The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Minas (Indonesia), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).
Meanwhile, crude-oil prices edged higher in early Asian trade Tuesday on U.S. dollar weakness but analysts caution a raft of new supplies from the Middle East and Africa are expected to put a strain on prices.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in JuneCLM6, 0.56% traded at $42.94 a barrel, up $0.29, or 0.7% in the Globex electronic session. June Brent crude LCOM6, 0.61% on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose $0.29, or 0.7%, to $44.77 a barrel.
Oil prices dropped overnight on reports of growing inventories in the U.S. and extra supplies coming from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Libya.
A government that controls Libya’s eastern half said its oil company has loaded its first shipment of oil over the objections of the North African nation’s internationally recognized oil company. The first shipment of 650,000 barrels of crude to leave Libya on Monday was loaded at the Marsa al-Hariga port near the Egyptian border and is now sailing toward Malta, said a spokesman for the east’s oil company.
“Traders seemed unconcerned by indications that Kuwait might raise oil production by 150,000 barrels a day by June or that Saudi Arabia was boosting capacity at one of its oil fields by 250,000 barrels a day,” said Tim Evans, a Citi Futures energy analyst.
The upward momentum in Asia was likely buoyed by weaker U.S. dollar and rotations of assets as investors move their funds from equities into the commodity complex, said Aaron Lynch, a market analyst at OptionsXpress.
According to the Wall Street Journal Dollar index BUXX, -0.15%, which compares the dollar to 16 currencies, the greenback was last down 0.09% or 8 cents at $86.42.
Another factor supporting the prices could be the market anticipating a drawdown or smaller growth in U.S. crude inventories ahead of the seasonal summer demand for gasoline.
A survey of analysts by Platts showed U.S. crude likely rose 800,000 barrels while gasoline stocks fell 1.3 million barrels in the week ended April 22.
“Strong refinery demand, as well as U.S. crude oil production declines, mitigated the size of recent crude builds that were driven mostly by crude imports,” said Platts.
Official data will be released by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.
However, as the fundamentals of the oil markets remains bearish, analysts warn of volatile times ahead.
“Although the oil has shown more bullishness in the last six month the supply glut is still dire. We might see a sharp correction in the market soon,” said Avtar Sandu, Asian commodities manager at Phillip Futures.
Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for May RBK6, 0.63% — the benchmark gasoline contract — rose 110 points to $1.5241 a gallon, while May diesel traded at $1.3045, 142 points higher.
ICE gas oil for May changed hands at $388.75 a metric ton, down $4.25 from Monday’s settlement.