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Oil prices set for sixth week of gains, India sounds alarm

Reuters  |  LONDON 

By Ahmad Ghaddar

LONDON (Reuters) - Brent prices rose on Friday and were set for a sixth straight week of gains, boosted by strong demand, looming sanctions on Iran, plummeting Venezuelan production and Nigerian disruptions, as moved to assuage supply concerns.

futures rose by 51 cents to $79.81 a barrel at 1209 GMT. The benchmark broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014 on Thursday.

U.S. Intermediate crude futures were at $71.61 a barrel, up 12 cents and set for a third straight week of increase.

British said it expected average prices of $70 per barrel for Brent this year and $65 a barrel for 2019, up from estimates of $63 and $60 previously.

"Since last month, Venezuela's production decline, Trump's sanctions decision, a new disruption in Nigeria, and anecdotal evidence from a new round of earnings require a price forecast revision," the said.

Rising prices have already raised the alarm among big

OPEC kingpin said on Thursday it would make sure the world is adequately supplied with just as consumer expressed frustration with rising prices.

Saudi called India's to assure him that supporting global economic growth was "one of the kingdom's key goals", the said.

Crude prices have received broad support from voluntary supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The International Energy Agency said inventories in the developed world had already dipped below the five-year average, a measure targeted by OPEC and its allies.

Beyond OPEC's cuts, strong demand, falling output from and a U.S. announcement this month that it would renew sanctions against OPEC member have helped push up Brent by 20 percent since the start of the year.

U.S. investment Jefferies said sanctions against could remove more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from the market.

said output from could fall below 1 million bpd. The country, also an OPEC member, produced around 1.5 million bpd in April.

In Nigeria, declared force majeure on Thursday on loadings of Bonny Light crude. Exports of the grade were expected to run at nearly 200,000 bpd in June. Nigeria's was also experiencing delays due to a pipeline leak.

BP, however, sees the rally cooling off. The oil major's told he sees oil falling to between $50 and $65 a barrel due to surging shale output and OPEC's capacity to boost production.

(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by and Susan Fenton)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 18 2018. 17:56 IST