Oil On Track For Weekly Gain As Iran Concerns Sidelined By Demand Optimism

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday May 28, 2021

Oil trading motivation on Friday was virtually a repeat of the previous session's performance, with strong U.S. economic data released on Thursday outweighing concerns of a return of supplies from Iran and contributing to a healthy weekly price gain for crude of over 5 percent.

Brent gained 16 cents, 0.2 percent, to $69.62 per barrel by 0050 GMT while West Texas Intermediate was at $67.17 per barrel, up 32 cents, or 0.5 percent; both benchmarks were on track to post weekly gains of 5 to 6 percent.

Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note that there is "growing sentiment that if the Iran nuclear deal is revived, it will not include an immediate removal of sanctions and that the oil market will not get quickly flooded with excess supplies."

However, recent events have caused some experts to cast a pall on big oil's long-term fortunes:  Moody's said on Friday that the credit risk of major oil producers has increased thanks to Royal Dutch Shell losing a climate lawsuit this week and Exxon losing a battle with shareholders.

The rating agency added that Exxon losing board members to an activist hedge fund "likely presages similar results in future board elections at other U.S. oil companies."

By contrast, Patrick Pouyanne, chairman and CEO of France's Total, announced on Friday that his company's climate strategy was backed by 91.88 percent of shareholders, after weeks of setbacks.

Total has committed to a 60 percent reduction in the average carbon intensity of energy products by 2050, and in the meantime it is targeting a 15 percent reduction by 2030 and 35 percent by 2040.

All of this led Ed Morse, global head of commodities research at Citigroup, to state on Friday that despite the current commodity boom and demand recovery from the pandemic, reliance on fossil fuels will last 10-15 years, because "demand is not growing the way it used to grow," and also because of the steady rise in renewables.