The halting of Kurdish oil exports, keeping some 400,000 b/d of crude from the oil markets, helped to lift oil prices on Monday, with ICE Brent edging closer to the $80 per barrel mark. By Tuesday morning that oil price rally had largely fizzled out, although prices remained in the green. With an OPEC+ meeting coming up on April 03, Middle Eastern nations might be tempted to casually bring up the prospect of a production cut, adding some impetus to the price recovery.
There’s plenty of opportunity for bullish sentiment to increase in the coming week. After the International Chamber of Commerce ruled in favor of Iraq in its long-standing arbitration with Turkey, the port of Ceyhan stopped shipments of 450,000 b/d of Kurdish oil that Baghdad claims is exported illegally, without the approval of the federal government. One of the most eagerly anticipated new projects in Asia is set to begin. Saudi Aramco intends to build a $10 billion greenfield refinery in Panjin, China with a capacity of 300,000 b/d, securing exclusive supply rights to 70% of the refinery’s needs. As four French refineries halted production and the remaining two in Feyzin and Lavera are operating at reduced rates, France’s fuel shortage problems are getting out of hand with half of the petrol stations in western regions missing gasoline or diesel.