The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $112.38 on 1 May on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after hitting $119.93 on 28 April.
Investment bank Citigroup says the appreciation of the US dollar was a significant development for energy markets as bullish traders had been relying on a downward trend in the dollar as a key justification for continued high prices for crude.
However, it warned that prices could rise again if Nigerian oil workers remained on strike, with about 800,000-barrels-a-day (b/d) of production currently shut down from ExxonMobil’s production facility in the West African country.
“We would also note that the market’s failure to climb past $120 on the back of the recent supply outages tends to send a bearish message,” says the bank.
Despite prices easing from record highs, Opec’s president, Chakib Khelil, warned on 30 April that the price of crude could hit $200 a barrel, adding that the oil producers’ cartel would not consider increasing production before it next meets in September.