Brent around two-year-high as critical pipeline closes

By A/S Global Risk Management.

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Updated on 12 Dec 2017 10:16 GMT

The so-called Forties Pipeline was closed yesterday due to damage on the pipeline. The pipeline transports about 500 kbpd from the North Sea to UK. But it is not just any barrel of crude oil the pipeline transports. The crude this pipe transports accounts for a large part of the basket which is used to price the world's benchmark, Brent. The total closure of this pipe has sent Brent prices above the $65 level, which is a level not seen since 2015.

The supply disruptions started on December 7 as the capacity of the pipe decreased by 150 kbpd. Initially, this drove the price up from the $61-62 level to close about 63 on Friday. Yesterday, it was announced that the pipe suffered from a fissure and therefore it was closed. The closure drove the price to close about $65.

Tonight's crude oil inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) will be followed closely - consensus is a draw in crude oil of around 2.89 mbbl.

The U.S.benchmark crude oil is called WTI (West Texas Intermediate), whereas the crude oil produced in the North Sea area is called Brent. Most oil is priced using Brent crude as the benchmark.

Turning to economic data, this morning saw improved UK inflation data compared to last month; later today the ECB President Draghi will speak ahead of tomorrow's closely followed U.S. central bank statement and Trump's speech.

A/S Global Risk Management is a provider of customised hedging solutions for the management of price risk on fuel expenses. The company has offices in Denmark and Singapore. For further details about its risk management products and services, please call +45 88 38 00 00 or email