Oil fluctuated near $86 as the US intensified diplomatic efforts to contain the crisis in Gaza, with President Joe Biden slated to visit Israel this week to try to prevent a regional conflagration.
(Bloomberg) — Oil fluctuated near $86 as the US intensified diplomatic efforts to contain the crisis in Gaza, with President Joe Biden slated to visit Israel this week to try to prevent a regional conflagration.
Biden will travel to the country on Wednesday to show his support after the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas that sparked the conflict. At the same time, markets remain on edge as Israel is still making plans for a ground offensive into Gaza.
West Texas Intermediate briefly dropped below 1% as Russia’s Central Bank reiterated expectations that OPEC+ may consider an increase in output at the beginning of 2024. Last week, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that it’s still too early to talk about what market decisions OPEC+ may take at its meeting in November in an interview with RT Arabic TV.
Crude traders are also tracking events in Barbados, where Venezuela’s government is expected to sign a deal with the US-backed opposition later on Tuesday. In exchange for a freer presidential election next year, the agreement could pave the way for the US to ease sanctions against the country, potentially boosting oil exports.
The crude market has been left on edge by the crisis in the Middle East and the risk that it spreads beyond Israel and Gaza, potentially endangering crude flows from key producers. Iran, which supports Hamas, has warned that an expansion of the war was “approaching the inevitable stage.” In addition to roiling futures markets in recent days, the conflict has also upended options pricing and sent freight costs soaring.
“De-escalation is the theme of this week, and that is coming from all different political sides, whether that’s Washington, Jerusalem or Tehran,” Louise Dickson, an analyst at Rystad Energy, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “Iran is the linchpin. Everything depends on what Iran does.”
Oil demand is showing robust growth, but there has also been extra supply despite the cuts from some members of OPEC+, Vitol SA CEO Russell Hardy said at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London, which was disrupted by protests.
Terminal users can click here for more on the Israel-Hamas War.
–With assistance from Francine Lacqua.
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