Oil rallied as a key North American crude pipeline remains shut with no timeline for reopening. 

West Texas Intermediate rose as much as 4.1 per cent to trade over US$73 a barrel, with traders buying again after last week’s 11 per cent plunge. Crude’s slump pushed the U.S. benchmark to settle Friday below its nine-day relative strength index, a technical indicator that oil is oversold and a reversal may be in store.

TC Energy Corp. is continuing recovery efforts at its shuttered Keystone pipeline —which links fields in Canada to refiners on the U.S. Gulf Coast — and a date for a restart hasn’t yet been set, according to a statement on Sunday. Refined products also recovered this morning, with gasoline futures rising 1.2 per cent after touching a new low for the year overnight.

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Crude is on track for its first back-to-back quarterly decline since mid-2019 as the demand outlook sours and thin liquidity exacerbates price swings into the year-end. December was expected to be a rocky month with sanctions on Russian oil shipments taking effect, but the weakening demand outlook — led by risks to global growth — has weighed on prices. 

Following the imposition of the price cap on Russian crude and related curbs, a backlog of tankers waiting to haul oil through Turkey’s vital shipping straits built up amid a dispute over insurance cover. That now appears to be clearing, with a port agent tally on Sunday showing 19 tankers waiting to pass through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, down from a total of 27 on Saturday.


  • WTI for January delivery rose US$2.80 to US$73.82 a barrel by 11:05 a.m. in New York.
  • Brent for February settlement rose US$2.35 to US$78.45 a barrel.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, one the price cap’s architects, gave a qualified thumbs-up on the initiative, telling CBS’s “60 Minutes” that the outcome was “so far, so good.” In the Middle East, meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the impact remained uncertain.