The recent bull run in oil took a breather on Thursday, February 18, with Brent coming off its recent high of $65/bbl and WTI retreating from the $61/bbl mark. In the upshot, Brent dropped 2% to $62.76 and WTI slid 2.45% to $60.03.
The reason for the correction was most likely media reports that Iraq, flouting the OPEC+ deal, has been extracting and exporting significantly more than the oil production quota provided for in the agreement. We also believe that news about new Covid strains detected in a number of countries, against which there is still no vaccine, took an additional toll on sentiment.
Brent did not hold very long at $65, and it may now fall back to $60/bbl. Our Brent forecast for today is in the range of $62-63/bbl.