TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC)-Oil prices rose on Monday, lifted by a drop in drilling activity in the United States as well as by expectations that Washington could re-introduce sanctions against Iran.
U.S. WTI crude futures were at $65.20 barrel at 0657 GMT, up 26 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their previous settlement.
Brent crude futures were at $69.78 per barrel, up 44 cents, or 0.6 percent.
Shanghai September crude futures were at 416.7 yuan ($66.39) per barrel, up 1.1 percent.
Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore, said oil markets remained nervous about “whether or not the U.S. administration will scrap or maintain the fragile nuclear deal with Iran”.
Innes said prices were also supported by a weekly report that there was a drop in activity of drilling for new oil production in the U.S.
Drillers there cut seven oil rigs in the week to March 29, bringing the total count down to 797, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report last Thursday. It was the first time in three weeks that the rig-count fell.
A surge in drilling since 2016 has pushed up U.S. crude production to 10.43 million barrels per day (bpd), taking it past top exporter Saudi Arabia.
Oil prices have generally been supported by supply restraint led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia, which started in 2017 in order to rein in oversupply and prop up prices.