Brent nears $90 as the U.S. signals stricter sanctions enforcement, OilPrice said. 

The sanctions hammer wielded by the Biden administration this week has been inadvertently supporting oil prices, with ICE Brent set to finish this week at 88 per barrel, an unlikely prospect given the huge US inventory builds reported mid-week. However, a pledged ramp-up in an increasing market expectation that there will be more sanctions on Iran amidst the Israel-Palestine standoff has heightened geopolitical risks and brought the $90 per barrel mark closer again. 

Exxon merges with Pioneer, creating US shale giant. ExxonMobil’s purchase of US shale rival Pioneer Natural Resources in an all-stock deal valued at $59.5 billion propels Exxon to become the largest Permian producer, with the deal expected to close in early 2024.

EIA lowers 2024 US production outlook. The US Energy Information Administration lowered its output forecast for 2024 to 13.12 million b/d, down 40,000 b/d compared to the previous issue of the STEO, all the while hiking its WTI forecast by almost 8 per barrel to $90.91 per barrel annual average.