MARKET WATCH: Brent crude oil settles above $70/bbl

Brent crude oil for March delivery settled above $70/bbl on the London market Jan. 15 for the first time since December 2014. Analysts attributed rising oil prices in a weakening US dollar.

Brent crude oil for March delivery settled above $70/bbl on the London market Jan. 15 for the first time since December 2014. Analysts attributed rising oil prices in a weakening US dollar.

US futures markets were closed Jan. 15 for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The Brent crude contract for March on London’s ICE rose 39¢ to settle at $70.26/bbl on Jan. 16. The gas oil contract for February held unchanged at $612.75/tonne.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of crudes was $67.78/bbl on Jan. 15, up 61¢.

Iraq joined UAE, Qatar, and Oman in calling for OPEC and some non-OPEC participants to abide by production-cut targets through Dec. 31 despite oil price gains.

Iraq supports OPEC’s decision, Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said at a conference in Abu Dhabi.

“There are some sources here and there indicating that the market is flourishing now, the prices are healthy, so let’s talk about terminating the freeze,” al-Luaibi said Jan. 14. “This is the wrong judgment, and we don’t agree with such a concept.”

UAE officials also anticipate no change stemming from short-term price fluctuations, UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei has said.

Qatar Energy Minister Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada told the Qatar News Agency that major producers should only review the production-cut targets when world crude supplies reach a 5-year historical average.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

More in Economics & Markets