Oil stalled on Friday after a nearly two-week rally on tensions over Iran's capture of British military personnel and worries over U.S. gasoline supplies ahead of summer driving season.
Saudi Aramco, Exxon Mobil and Sinopec will invest $5 billion in their refinery, petrochemicals and marketing joint venture, much more than originally planned, they said on Friday.
Oil prices surged more than 3% on Thursday as the standoff over British sailors in Iranian custody and U.S. naval actions in the Gulf escalated supply concerns.
U.S. crude oil futures ended more than a dollar higher Wednesday as Iran's confrontation with Britain and the West helped lift prices along with a government report showing a surprise draw in U.S. crude inventories.
The U.S. Navy on Tuesday said it had no information to substantiate a market rumor that Iran had fired at a U.S. naval vessel in the Gulf.
Crude prices closed below $63 a barrel Monday, after setting a record for 2007, on growing tension between Iran and the West over Tehran's nuclear work and its capture last week of British servicemen.
Oil finished at a three-month high after Iran seized 15 British navy personnel, raising concerns about renewed tension between the oil producer and the West.
Oil jumped more that $2 a barrel after a sharp drop in U.S. gasoline stocks fuelled concerns of tight supplies ahead of the summer driving season in the world's biggest consumer.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries aims to keep oil prices at a "reasonable" $50-$60 a barrel, a level that supports upstream investment and economic growth, the head of its research arm said on Thursday.
Oil prices rose after a big drop in gasoline supplies in top fuel consumer the United States raised worries of a crunch leading into the summer driving season.
Oil slipped on lingering concerns over the health of the global economy and expectations for a drawdown in U.S. gasoline stocks.
Crude oil prices rose moderately Monday -- but gasoline futures hit a seven-month high. Where are the raw and refined fuels headed this year? Two energy analysts had one answer for CNBC's Erin Burnett: up.
Oil futures swung through a wide range, under pressure ahead of the April contract's expiration on Tuesday.
Oil prices fell on Friday amid concerns about a slowdown in U.S. economic growth.
OPEC members have generally expressed satisfaction with their oil fetching around $60 a barrel in recent weeks and their decision to stick with the status quo reflected their desire to keep prices around that level.
Crude oil futures were steady after OPEC decided to keep production levels unchanged, with ministers vowing to press members to implement cuts agreed to since last autumn.
Bill Seidman, CNBC’s chief commentator, told “Morning Call” that OPEC’s decision to hold production at current levels is good news for the U.S. economy. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the source of about a third of the world’s oil, had cut output by 1.7 million barrels a day. OPEC doesn’t plan to meet again until September.
Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research, told CNBC’s “Morning Call” that he expects weak demand to cut the price of a barrel of oil to the low $50s by the end of the year. But Kevin Lindemer, executive managing director of Global Energy Services, wasn’t quite so optimistic.
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, source of more than a third of the world's oil, has already cut output by 1.7 million barrels a day at its previous two meetings. Prices rose modestly on Wednesday after U.S. inventory data revealed a further fall in U.S. gasoline stocks ahead of the approaching driving season. But gains were limited by a wave of selling across equity markets, where concerns the world economy could be weakening resurfaced after troubles in the U.S. mortgage markets.
CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick reports from Vienna that Iran’s oil minister took a “dovish” stance on production, as a confrontation between the United States and Iran over Tehran’s effort to develop nuclear weapons could create a “supply-side shock” in world oil markets.