their most pointed criticism so far of Israel’s civilian casualties in Gaza as it turned the focus of its offensive to Rafah. A Hamas delegation arrived in Cairo on Thursday for ceasefire talks with mediators Egypt and Qatar. While the conflict has propped up prices, there has been no impact on oil production. Non-Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries output from Norway and Guyana is increasing while Russia is exporting more crude in February than it planned following a combination of drone attacks and technical outages at its refineries that could undermine its pledge to curb sales under a pact from OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+ Under the deal, Russia committed to capping crude output at 9.5 million barrels per day. It is also voluntarily cutting crude exports by 300,000 bpd and fuel exports by 200,000 bpd from the average May-June level.

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Editor's choice
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Oil markets jittery after Israel rejects Gaza ceasefire

Oil markets jittery after Israel rejects Gaza ceasefire

Oil prices were little changed on Friday, staying on track for weekly gains, but the markets remained jittery with tensions persisting in the Middle East after Israel rejected a ceasefire offer from Hamas, according to Reuters. Brent crude futures slipped 1 cent to $81.62 a barrel by 6:34 a.m. Saudi time, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 3 cents to $76.25 a barrel. Both benchmarks rose about 3 percent in the previous session as Israeli forces bombed the southern border city of Rafah on Thursday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a proposal to end the war in the Palestinian enclave. The tensions have kept oil prices elevated, with Brent and WTI both set to gain more than 5 percent for the week. “The move yesterday seemed a bit excessive on the back of not very much at least in terms of fundamentals,” ING’s head of commodities research Warren Patterson said. “I still expect the rangebound trading that we have become accustomed to recently will continue given the comfortable oil balance.” US officials made their most pointed criticism so far of Israel’s civilian casualties in Gaza as it turned the focus of its offensive to Rafah. A Hamas delegation arrived in Cairo on Thursday for ceasefire talks with mediators Egypt and Qatar. While the conflict has propped up prices, there has been no impact on oil production. Non-Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries output from Norway and Guyana is increasing while Russia is exporting more crude in February than it planned following a combination of drone attacks and technical outages at its refineries that could undermine its pledge to curb sales under a pact from OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+ Under the deal, Russia committed to capping crude output at 9.5 million barrels per day. It is also voluntarily cutting crude exports by 300,000 bpd and fuel exports by 200,000 bpd from the average May-June level.
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Analysis
Unblocking the Caspian route for Turkmen gas

Unblocking the Caspian route for Turkmen gas

Turkmenistan, for decades considered one of the most closed countries in the world, is moving towards modest attempts at opening up its economy. Western sanctions against Russia which caused a gradual halt to energy supply from Russia to Europe and swelling Russian gas supplies to China, once Turkmenistan’s almost-exclusive client, made Ashgabat face a new reality that challenged its longstanding economic model, resulting in a significant deterioration of living standards and social discontent. Against this background, the country had to start considering options for diversifying its gas export geography and attracting foreign investment, writes Murad Muradov in this analysis prepared for commonspace.eu. The big question remains however whether the long-cherished idea of the Transcaspian pipeline, a link which would bring Turkmenistan’s gas to European markets, will finally come to fruition after many years of aborted attempts and uncertainty. This may be within reach sooner and faster than expected.
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Armenia and Iran extend energy swap deal for four years until 2030

Armenia and Iran extend energy swap deal for four years until 2030

Yesterday on Thursday (10 August), Armenia and Iran signed an agreement to extend an energy swap deal for another for years and increase its volumes. Armenian Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Gnel Sanosian said that the extension of the agreement is "one of the best manifestations of Armenian-Iranian friendly relations", adding that "the extension of the agreement is a profitable deal for both countries."
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Ukrainian alarm over Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant grows, Zelensky warns of provocation

Ukrainian alarm over Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant grows, Zelensky warns of provocation

Alarm is growing in Ukraine over the fate of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), which has been under Russian control since the opening weeks of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year. In his nightly address on Tuesday (4 July), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia is "preparing a provocation" at the Zaporizhzhia NPP. Citing Ukrainian intelligence, President Zelensky said that Russia has placed explosives on the roof of two power units, raising concerns that Russia could deliberately damage the power plant under their control to hinder Ukraine's ongoing counteroffensive. The General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces also reported that Russia is preparing a strike "in the near future", adding that "their detonation should not damage power units but may create a picture of shelling by Ukraine's military". Zelensky also said that "now the whole world must realise that common security depends entirely on global attention to the occupiers' actions at the station". Earlier on 20 June, citing intelligence, President Zelensky also warned that Russia was considering attacking the NPP through radiation leakage.
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Oil prices rise as OPEC+ announces output cuts after Vienna meeting

Oil prices rise as OPEC+ announces output cuts after Vienna meeting

The group of oil producing countries, OPEC+, has pledged oil output cuts amid flagging global oil prices. Following the announcement made on Sunday (4 June) after a meeting of OPEC+ in Vienna, Brent crude oil rose by as much as 2.4% before settling at around $77 a barrel in Asia trading on Monday. In accordance with the agreement struck, Saudi Arabia announced that they would cut daily barrel production from 10 million barrels per day (bpd) to 9 million bpd in July, as well as extending their volunatary cut in oil production of 500,000 bpd until December 2024. Russia's 2023 quota currently stands at around 10.5 million bpd, but in 2024 will reduce to approximately 9.3 million bpd, consisting of a reduction of 650,000 barrels per day as well as the voluntary cut of 500,000 bpd. Brent crude oil rose by as much as 2.4% before settling at around $77 a barrel. Global oil prices spiked following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Since then, however, prices have fallen to pre-February 2022 levels. In an attempt to shore up global oil markets, OPEC+ have announced a couple of rounds of cuts in oil production. In October 2022, OPEC+ agreed to cut production by two million bpd, about 2% of global demand.