• 3 minutes e-car sales collapse
  • 6 minutes America Is Exceptional in Its Political Divide
  • 11 minutes Perovskites, a ‘dirt cheap’ alternative to silicon, just got a lot more efficient
  • 5 days They pay YOU to TAKE Natural Gas
  • 2 days How Far Have We Really Gotten With Alternative Energy
  • 2 days What fool thought this was a good idea...
  • 2 hours A question...
  • 5 days Why does this keep coming up? (The Renewable Energy Land Rush Could Threaten Food Security)
  • 11 days The United States produced more crude oil than any nation, at any time.
Groundhog Day for OPEC+

Groundhog Day for OPEC+

Ahead of a critical meeting…

Michael Kern

Michael Kern

Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com, 

More Info

Premium Content

Oil Prices Settle Near $90 Despite Rising Geopolitical Risk


Oil prices have fallen back at the start of this week despite heightened geopolitical risk after Iran attacked Israel with more than 300 missiles and drones. Traders appear to be focused on fundamentals, awaiting a more tangible event for oil markets before pushing prices any higher.

oil prices




- For the first time in more than a year, the US count of drilled-but-uncompleted wells (DUCs) rose in March to 4,522, up 9 wells compared to February, signaling that US production growth is stalling.

- Usually, when companies start to build up fracklogs, it is an indication that companies wait for periods of higher prices or, in the case of the US, easier access to pipelines, but this year neither of those seems to be pertinent. 

- The EIA expects US shale oil production to be steady at 9.86 million b/d, below the 10 million b/d record pace seen in December, with the Permian Basin stagnating, too. 
- Only Niobrara and Eagle Ford saw their DUC count decline last month, even the Permian Basin which cleared more than 550 wells from its fracklog since 2022 saw its DUC count move up by 4 wells. 

Market Movers

- US natural gas firm EQT (NYSE:EQT) agreed to sell its 40% non-operated interest in the Marcellus and Utica basins in exchange for Equinor’s (NYSE:EQNR) onshore assets in the Appalachian basin and $500 million in cash. 

- French oil major TotalEnergies (NYSE:TTE) signed a memorandum of understanding with  Algeria’s NOC Sonatrach to develop gas fields in the Timimoun region, concurrently expanding its LNG deal with Algeria through 2025.

- Brazil’s President Lula called off plans to sack Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) top executive Jean Paul Prates, but there is still no clarity on the company’s dividend policy ahead of its April 25 shareholder assembly. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The oil markets closely monitored Iran’s retaliatory strikes over the weekend and, at least for the time being, risks of a wider regional conflict have subsided this week, sending Brent back to $90 per barrel. There are still plenty of bullish factors to look out for, most notably the price might swing up should the US decide to sanction Venezuela again, a decision due on April 18th. 

OPEC Woos Namibia to Replace Angola. Bouncing back from the loss of Angola, the OPEC+ oil group is actively courting Africa’s Namibia, a country yet to produce oil but set to rise to 700,000 b/d by 2030, seeking to get Namibian authorities to join its Charter of Cooperation just like Brazil did. 

ADNOC Mulled BP Takeover. ADNOC, the national oil company of the United Arab Emirates, has reportedly considered buying UK oil major BP (NYSE:BP) after the 110 billion company underperformed its competitors for years, but talks did not progress beyond preliminary discussions. 

India Asks Power Generators To Keep Producing. Powered by India’s stellar economic growth, the country has mandated coal-fired power plants to guarantee maximum electricity output until 15 October, poised to lift coal imports as temperatures are expected to be higher than average in the summer.

Earthquakes to Tighten Saltwater Control in the US. Shale oil producers might be facing further restrictions on saltwater disposal after a 4.4 magnitude earthquake shook Midland after the Railroad Commission of Texas already developed guidelines to avoid tremors over magnitude 3.5.

US, UK Ban Russian Metals Trading. The US and the United Kingdom banned metal-trading exchanges from accepting new aluminum, copper, and nickel produced in Russia, simultaneously prohibiting the imports of those metals into the two countries, impacting the LME and CME. 

Nigeria’s Power Grid Collapses Again. Nigeria’s electricity grid collapsed for the fifth time this year already, just two weeks after the African country’s Tinubu administration raised power tariffs for wealthier consumers by 230%, trying to scrap the $2.6 billion worth of subsidies for the sector. 

Investors Turn Bullish on US Gasoline. Money managers and other hedge funds have built up one of the largest bullish positions in US gasoline futures as sticky inflation and higher oil prices keep the pressure on gas prices, with net length rising to 84,926 contracts for Nymex RBOB, the highest since January 2021.

Kazakhstan Promises to Comply with OPEC+. Citing bad weather and heating season requirements, Kazakhstan admitted it exceeded its OPEC+ oil production quota by 131,000 b/d in March, pledging to compensate for the overproduction over Q3 alongside Iraq. 


US Warns Venezuela to Stick to Plan. The US State Department warned Venezuela that the White House would not renew a temporary sanctions waiver on the Latin American country that expires on April 18 unless Maduro shows progress on political rights and fair elections to be held this July. 

China Builds Stocks from Russian Imports. China’s state-run offshore giant CNOOC (HKG:0883) has been buying up Russia’s ESPO crude into a newly launched reserve base in east China’s Dongying port, boosting the Asian country’s strategic stocks with discounted oil.  

Exxon Greenlights Guyana’s Sixth Project. The consortium led by ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) developing Guyana’s Stabroek block approved the $12.7 billion Whiptail project, the sixth development in the South American country, aiming 250,000 b/d of output starting from 2027.

Copper Rallies as Chinese Production Cuts Get Real. Copper futures are trading at their highest since June 2022, soaring to $9,650 per metric tonne, after satellite data confirmed that the inactivity of Chinese smelters rose to 8.5%, more than double the 4% rate in Q4 2023. 

Oil Service Majors Feel the M&A Pressure. Following SLB’s $8 billion takeover of ChampionX, oil service giants Halliburton (NYSE:H) and Baker Hughes (NASDAQ:BKR) will see increased pressure to join the buying spree, also buoyed by the US’ slowdown in activity.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on April 16 2024 said:
    That is because the Iranian strike against Israel was only intended as a warning and did not disrupt the flow of oil from the Gulf region to the world.

    However, we could be now in the proverbial calm before the storm storm since Israel will eventually respond in one form or another. Depending how harsh the Israeli retaliation would be and the expected harsher Iranian-counter-retaliation, things could get out of hand probably causing a disruption of oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz.

    Were this to happen then we can expect Brent crude to go above $100 a barrel and even hitting $110-$120.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

Leave a comment

EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News