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Oil prices soar to $67 — highest in over 2 years

Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices rose by 2.8% on Tuesday, to trade at $67.06.

This is the highest since May 2015 when it reached the peak of $67.10.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures witnessed a corresponding increase of $1.50, or 2.6%, to $59.97, having traded as high as $60, the best level since June 2015.

The surged followed reports of a pipeline explosion in Libya which reportedly sidelined 90,000 barrels a day of supply.

Notably, Libya is one of two Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member countries that do not have a cap on oil production due to its political unrest.

When the explosion impacted Libya’s oil output, global oil prices increased in response.

Market players also agree that the unplanned shutdown of Britain’s Forties pipeline on December 11, earned Brent the record two and a half year high.

While US oil prices have steadied at an average of $60 per barrel in the last few months, Nigeria is among a few countries exempted by OPEC to retain its oil production.

Nigeria had, therefore, put its crude oil benchmark for the 2018 budget at $45 per barrel at 2.3 million barrels per day.

Oluwatoyin Bayagbon :