Oil Prices Jump Above $65 - First Since 2015

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The flawless storm of a healthy appetite from China, a decline in global inventories and a major North Sea pipeline outage sent oil prices higher on Tuesday.

Swiss-based chemicals company INEOS, which owns the Forties Pipeline System, said on Wednesday that it has not yet taken a decision on repairing a pipeling crack that materialised during a routine inspection of onshore infrastructure last week.

Deliveries of crude oil and natural gas through the Forties pipeline are still under force majeure and operator INEOS said on Thursday there was no timeline yet for fix work that is expected to last several weeks.

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United Kingdom natural gas prices have surged to their highest since 2013 after the closure of the pipeline that carries roughly a third of the country's offshore gas output. The New York blast was also the reason behind the jump in the oil prices.

The pipeline was shut after a crack was found and it has important significance to global markets as Forties is the largest out of the five crude oil streams.

A spokesman for the International Energy Agency, which can call on its member states to release oil from their emergency stockpiles, told UPI the situation in the North Sea was under a close watch. She said until then it is normal to for Brent crude oil to hover above $60 per barrel. Distillate fuels stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 1.5 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 902,000-barrel gain, the API data showed.

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Elsewhere, Barkindo said the appetite from China, the world's second largest economy, behind the United States, was continuing to grow.

Selling had gained pace on Tuesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its monthly short-term energy outlook that U.S. crude oil output will rise by 780,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a record-high of 10.02 million bpd in 2018.

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