Crude oil rally may continue in Asia

Petrol station in Singapore in the Geylang neighborhood; taken August 2018.

A sharp rally in crude oil prices looks set to continue in Asia on Tuesday on OPEC comments at the weekend that signaled higher production is not immediately on the cards to offset the impact of U.S. economic sanctions on Iran.

ICE Brent crude was last quoted at US$81.40 a barrel, up 3.30 percent, while NYMEX West Texas Intermediate held flat. Brent settled up 3.05 percent to US$81.20 a barrel, while WTI rose 1.84 percent to US$72.08 a barrel.

A gathering of OPEC members and allies led by Russia in Algiers at the weekend saw a rebuff to U.S. President Donald Trump’s call for key producers to increase output to trim price gains.

Trump’s request, made last week via Twitter, came as many countries are limiting or ending supplies of Iranian crude imports ahead of the imposition of sanctions on Tehran in early November.

Ahead on Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute at 4:30 p.m. U.S. EDT will release its estimates of U.S. crude oil stocks from the end of last week. Analysts estimates from Investing.com see a 1.675 million barrels drop in crude oil, a 500,000 barrels gain in distillates and a 625,000 barrels build in gasoline.

The industry estimates are followed by official data on Wednesday from the Energy Information Administration at 10:30 a.m. U.S. EDT. The API and EIA figures often diverge.