Each week, Al Attiyah Foundation publishes its energy market review, bringing you the latest global news from the oil, gas and petrochemicals sector.

Al-Attiyah Foundation - Weekly Energy Market Review

Oil Hits Highest in Almost 3 Years as Supply Tightens

Oil prices rose for a third week in a row to a near three-year high on Friday, 24 September, as global output disruptions have forced energy companies to pull large amounts of crude out of inventories. Brent futures rose 84 cents, to settle at USD78.09 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 68 cents, to settle at USD73.98. This was the highest close for Brent since October 2018 and for WTI since July 2021, both for the second day in a row. It was the third week of gains for Brent and the fifth for WTI mostly due to US Gulf Coast output disruptions from Hurricane Ida in late August. Some disruptions could last for months and have already led to sharp draws in U.S. and global inventories. Also, Brent could hit USD80 by the end of September due to stock draws, lower OPEC production and stronger Middle East demand, UBS analysts wrote. Some members of OPEC+ have struggled to raise output due to under-investment or maintenance delays during the pandemic. In the US, drillers added 10 oil rigs last week, putting the oil rig count up for the 14th month in a row.

Global LNG Prices Continue to Soar

Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices surged by about 10% last week as demand continues to rise in the region despite higher prices and amid a supply crunch. The average LNG price for November delivery into Northeast Asia was estimated at about USD26.50 to USD27 per metric million British thermal units (mmBtu), up at least USD2 from the previous week, industry sources said. The post-COVID recovery in some places has been fast, which is pushing up demand, while there are some supply issues in several places, which is causing a crunch. The prices are expected to rise even higher during winter when demand for heating peaks. Also, US natural gas futures climbed over 3% to a one-week high on Friday as some parts of the country start to crank up their heaters with the coming of cooler weather and as near-record global gas prices keep demand strong for US LNG exports. On their second to last day as the front-month, gas futures for October delivery rose 16.4 cents, to settle at USD5.140 per mmBtu, their highest close since 16 September.

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