Oil prices up for 3rd straight week

Oil prices up for 3rd straight week

Some of the recent attempts at valuing Aramco have placed the company's total worth at somewhere between US$400 billion and US$1 trillion, according to various assumptions about the tax rate, the cost of capital, ability to generate cash flow, oil price projections, and potential political sensitivity for future investors. Brent Oil was down 48 cents or 0.86% at $55.41 per barrel.

Crude oil prices are expected to continue their bullish trends this week, as the geopolitical tensions in the Middle East look set to escalate.

Crude oil declined Monday, but consolidated well off session lows as investors evaluated signs of higher USA output. The country was exempted from the initial agreement and allowed to increase its crude output to about 4 million barrels-the production level before Western sanctions were imposed on the country.

Crude oil prices slipped 1 percent on Monday in subdued trading after a long Easter holiday weekend, on news of rising US shale production and profit-taking following three straight weeks of gains.On Monday, the Energy Information Agency (EIA) said USA shale production in May was set for its biggest monthly increase in more than two years, adding to worries that these increases would undermine efforts of the world's top producers to rein in a glut.Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho Americas said market conditions encouraged profit taking. On Thursday, before major markets closed for the holiday break, they settled up 3 cents at $55.89 a barrel.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were also down 47 cents at $52.71 a barrel.

Both benchmarks last week rose for a third consecutive week, with Brent adding 1.2 percent over the four days before the Good Friday holiday and WTI up 1.8 percent.

Although the failure of a ballistic missile launch in North Korea brought some respite, markets were braced for further tensions in the region.

USA drillers last week added rigs for a 13th straight week.

Investors should also look out for important data such as the weekly United States crude inventories figures, to gain further insights into the pace of the oil market rebalancing.

U.S. crude oil production has climbed to 9.24 million barrels per day, according to the latest Energy Information Administration data, making it the world's third-largest producer after Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

The increasing production largely counteracted figures showing first quarter economic growth of 6.9 percent in China.

The minister did not go into any details as to how much Iran would be willing to cut off its daily output or from what monthly production level the cut will be effected.