Oil prices pass $55 mark

Oil rose to above $55 (£43.57) per barrel on Wednesday, February 1 bolstered by signs that OPEC oil producers and Russia are delivering on their promise to reduce supplies.

Although there was a modest rise, oil prices were prevented from climbing even higher by the publishing of a report detailing a considerable rise in crude inventories in the United States.

Russia cut oil production last month by roughly 100,000 barrels a day, if data released by Reuters, on Wednesday, February 1 is accurate. On Tuesday, January 31, a survey by Reuters also found that there was a high level of compliance to the agreed supply cuts from OPEC.

On Wednesday, Brent Crude was trading at $55.83 just before 10:00 am GMT – an increase of 25¢ on the previous day – while U.S. Crude was up 26¢, trading at $53.07 at the same time.

Speaking on the issue, Stephen Brennock from PVM oil brokers said:

“Any hopes of a sustained recovery in price will depend on increasing efforts by OPEC to curb output though the prospect of an upside breakout will be undermined by the budding revival in U.S. crude production.”

According to the American Petroleum Institute, speaking on Tuesday, January 31, U.S. crude inventories were up by roughly 5.8 million barrels. This figure is higher than most analysts expected and could undermine OPECs efforts, which would be bad news for the likes of Shell and ExxonMobil, which produces Mobil Delvac Super 1400 15W/40 and needs oil prices to rise if it is to invest further in exploration and development.