March crude oil prices trended lower throughout the early morning hours, seemingly in response to a weaker outside market tone, gains in the US dollar and concerns of ample near-term US supply. The market has grown more concerned over Greece and the potential that officials there could miss an upcoming deadline to receive more bailout funds. While this represents a potential negative for European oil demand, fresh Iranian threats to ban some exports to Europe triggers supply fears. This appears to have had a greater upside impact on Brent crude oil, pushing prices above a 6-month high. Meanwhile, the Brent versus WTI crude oil spread continues to gain ground and is approaching the $20 level, premium to Brent, levels not seen since October 24. In the US, WTI crude oil suffers an abnormally warm winter pressuring demand and building supplies in Cushing, Oklahoma. In addition to Iran, the crude oil market faces supply concerns as tensions escalate in Sudan and a blown up pipeline in Nigeria.
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