1. Oil prices: Oil prices rose on 23 March, pushed up by Saudi statements that OPEC and Russian led production curbs that were introduced in 2017 will need to be extended into 2019 in order to tighten the market. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $65.09 a barrel, up 79 cents, or 1.2 percent, from their previous close. Brent crude futures were at $69.64 per barrel, up 73 cents, or 1.1 percent.
2. ARAMCO IPO delayed: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said the initial public offering (IPO) of state oil company Aramco could be delayed until early 2019, pushing back a central plank of his plan to reform the country’s economy. The sale of a 5 percent stake in the company could take place at the end of 2018 or early 2019, depending on market conditions, Prince Mohammed told Reuters in an interview. Until recently, Saudi officials had insisted the IPO was “on track, on time” for 2018, but three months into the year that deadline is looking harder to meet.
The prince also said that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was seeking a longer-term alliance with Russia to help manage oil supplies, following a more than yearlong pact to eliminate a surplus. The exporter group is seeking an accord that could last 10 or 20 years, bin Salman said.
April 3, 2018