Light, sweet crude futures for delivery in April traded at US$99.90 on the Nymex, advancing as prospect of a long-term disruption to Japanese crude demand recedes. Japan’s oil refining sector is gradually restoring operations indicating that oil demand from the world's third-largest oil consumer will not be severely affected. All but three of Japan's refineries are back online, officials said, while unaffected refineries are operating at increased rates and Japanese officials are scouting additional supplies of oil and gas to help make up for the shortfall in electricity generation. From 4 million barrels a day before the disaster, refinery runs are likely to recover to 3.4 mln bpd by the end of the month.
Players continue to watch developments on the conflict in Bahrain.