Brent crude oil price today stabilized at $70 dollars a barrel in a three-month stretch from January to April 2018. This was supported by ongoing output cuts led by OPEC and Russia. Prices spiked when traders responded to the November 30, 2017, OPEC meeting.
In March, however, global oil prices averaged $66/b, slowing briefly from the rise to $70/b in January.
Oil prices almost tripled the 13-year low of $26.55/b on January 20, 2016. Six months before that, prices had been $60/b. A year earlier in June 2014, they had been $100.26/b. Several fluctuating factors influencing today’s oil prices.
Two grades of crude oil benchmark global oil prices — West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is the benchmark for the United States. Brent North Sea oil comes from Northwest Europe and is the benchmark for global oil prices.
However, the price of a barrel of WTI oil is $4/b (though predicted to average $59/b in 2018) lower than Brent prices, which Nigeria also stands a significant chance to benefit from its rising prices.
The United States’ Energy Information Administration predicts that worldwide crude oil prices will average $63 a barrel in 2018 and in 2019. That is a dollar higher than the previous month’s short-term energy outlook.
Market watchers believe that the recent rise in crude oil prices, particularly the Brent crude, portends good fiscal opportunities for Nigeria in view of the potential to close the deficit financing gap in the 2018 budget.
Recently, the country’s foreign reserves have been on the upswing trend as favourable oil prices at the international market continues to help in boosting the country’s earnings from crude oil exports.