Reuters: Oil prices on track for longest weekly gains in years amid tense global market
Oil prices dipped on Friday on hopes that producer club OPEC will soon raise output to make up for a decline in exports from Iran following a tightening of sanctions on Tehran by the United States.
Despite this, oil markets remain tight amid supply disruptions and rising geopolitical concerns, especially over the tensions between the United States and Iran, putting prices on course for the longest run of weekly gains in years, Reuters said.
Brent crude futures were at $74.17 per barrel at 0430 GMT, down 18 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $64.92 per barrel, down 29 cents, or 0.4 percent.
The dip followed Brent's rise above $75 per barrel for the first time this year on Thursday after Germany, Poland and Slovakia suspended imports of Russian oil via a major pipeline, citing poor quality. The move cut parts of Europe off from a major supply route.
Brent is on track for its fifth weekly price gain, the longest such stretch since April 2018. WTI's weekly gains have been going on for eight weeks, marking the longest weekly run since the first half of 2015.
Oil has been driven up by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran. Crude futures are up around 40 percent so far this year.
"Given the concerns around supply tightening from Libya, Venezuela, and Iran, the short-term view on Brent is bullish," Fitch Solutions said in a note on Friday.
Washington said on Monday it would end all exemptions for sanctions against Iran, demanding countries halt oil imports from Tehran from May or face punitive action.
To make up for the shortfall from Iran, the United States is pressuring OPEC's de-facto leader Saudi Arabia as well as other allied producers like Iraq and the United Arab Emirates to end its voluntary supply restraint.