Oil prices soar as Opec deal nears agreement

Opec agrees deal to cut supplies in Vienna talksOil cartel Opec has agreed to cut supplies, causing crude prices to soar to the $50-a-barrel mark. Opec pumps around a third of the world’s oil, which makes the commitment to cut production by around 4% – the equivalent of 1.2m barrels a day – made headline news on the markets. Cartel members have been allowing output to rise over the last two years in a bid to damage the profits of US shale and other high-cost producers. Immediately after the news, the S&P 500’s oil and gas exploration and production index — mostly comprising US shale companies — rocketed 10.8 per, with almost all US energy companies benefiting from the outward ripples. Read more…

Oil prices near a seven-year low

Global oil prices continue to fallGlobal oil prices continue to fall

Crude oil prices have slumped to their lowest levels in seven years, with further losses likely in the coming weeks. On 4 December, the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) agreed to continue its policy of seeking market share rather than supporting prices, which saw US crude oil values falling to less than $40 a barrel. Prices are now at their lowest levels since the close of 2008, when crude-oil futures price fell to around $34. Opec’s organisational disarray has promoted renewed selling and is causing widespread concern in the sector. Read more…