Brent Crude Oil Futures - Today's data summary

% change
Price dollars per barrel
As of 13:21 16 Oct 2019

WTI Crude Oil Futures - Today's data summary

% change
Price dollars per barrel
As of 13:21 16 Oct 2019

Latest updates

'Today the market is pretty well supplied'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Oil barrels
Getty Images

Oil prices edged up at the end of last week after an Iranian oil tanker was attacked off Saudi Arabia’s coast. Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco hopes to repair equipment damaged by attacks it suffered last month, in a move to allow it to fully regain production capacity.

But why is movement in oil prices slowing despite global events?

"Today the market is pretty well supplied...the inventories are full so there's lots of oil in storage and I would say it's not only about plentiful supplies but the flexibility of supply," Dr Carole Nakhle, energy economist and founder of Crystol Energy explained to Today.

"With traditional oil, if you take an investment decision today you have to wait maybe 10 years for oil to come out of the ground, whereas with shale, it's a matter of months...so we have the ability of new oil coming to the market that reacts much more quickly to changes in oil prices.

"This has kind of put a ceiling on oil prices and that's why what we saw today has resulted in oil prices rising a little bit, then going back more or less to normal levels."

IEA cuts oil demand forecast

oil barrels

The International Energy Agency says there will be an oversupply of oil next year as it cut its forecast for oil demand by 100,000 per barrels per day to 1.2m.

The demand for oil from Opec countries will reduce because of higher supply from the United States, Brazil and Norway.

There has been a focus on Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest exporter of oil, after attacks last month knocked supply.

But, the IEA, said: "Oil markets in September withstood a textbook case of a large-scale supply disruption

"Prices fell back as it became clear that the damage, although serious, would not cause long-lasting disruption to markets."

"There should be talk of a geopolitical premium on top of oil prices.

"For now, though, there is little sign of this with security fears having been overtaken by weaker demand growth and the prospect of a wave of new oil production coming on stream".

The report can be read here.

Oil tanker 'explosion'

An Iranian oil tanker has suffered "an explosion" about 60 miles away from the Saudi port of Jeddah, the website of Iran's Al-Alam TV reported on 11 October, quoting "informed sources".

"The two main storage tanks are reportedly damaged and oil is spilling into the Red Sea", the report added.

Al-Alam said that experts on the vessel believe the explosion was "an act of terrorism".

Ecuador fuel subsidy protests continue

Demonstrators clash with police officers during a protest against the elimination of fuel subsidies in Quito, Ecuador
Getty Images

Protests over the elimination of fuel subsidies paralyzed transport in major Ecuadorean cities for a second day on Friday after unrest that has led to 275 arrests and injured 28 policemen, the government said.

Witnesses said bus and taxi services remained on strike after fuel prices soared on Thursday following President Lenin Moreno's fiscal measures earlier in the week.

The government eliminated four-decade-old fuel subsidies on Tuesday as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to obtain loans.

Oil prices fall further

Nodding donkey
Getty Images

Oil is slipping further below $58 a barrel amid concerns about global economic growth, oil demand and signs of excess supply despite Opec-led cuts.

Saudi Arabia also said it has fully restored oil output after attacks on its facilities last month.

Brent crude fell 2.25% to $56.39 per barrel.

Stena Impero: Seized British tanker starts to leave Iran

Stena Impero

A British-flagged oil tanker is leaving Iran, after being held for more than two months.

The Stena Impero's Swedish owner, Stena Bulk, said it was on the move from the Bandar Abbas port, where it has been anchored since July.

The vessel was seized by Iranian troops in the Strait of Hormuz after they accused it of breaking maritime rules.

Officials say it left for international waters at 09:00 local time (05:30 GMT) on Friday morning.

Erik Hanell, boss of Stena Bulk, said the vessel would head to Dubai, where the crew would be debriefed and receive medical checks.