Oil Jumps To $56, Highest Since July 2015 On Saudi Turmoil, Venezuela Default

With the launch of electronic trading, WTI crude has jumped from the highest close since July 2015 amid Saudi turmoil which over the weekend included a crackdown on 11 Saudi princes - including billionaire Alwaleed - and dozens of current and former ministers as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, i.e. MbS, who’s backed policy of capping oil output to raise prices, consolidates power with anti-graft probe, and shortly after a helicopter that carried 8 high-ranking Saudi officials inexplicably crashed near the Yemen border

Adding to the upside pressure are concerns about Venezuela's viability, following Friday's default-cum-restructuring confusion, which sent PDVSA bonds crashing on the realization that the long-deferred sovereign default may finally be inevitable.

As shown in the chart below, December WTI briefly touched $56, and was up +0.5% to $55.87/bbl shortly after 6pm ET, the highest price since July 6, 2015...

... while January Brent was also higher by 0.5% to $62.39/bbl.