Oil prices hit US$120 a barrel on Monday after Saudi Arabia raised crude prices for July and amid doubts that an increased OPEC+ monthly output target will help ease tight supply.
Brent crude firmed 32 cents, or 0.3%, to US$120.04 a barrel at 0858 GMT after touching an intraday high of US$121.95.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 40 cents, or 0.3%, at $119.27 a barrel after hitting a three-month high of $120.99.
Saudi Arabia raised the July official selling price (OSP) for its flagship Arab light crude to Asia by US$2.10 from June to a US$6.50 premium, the highest since May, when prices hit all-time highs due to worries of disruption in supplies from Russia.
The price increase followed a decision last week by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, together called OPEC+, to boost output for July and August by 648,000 barrels per day, or 50% more than previously planned.
The increased target was spread across all OPEC+ members, however, many of which have little room to increase output and which include Russia, whichfaces Western sanctions.
“With only a handful of… OPEC+ participants with spare capacity, we expect the increase in OPEC+ output to be about 160,000 barrels per day in July and 170,000 bpd in August,” JP Morgan analysts said in a note.
On Monday, Citibank and Barclays raised their price forecasts for 2022 and 2023, saying they expected Russian output and exports to fall by around 1-1.5 million bpd by end-2022.
Separately, Italy’s Eni and Spain’s Repsol could begin shipping small volumes of Venezuelan oil to Europe as soon as next month, five people familiar with the matter told Reuters.